• Sculpture by the Lakes: LIVE kicks off in June with the first in a series of mini-festivals taking place along the riverside at the heart of this multi-award-winning attraction near Dorchester. 

Making the most of a new riverside stage and outdoor kitchen, these events will combine music, entertainment, and a fantastic food offer, creating an exclusive summer festival feel amid the sculptures and gardens. 

Across six Saturdays in June, July and August the eclectic line-up ranges from a gang of wildly theatrical ‘drunken sailors’, to traditional folk musicians, to a classical string quartet, with varied additional entertainment alongside including circus-style performers and even a murder mystery night. 

Alongside the music and entertainment, guests can enjoy the spectacle of the outdoor kitchen in action, where chefs will prepare flamed-cooked food live using fire-cooking contraptions created by sculptor and park founder Simon Gudgeon, including the ingenious ‘meat mangle’ grill fashioned from an old mangle. 

Simon has also applied his creative talents to The Bent Copper Bar; a reimagined horsebox transformed into a mobile bar with a striking domed copper roof. It will be open for drinks during Sculpture but the Lakes: LIVE events, including tasty signature cocktails made with Sculpture by the Lakes own gin. 

Said Simon: 

“These summer music events will feel like mini festivals – but without the crowds. They’ll have a real Sculpture by the Lakes flavour –small-scale, relaxed, making the most of this very special location, and with as many unique, hand-crafted elements as I could muster! 

“We are always looking to offer something different for our visitors. We’re sure our regulars will absolutely love this, and hopefully it will help some first comers discover Sculpture by the Lakes too.” 

The LIVE summer programme launches at Sculpture by the Lakes, Pallington, on June 11 with the Old Time Sailors, taking the audience on an immersive theatrical and musical journey back in time to the 19th century with a gang of ‘drunken sailors’ performing 30 songs and tunes within a magnificent ‘ship’ stage set. 

Then on June 25 She’Koyokh, celebrating 21 years together, will bring their joyous range of klezmer & folk music from Eastern Europe & the Balkans. Appearing alongside them a mysterious stranger with magic at his fingertips! 

The brilliantly original Still-Moving DJs create an evening of vintage music from the 1930s to the 60s on July 9, bringing a stellar selection of tunes, live percussion, ship lanterns, original vinyl records, gramophones, tankards and…dinosaurs! They will be joined by hula artist Honey hooping her way around the sculptures. 

Classic cars and classic rock ‘n’ roll are the theme on July 23 with the Doel Brothers on riverside stage performing 50s favourites, vintage cars will be dotted around the park, and blues musician Harry Skinner a ‘wandering minstrel’ among the sculptures.  

A global musical journey awaits on August 6 when The FB Pocket Orchestra, a multi-talented trio playing many instruments, take listeners ‘Around the World in 80 Staves’. A gravity-defying unicyclist will be wending his way around the sculptures too.  

And the grand finale on August 20 brings together the Nova Foresta String Quartet performing music from Swan Lake, with a 1920s themed murder mystery evening with clues and suspects to interview dotted around the sculptures – and a cameo appearance from sculptor and park founder Simon Gudgeon too!  

The Sculpture by the Lakes: LIVE programme also includes a series of Fire and Feast Nights combining all the pleasures of flame cooked food and alfresco dining with a stunning riverside location. Impressive six-course tasting menus of locally sourced quality meats and produce, including from the sculpture park’s own kitchen garden, will be cooked live in the outdoor kitchen. 

Added Simon: 

“Fire cooking is a real passion of mine and I’m really excited to share it with guests. Nothing tastes better than flame cooked food enjoyed with friends under the evening sky.” 

Fire and Food Nights take place on six Friday nights this summer – June 3rd, June 24th, July 15th, July 29th, August 12th, 16th September. £75 per head. To book email [email protected] or telephone 07899 802483 

Tickets for the music nights are £36.00 for each performance. Doors open 18.00 for a 19.00 start. Visit https://www.sculpturebythelakes.co.uk/events to book.

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