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Dodge at Somerset House
Image © Yinka Ilori

Remember those posh dodgems at Somerset House? They’re actually happening this summer

Pimped bumper cars, street food from Jimmy Garcia and some arty installations

Chris Waywell

Lots of stuff didn’t happen at Somerset House over the last year: the gigs, the ice rink (for the first time in 21 years) and ‘Dodge’, which was meant to take place in January before it didn’t. Well, this time around, it is happening. ‘Dodge: Drink, Dine and Dodgems’ is… well, exactly that. Bumper cars, booze and street food. Proper party fodder, with a few arty conceptual flourishes thrown in. 

These include a unique updating of the whole dodgem thing, thanks to Mercury Award-shortlisted musician Anna Meredith and Bafta-winning sound artist Nick Ryan. Basically, every time you crash into another bumper car, it flicks your car’s soundtrack to a different piece of music. Bit like going over speed bumps and having your crappy old CD player jumping all over the place. 

The dodgems are part of an immersive courtyard installation by Yinka Ilori, co-designer of this year’s Brit Awards, with booths where you can recover from the trauma of being bashed around by shrieking girls and boys. Chef Jimmy Garcia (of South Bank igloo fame) will be on hand with a food pop-up, doing a bone-marrow beef burger, butternut squash falafels, sriracha fries and other toothsome shiz. There’s also beer and Moët champagne in case you’ve talked your boss into a desperate team-building afternoon.

It sounds like a laugh, and we could all do with a laugh, right? Also, if you happen to be under 12, you get unlimited free goes on the dodgems every Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. No champers, though. 

‘Dodge: Drink, Dine and Dodgems’ is at Somerset House, Jul 15-Aug 22. Book tickets here.

Like Somerset House? Maybe check out the London Design Biennale there in June.

Walthamstow Wetlands is paying tribute to Moomins creator Tove Jansson.

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