New Winter Playground with Interactive Dodgems is Headed for London

One of London’s most famous ice rinks might have hit the skids this year, but high-tech bumper cars that trigger light and sound displays are set to take its place…

Lead image: DODGE: Drink, Dine & Dodgems at Somerset House © Somerset House

*Covid update* The opening of DODGE has been postponed due to the new national lockdown. The new opening date is TBC  

When was the last time you whizzed around carelessly in a dodgem, careering into your friends without a care in the world? Far too long, likely. And when was the last time you rode an interactive dodgem? Never, right?

Enter DODGE: Drink, Dine & Dodgems, the new Covid-proof winter event at Somerset House. Due to launch in January 2021, the outdoor experience, set in the spectacular courtyard, will brighten up the new year with food, drink and fairground fun.

Created in collaboration with artist Yinka Ilori, musician Anna Meredith and sound artist Nick Ryan, Dodge transforms the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court into a joyful world of colour, sound and spectacle that more than makes up for the lack of an ice rink this year.


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The centrepiece of the modern funfair is the dodgems, which have been reinvented as a high-octane, interactive sensory experience. Called Bumps Per Minute, the experience sees every bump, swerve and jolt of the bumper cars translated into an explosive three-minute display of light and electronic sound.

Composed by Mercury Award-shortlisted composer, producer and musician Anna Meredith with BAFTA-winning sound designer Nick Ryan, each movement and collision prompts a unique audio-visual composition.

Set in a multicoloured, large-scale installation by Yinka Ilori, winner of London Design 2020’s Emerging Design Medal, the courtyard will also play host to a food and drink pop up by Jimmy Garcia of Jimmy’s Winter Lodge and The BBQ Club fame.

Park yourself in one of Ilori’s playful outdoor seating booths and order the likes of baked Vacherin with cured meats, venison hotdogs and duck or ‘shroom burgers.

Luxury packages include treats from Moët & Chandon and a group-sized self-serve keg of Hennessy, as well as Bump & Brunch packages for the weekend featuring homemade waffles with candied bacon alongside a Hennessy hot toddy and unlimited dodgem rides.

There will also be a pop-up boutique with a curated range of products from independent retailers including Janet’s List, ATA RODO, A Sustainable Department Store and Rites, as well as outdoor DJ sets in DODGE Lates, spanning 12 nights and featuring the likes of Queer House Party, Manara and Eliza Rose.

Groups of two to six can book a heated or non-heated seating area and a limited number of walk-up tables will be available for quick bites and drinks.

DODGE: Drink, Dine & Dodgems will run at Somerset House from 22 January till 20 March 2021. Entry to the site is free with dodgems tickets priced £5. Booking is recommended but not compulsory.


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