b-side festival 2021

A thousand ideas, one amazing island.
Portland, Dorset, UK | 09 - 12 Sept 2021

b-side festival returned in Sept 2021, showcasing the very best in contemporary art made in response to the beautiful and intriguing Isle of Portland.

In March 2020 we – along with millions of others – closed our project space's doors. An unknown and then ever-expanding lockdown way of life commenced. But amongst the uncertainty we noticed, people were making things. In this unprecedented year more than ever, we wanted to share with visitors the extraordinary wealth of witty, poignant, and wonderful artwork created by Portland residents alongside our commissioned artists.

Artists in the 2021 festival drew inspiration from the Island's landscape, community, and history, as well as our relationship to places elsewhere. These are all components of b-side's theme Common Lands, where we research and creatively respond to our relationship to Portland as a microcosm of global themes such as land access, environmental change, biodiversity, and the history and future of migration. 

What the world needs now truly is a bucket of love. We believe art, culture, and festivals are the perfect platforms to share this love. Not just for some, but for everyone.

Take a look at our Festival programme below to see what happened during four magical days on Portland in Sept 2021.


Festival 2021

Festival Guide

Download the festival map and calendar, or you can view the full festival guide (PDF 6.8Mb) using the link below.

View the festival guide

View the festival access page

Festival Guide 2021


Project events

An image of the closer details of some artwork


09 - 11 Sept 11:00 - 18:00

12 Sept 11:00 - 16:00

St George's Church

An installation exploring the story of Constance Kent in the bell tower of St George's Church

An image of a dark room with contrasting white branches

Stone Grove

09 Sept, 10 Sept, 11 Sept 11:00 - 18:00

12 Sept 11:00 - 16:00

The Old Engine Shed
The Platform Bursary has been an exciting opportunity for Lotte to develop new work in response to the landscape of Portland. After 7 years focusing
A man with a pirate hat on standing in front of a group of people

Promenade of Opes and Dreams

09 - 12 Sept  11:00


Various locations daily during the festival at 11am see details below

Join tour guide Simon Cole and performance poet Jessica Taggart Rose to uncover the magical isle of Portland - a place of secret histories, unlikely stories and curious crannies

An image of The Big Portland Parade in a crowd, dancing to a brass band


Fringe 09 - 12 Sept 11:00 - 18:00

Parade 11 Sept 16:00 - 18:00

Your garden, window

Be the artist and Parade with us!

An image of a man walking up a set of stairs with a wall and the blue sky behind him

The Land's Heart Is Greater Than Its Map

09 - 11 Sept 11:00, 13:00 + 16:00

12 Sept 11:00 + 13:00

High Angle Battery
High-Angle Battery/Ghost Tunnels

An alternative guided tour of the only city that exists twice, once on earth and once in heaven

An image of the Portland lighthouse with some plants in front

The Last Landscape

09 - 11 Sept 12:00 - 18:00

12 Sept 12:00 - 16:00

The Pulpit Inn

Exhibition celebrating this very special area of Portland

A photograph of the night sky with a person in silhoette

Nature Needs the Night

09 Sept 19:30 - 21:30

The Pulpit

A presentation in association with the Commission for Dark Skies and Weymouth Astronomy Club

An image of the outdoor screening of We Are The Dammed at Pennsylvania Castle

We Are The Damned

09 Sept 20:15 - 22:00

The Penn

Black leather, black leather, Smash smash smash, Black leather, black leather, Crash crash crash...

An iconic 1962 Hammer horror film set

A photograph of 6 people sitting in a trishaw bicycle

Festival Trishaw Tours

10 Sept, Sat 11 Sept 11:00, 13:00 + 15:00

12 Sept 11:00 + 13:00

Tescos Superstore
Would you like to take a free trishaw ride around Portland taking in some of b-side festival artworks too? b-side have teamed up with

Festival 2021

That Other Place

Explore That Other Place, a mirror image of the Isle of Portland, a parallel universe - but not the same.

Find out more