Inside Out

Westminster launches festival of outdoor arts 

Ben Cullen Williams

Visitors to the West End will soon be able to rediscover its vibrant arts and culture scene in a unique partnership between Westminster City Council and the area’s world-famous cultural institutions.
From Marble Arch through Leicester Square to Covent Garden Piazza, the Inside Out festival will feature performances and installations from some of the area’s top theatres, opera houses, and galleries.
The festival is the latest initiative from Westminster City Council to attract visitors back to the West End to enjoy London’s cultural and hospitality offerings safely. 

 

The programme from Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th October will include: 

  • A selection of open-air performances from West End musicals, the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, and the Royal Philharmonic Brass Ensemble
  • An open-air exhibition of works of art from the National Gallery on the North Terrace of Trafalgar Square 
  • The first-ever Mayfair Sculpture Trail 
  • Light projections in celebration of new life, nature, and optimism onto Marble Arch 
  • Fluorescent light installations in Covent Garden Piazza, Piccadilly Circus, Victoria, and other West End locations delivered in partnership with MTArt Agency 
  • The Photographers’ Gallery hosting a free, open-air portrait studio, selfie booths and an exhibition of work produced by young people during the lockdown  

The four-day festival has been curated to ensure people can enjoy it in a socially distanced manner. 

 

Claire Luxton

Cllr Rachael Robathan, Leader of Westminster City Council said:
“We’ve all missed the buzz of the West End’s theatres, opera house and galleries, and while some are starting to reopen, we’re doing everything we can to bring more fantastic art outdoors where people can enjoy it safely.”
“We’re delighted to give people a chance to sample the magic of stunning theatre, music and art in our beautiful streets and squares. We hope this is the precursor to a full re-opening of the West End when we are sure it is safe to do so.
“We look forward to welcoming people back to the West End safely, and hope they will take the opportunity to stop for a meal or a drink while they are here.” 

Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, said:
“I am absolutely delighted that artists and musicians of the Royal Opera House are joining the Inside Out project. It is vital for the West End, for theatres across London and for everyone who engages with the arts in any capacity that we get back to live performances, for live audiences, as soon as possible. The road ahead will be challenging, but this is a big step in the right direction, and many thanks go to Westminster City Council for showing this lead.

Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, said:
“By bringing a series of life-size replicas onto the North Terrace of Trafalgar Square, all visitors to the area can enjoy a taste of the treasures we have inside the National Gallery. And of course, everyone is welcome to book their free tickets into the Gallery – just a few steps away – to experience the real paintings.” 

Marine Tanguy, Chief Executive of MTArt Agency, said:
“It’s such a joy to see this festival representing the diversity of the Cultural scene of London. From established institutions to up and coming artists, Westminster has shown the need to be inclusive to inspire all demographics.”

All elements of the festival will comply with Government guidance and local public health advice.
More elements of the festival will be confirmed over the coming days, including how to buy tickets for the performances. We expect to put tickets on sale next week.  Inside Out is the latest in a series of initiatives introduced by Westminster City Council to revitalise central London.  

In July the council introduced wider paving, road closures and allowed tables and chairs outside cafés, pubs and restaurants in over 50 locations across Westminster – creating a café culture in some of the country’s most famous districts including Soho, Covent Garden, and Chinatown.    

The local authority has also created 11km of temporary cycle lanes and over 800 new cycle spaces to allow people to travel around the city safely. 

 

 

-END-  

 

Media Contact  

Media queries: Westminster City Council media team on 020 7641 2259 / mediateam@westminster.gov.uk.    

CharlotteFletcher: MTArt Agency charlotte@mtart.agency

 

Inside Out website: 

westminster.gov.uk/insideout 

 

Notes to Editors  

Inside Out has been backed by Art in Mayfair, Capco, The Crown Estate, Heart of London Business Alliance, Landsec, Marble Arch London BID, MTArt Agency, New West End Company, Society of London Theatre, Victoria BID and Unison.  

 

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