b-side festival new dates announced


To all our friends and followers,

The b-side team and directors have decided that the b-side Festival 2020 will be postponed until 11-19 September 2021. We are all really disappointed but the safety of our Portland community, artists, festival-goers, volunteers, team, and partner organisations all have to come first. We cannot even imagine a b-side festival without social contact or indeed, outright socialising!

It is by no means certain that the current coronavirus outbreak will be sufficiently contained to hold public events by September 2020, and much of the planning, on-site work and community participation with our commissioned artists begins round about now. It would be irresponsible of us to continue with the level of participation that we normally encourage, both for our artists, Portland residents and b-side supporters even when the current lockdown ends. We realise that many people may feel differently about being in groups and attending events for some time.

Our friends at Activate have also had to make the difficult decision to postpone their Inside Out, Dorset festival which was due to take place this September too. You can view their statement on their website. Both b-side and Activate Performing Arts (producers of Inside Out Dorset) work to bring high-quality artworks to residents and visitors to Dorset and will endeavour to continue to do so. It is important to both organisations, along with all our colleagues working across the arts sector in Dorset, that we support each other. B-side and Activate continue to put artists and communities in the strongest position possible to make the arts in Dorset exciting, relevant and accessible to all.


 As an organisation we have always sought to listen to the needs and interests of artists, communities, partners and colleagues locally and much further afield. Despite the current situation we all find ourselves in, we will continue to do so and perhaps this is needed now more than ever.

b-side is funded by Arts Council England but we are also dependent on applying to Trusts and Foundations to pay for staff and project costs. We have recently had some of our funding applications postponed and so like all artists and arts organisations in the UK we will be having to double our efforts to fundraise in a highly competitive environment. This means that the team will be working hard over this year to attract additional funding to support not only the festival, but the work that goes on behind the scenes throughout the year including our projects with young people, artists and community research projects.

 All the b-side team are dedicated to raising funds from trusts and foundations, in order to guarantee the future of Portland’s b-side festival and making sure the business itself continues to survive and grow. This work will continue.

 Our team continue to work remotely at present and our project space Outpost, on Fortuneswell High Street, Portland is closed for the foreseeable future but we are contactable for business as usual.


 We’re a small part-time team, we are currently looking at ways we can support artists and our community. We are committed to working with and supporting our Festival commissioned artists, artists in Dorset and Portland residents. We hope to do this in a number of ways and adapt to the changing needs of our community in the coming months.

 To start with we have set up an Artists Support web page which signposts useful information for freelancers, self-employed artists and creative practitioners, we will also share relevant information through our social media channels.

Plus, if you are looking for a friendly face/voice to talk through your own situation and you think we may be able to help in some way please contact any of the team and we can arrange a call.

 Secondly, whilst we cannot produce events in the same way as before right now, we do have two very large shopfront windows at our project space Outpost on Portland. We would like to offer an opportunity for Portlanders to make work that can be shown in our windows – it’s a great exhibition space with no social contact. We are looking for work that we can present as single or multiple images printed on large posters and hung for 3-4 weeks at a time – more information will be released soon about how you or your community group can take part.

 With all best wishes from the b-side team, we hope you stay safe and well and look forward to meeting you all again in the not too distant future to enjoy the wonderful Portland landscape together once more.

 With all best wishes from the b-side team, we hope you stay safe and well and look forward to meeting you all again in the not too distant future to enjoy the wonderful Portland landscape together once more.