Culture, Dorchester, Latest News, Top Story | Posted: Thursday, August 8th, 2019 at 11:29 am | return to news

Dorset Moon ‘landings' a resounding success

The Dorset Moon summer arts event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing has been hailed a resounding success.

Weymouth silent disco
Weymouth silent disco © Ivor Toms Photography

Over three weekends more than 40,000 people enjoyed Luke Jerram’s monumental Museum of the Moon installation in three ‘landings’ at St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth; Sherborne Abbey and the Nothe Fort at Weymouth.

The unique collaboration between three Dorset arts festivals – Inside Out Dorset (produced by Activate), b-side and Bournemouth Arts by the Sea – featured each incarnation of Dorset Moon with a full supporting programme of cultural activities. All events were free to enter.

News about Dorset Moon and audience reaction to the three landings reached around the world with media reports in the USA, China and Germany.

“Dorset Moon far exceeded the expectations of the Dorset Festivals Consortium,” says Kate Wood, executive and artistic director of Activate, who added that all three festivals were profoundly energised by the response by the public and quality of the artistic work.

Alan Rogers, executive director of b-side highlighted the diversity of the Dorset Moon audience and the programme that was attached Museum of the Moon, said, “It’s amazing that one artwork, with a programme of supporting commissions and events, can be open to such a wide range of interpretation.” He went on to describe the range of ways in which people enjoyed the events, from the happy vibe of a silent disco where the moon was used as a scenic backdrop, to families enjoying taking selfies supporting the moon, kids with that ‘oh wow!’ reaction and individuals using Museum of the Moon as a jumping off point for deeper contemplation, especially, he said, “when the brighter, real moon was in the sky at the same time.”

Director of Bournemouth Arts by the Sea, Andrea Francis said, “Working in consortium with our partners from Inside Out Dorset and b-side has been a real pleasure, and Arts by the Sea was very happy to start the tour in Bournemouth. We are very grateful to St Peter’s Church for hosting us, and delighted that we could introduce thousands of visitors to this beautiful venue.”

Dorset Moon was commissioned by the Arts Development Company with funding from European Regional Development Fund and Arts Council England. It attracted almost 10,000 visitors in Bournemouth, just under 18,000 at Sherborne Abbey and 13,000 at Nothe Fort.

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