This Bright Land 2022

A summer celebration of community and culture 

Monday 1 August –29 August 2022
Tickets on sale 22 June, 10am

Free daytime entry to the site Monday –Friday; Pay What You Can entry, Monday –Thursday evenings & Saturday daytimes
Special events and programming tickets from £5 (plus transaction fee)
£5 per person for rides on the Observation Wheel

Somerset House invites visitors to step inside the magical world of This Bright Land, a new cultural celebration in the heart of the capital, championing the spirit and strength of community. 

Created by Somerset House Studios artists Gareth Pugh and Carson McColl, in collaboration with Somerset House, This Bright Land will transform Somerset House’s magnificent open-air courtyard into a welcoming wonderland, open to all, with joyful day-and-night programming featuring performances, music, dance, talks, workshops and more, platforming both established creatives and grassroots communities. Alongside the daily programme, This Bright Land will feature bold and unexpected installations and interactive experiences to enjoy. From a sensory journey through the Wonder Garden created in partnership with Jo Malone London, complete with curated spaces dedicated to wellness and self-care, to complimentary make-up services in the futuristic custom-built Clubhouse in partnership with M·A·C Cosmetics, and a ride on a 35m Observation Wheel offering breath-taking views of London’s skyline, featuring a new soundscape installation telling stories from Londoners from all walks of life – there is something new to excite each day at This Bright Land

The festival will put togetherness at its heart, using elements of entertainment and play to encourage connections and collaboration between communities. This Bright Land builds upon Somerset House’s foundation as a central hub for creativity and conversation, creating a new vibrant space for discovery and delight throughout the month of August.  

This Bright Land at a glance: 

  • Weekend takeovers of performance, music and celebration, including themed Saturday night open-air Vogue Balls, staged in collaboration with Vogue Rites, London’s weekly Voguing night; plus Friday night parties hosted by creative collectives Daytimers, Nine Nights, ESEA Sisters and Movimientos designed to kick start the weekend   
  • Bold attractions including a striking 35m Observation Wheel offering rare, spectacular views of London’s city skyline, accompanied by a new audio commission exploring ideas of family; a scented Wonder Garden in partnership with Jo Malone London featuring floral pathways and unique sensory breakout spaces; and futuristic Clubhouse in partnership with M·A·C Cosmetics sustainably designed by Automated Architecture (AUAR) 
  • Weekly family-friendly activities for all ages to enjoy – from rollicking Street Parties every Sunday to treasure hunts and social play 
  • Delicious street food curated by Black Eats LDN, championing culinary delights from Black- owned businesses across London, to be enjoyed alongside bright and zesty cocktails from the Bombay Sapphire bar, featuring its newest launch Bombay Citron Pressé, as well as masterclasses with the chance to explore a creative skill alongside mastering gin cocktails 
  • Innovative designed spaces for people to enjoy and come together, including a custom-built tiered chillout seating overlooking This Bright Land, perfect for catching a performance in the evenings, or family picnics throughout the day  
  • Pop-up experiential zone powered by Forest Essentials, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Dr.Jart+, Aveda and Origins drawing inspiration from different corners of the globe, featuring immersive installations and complimentary light treatments 

Further details about This Bright Land’s daily programme and attractions can be found below. 

Friday Night Parties – Music and performance from community collectives 

Leading art collectives and creative initiatives take centre stage in Somerset House’s magnificent courtyard every Friday of the month, hosting curated nights of performance, sound and festivity celebrating cultures and communities from across the capital. The first Friday night party on 5 August opens with Nine Nights, a creative initiative for developing and platforming Black creative talent, presenting a combination of live and DJ performances from BRBKO, Chamber 45, Gaika + GLOR1A and Sandra Omari. On 12 August, much-loved Latinx club night hosts Movimientos takes over, with back-to-back sets of new wave, high energy Latin sounds from DJs Bushbby (Candela Viva) and Ivicore (Popola), plus special guest performers and dance. ESEA Sisters, a platform creating space for women, trans*, non-binary and genderqueer people of East and Southeast Asian heritage, join the line-up on 19 August with a night of performance, art and music from DJs Oh Annie Oh, Shyko, Enxi, Rahel, Lila Yin, Mui Zyu, Nicole Chui and Melissa Kitty. For the final party on 26 August, art collective Daytimers present an evening of music and dance spotlighting the South Asian underground scene, showcasing and celebrating artistry from within the community with DJs Esk, DJ Mimi and Jonny Khan

Saturday Night Open-Air Vogue Balls 

Headlining the festival’s Saturday nights is London’s weekly Voguing night, Vogue Rites. Bringing Ballroom culture to This Bright Land, each Saturday will take on a different theme, as performers and house members compete for trophies and unique prizes in an outdoor extravaganza of dance, fashion and music, supported by M·A·C Cosmetics. Featuring some of the most exciting names in the international Ballroom scene, the weekly events will culminate in a Finale Ball on 27 August in what is set to be the largest open-air Vogue Ball in UK history.  

Sunday Street Parties 

A series of guest-curated dazzling street parties will close the weekends every Sunday. Featuring live art, performance, games, workshops and relaxed in-conversation events, these day-to-night parties will platform creative collectives, performance groups and artists exploring ideas relating to race, class, gender, sexuality and disability. Open to all ages, each party will take on a different theme, from creative self-expression to ways of shaping a better world.  

An Observation Wheel offering new perspectives on the city, with a soundscape sharing the stories of Londoners

At the centre of This Bright Land, a spectacular 35m Observation Wheel offers new perspectives on the city, both literally and figuratively. The wheel will rise over Somerset House’s iconic dome to reveal breath-taking, rare views of the capital’s skyline from a new central London viewpoint. Each gondola of the wheel will be home to a new audio sound installation, which captures the voices and stories of Londoners from all walks of life in a new uplifting audio experience. As part of this, Somerset House will be working with six young people to record conversations and interviews on the theme of family, supported by the Kusuma Trust.   

Stunning sensory experiences for both mind and body from world-leading beauty and wellness brands 

For an experience to delight the senses, visitors are invited to step inside the Wonder Garden created in partnership with Jo Malone London. This family-friendly, sensory garden will feature floral pathways and unique breakout spaces, offering moments of calm, tranquillity and discovery. 

Situated opposite the Wonder Garden, visitors will find the Clubhouse in partnership with M·A·C Cosmetics - a futuristic space designed by Automated Architecture (AUAR). The Clubhouse will be home to active beauty stations where visitors can enjoy free make-up services, with the chance to learn the tips and tricks of the trade from professional make-up artists. As the summer sun sets, the Clubhouse becomes the perfect spot to settle in, grab a drink and watch the evening’s entertainment unfold. 

Visitors are invited to continue their sensory journey with a series of pop-ups from leading prestige beauty brands Forest Essentials, Clinique, Dr.Jart +, Bobbi Brown, Aveda and Origins, drawing inspiration from different corners of the globe. Adjacent to the Wonder Garden, India’s leading skincare brand Forest Essentials present a sensorial relaxation space. Visitors will have the chance to test and try out a curated selection of products with Ayurvedic beauty experts on hand for personalised recommendations. Across the courtyard, those looking to sit back and soak up the summer rays can do so in the lush oasis of the Clinique Moisture Surge Aloe Garden where they can enjoy shots of delicious Aloe & Orange and Lemon Ginger Kombucha in sustainable, edible packaging by Notpla. Meanwhile, Korean skincare brand Dr.Jart+ presents a giant human-sized pin art installation inspired by their new launch Pore Remedy. Taking inspiration from its NYC roots, Bobbi Brown invites visitors to its ‘Studio Glow’, offering complimentary makeovers and tailored touch-ups. Adjacent to this, Aveda will host a green oasis cabaña. Whilst Origins presents GinZing in an immersive and energising experience. 

Free daily daytime activities for all ages from garden games to treasure hunts 

A rolling programme of free weekday activities will take place throughout the month for visitors of all ages to enjoy, from a site-wide treasure hunt with colourful mascots to guide visitors along the way, to more traditional means of group play, including outdoor games and a story trail. Somerset House’s famous fountains will also be dancing up and down for children to splash about in the summer holiday sunshine. Pop-up activations inspiring creativity include the creation of ‘scent maps’ in the Wonder Garden and a fashion customisation hub. 

Global street food market and Bombay Citron Pressé bar  

Those in search of delicious street food and vibrant flavours in the capital this August need look no further than This Bright Land. The festival will be home to a daily outdoor food market curated by Black Eats LDN, serving up unbeatable dishes to enjoy in the surroundings of the festival, as well as on the go. Championing culinary delights from independent Black-owned businesses across London, the market will include some of the most exciting food traders the capital has to offer, serving up East African, West African, Caribbean, American and South American cuisine, with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free diets catered for. 

To complement the balmy summer days, This Bright Land’s official drinks partner Bombay Sapphire will be on hand serving up delicious gin cocktails from the Bombay Sapphire bar. Featuring its newly launched Bombay Citron Pressé, a vibrant gin bursting with the taste of freshly squeezed Mediterranean lemons inspired by the Tom Collins cocktail, visitors can enjoy the familiar with a twist, including new takes on classic cocktails and naturally refreshing creations, from the Ultimate Tom Collins, made over ice and complete with fresh, juicy lemon and a splash of soda water, to Bombay Citron Pressé over cloudy lemonade. With its long-standing commitment to supporting creativity, Bombay Sapphire will invite everyone to engage with their creativity and unlock their creative potential. Those looking to stir creativity and learn a new creative skill as well as how to create, elevate and perfect their own gin tipples can do so, whilst sipping on a Bombay Sapphire cocktail, with a series of weekly masterclass experiences. 

Visitors to This Bright Land during the daytime can also enjoy the free exhibition Eternally Yours over the summer at Somerset House. The exhibition showcases diverse examples of creative reuse, from historical artefacts that embraced upcycling and repurposing, to recent work from leading artists and designers that have repair at the heart of their practice.  

Further programming highlights to be announced. Please visit somersethouse.org.uk for more information.  

NOTES TO EDITORS 

Dates & Times  

Monday 1 - 29 August 2022 
12.00 - 22.30 daily  

Listings 

Free entry to the site: Mondays – Fridays, 12.00 - 18.00  
Pay What You Can entry: Mondays – Thursdays, 19.00 - 22.30 & Saturdays, 12.00 - 18.00 

Friday Night Parties 
Friday 5, 12, 19 & 26 August, 19.30 - 22.30, tickets from £5.00 - £22.50 

Saturday Night Vogue Balls with Vogue Rites 
Saturday 6, 13, & 20 August, 18.00 - 22.30, Saturday 27 August 17.00 – 22.30, tickets from £5.00 - £22.50 

Sunday Street Parties 
Sunday 7, 14, 21 & 28 August, 12.00 – 22.30, tickets from £5.00 - £15.00 

Full pricing details to be released on 21 June. Tickets on sale 22 June 2022, 10am. 
 

ABOUT SOMERSET HOUSE 

London’s working arts centre   

Somerset House is London’s working arts centre and home to the UK’s largest creative community. Built on historic foundations, we are situated in the very heart of the capital.    

Dedicated to backing progress, championing openness, nurturing creativity and empowering ideas, our cultural programme is ambitious in scope. We insist on relevance, but aren’t afraid of irreverence, and are as keen on entertainment as enrichment. We embrace the biggest issues of our times and are committed to oxygenating new work by emerging artists. Where else can you spend an hour ice-skating while listening to a specially commissioned sound piece by a cutting edge artist?    

It is this creative tension – the way we harness our heritage, put the too-often overlooked on our central stage and use our neo-classical backdrop to showcase ground-breaking contemporary culture – that inspires our programme. Old and new, history and disruption, art and entertainment, high-tech and homemade, combined with the fact that we are home to a constantly shape-shifting working creative community: this is our point of difference. It is what we are proud of. And it is what makes the experience of visiting or working in Somerset House inspiring and energizing, urgent and exciting.

ABOUT GARETH PUGH & CARSON MCCOLL  

Gareth Pugh is a globally renowned fashion designer and image-maker, described by The Sunday Times as “Britain’s most exciting designer.” Carson McColl is writer, artist and activist, and co-directed the award winning 2019 documentary ‘Soul of a Movement: Four Days in June.’ Both Pugh and McColl are resident artists at Somerset House Studios and are co-founders of HARD + SHINY, an independent creative studio specialising in fashion, film, stage design and experiential entertainment. As a team they have worked with some of the most popular artists of our time – including Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga and Rihanna – and have collaborated with some of the world’s most important cultural institutions, designing shows for the New York City Ballet, the Opéra Garnier in Paris and for The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Their client portfolio includes Virgin Voyages, Rolls Royce Motor Cars, Madison Square Garden, Selfridges and The Estée Lauder Companies. 

ABOUT BOMBAY SAPPHIRE®  

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is the world's number one premium gin by value and volume (IWSR). Based on a 1761 recipe, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin is created by perfectly balancing a unique combination of 10 hand-selected exotic botanicals from around the world. The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE distillery at Laverstoke Mill has won a BREEAM award for sustainability and is the home of the unique Vapour Infusion process, where the natural flavours of the botanicals are skilfully captured, resulting in the fresh and vibrant taste with which BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is synonymous.    

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE has recently been awarded the prestigious Double Gold and Gold medal at the 17th San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC).  

The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE brand is part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.     

Enjoy BOMBAY SAPPHIRE responsibly  
For the facts: Drinkaware.co.uk  
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE AND BOMBAY BRAMBLE ARE TRADEMARKS  

ABOUT BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® AND CREATIVITY  

Launching the ‘Stir Creativity’ campaign in 2018, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is leading a global mission - a call to arms for everyone to engage with their creativity and unlock their creative potential.  From advocacy programmes including World's Most Imaginative Bartender competition running in the US for the last 11 years to hosting The Glasshouse Project, a global advocacy programme bringing together the world's top bartenders in a series of creative workshops designed to push the boundaries of cocktail creativity.   

For eight years, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE has run The Artisan Series, an art competition created by the brand to provide emerging artists with an international platform. The brand has also partnered with well-known artists and creators such as Tracey Emin, Thomas Heatherwick and Tom Dixon for the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Designer Glassware Competition.