Produced by Westminster City Council and partners, Inside Out is a brand-new free festival, bringing art, entertainment, and culture outdoors to the streets of Westminster.

Having launched on the 10th August, the festival has already seen The National Gallery bringing art outdoors to Trafalgar Square’s North Terrace with an open-air exhibition of 20 outstanding life-sized replicas of some of its most famous and treasured paintings. World famous works of art, including Van Gogh’s Sunflowers (1888), Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire (1839), Botticelli’s Venus and Mars (1485) and John Constable’s The Hay Wain (1821) grace the iconic square.

Running alongside is pop-up exhibition Sketch in the Square. Over the coming months, events, workshops, and installations will take place as part of the Inside Out festival, offering something for all members of the family to enjoy.

Inside Out festival highlights include:

Art of London Piccadilly Art Takeover – 21 July – 31 August
‘The Piccadilly Art Takeover’ a unique cultural partnership between the Royal Academy of Arts and Art of London, supported by Sky Arts, Westminster City Council and the Mayor of London. Five Royal Academy artists have been selected to bring original, bespoke and vibrant art to the iconic destination of Piccadilly Circus and its surrounding streets, in the largest takeover of its kind that the capital has ever seen. The artists are: Michael Armitage, Vanessa Jackson RA, Isaac Julien CBE RA, Farshid Moussavi OBE RA and Yinka Shonibare CBE RA.

The Art of London Augmented Gallery Trail – 6 May- 31 August
A unique collaboration between the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts and Sky Arts. Each has contributed a diverse selection of classic and contemporary masterpieces to this innovative and safe way to enjoy some of the world’s greatest art in the open air, in 27 locations throughout the West End.

The National Gallery Trafalgar Square – 10 August – 2nd September
The National Gallery is installing twenty life-size replicas of some of its most beloved artworks on Trafalgar Square’s North Terrace. Also taking place is Sketch in the Square, a programme of free, daily alfresco art activities with a strong emphasis on mindfulness and wellbeing.

Tusk Lion Trail – 10 August – 26 September
On 10 August, World Lion Day, a Pride of lions will be taking over London’s famed West End. Life-sized lion sculptures decorated by famous artists, musicians and comedians will be placed in a trail to raise awareness and funds to support community conservation and the livelihoods across Africa impacted by COVID-19. The Lion Trail is delivered by wildlife conservation charity Tusk and supported by Art of London.

Open City and Inside Out cultural walking tours – 19 August – 3 October
Find out more about the buildings that are home to the West End’s most celebrated cultural organisations in an exclusive collaboration between the council and Open City in a series of 12 walking tours. Tickets cost £5 per person with discounts for Westminster residents.

Chila Burman X Covent Garden – 26 August – October
Artist Chila Burman will take over the historic Market Building with a new immersive large scale art installation. Burman will bring her vast neon sculptures into the South Hall of the Market Building, transforming the space into a giant neon wonderland from August to October.

Pop-up Painting in the West End – 28 August, 11am – 5pm
Pop-up Painting in the West End, from by the team behind Mayfair Art Weekend, presenting an opportunity to join professional artists in pop up locations across the West End for a day of al fresco painting. Plus, family workshops and inspiration to unlock your inner potential.

Art in Mayfair Sculpture trail – 1 – 30 September
Visit the latest sculptures to hit Mayfair, presented by Art in Mayfair and New West End Company. This includes Oeuvre (Verdigris) by Gavin Turk, TROUBLE ESSENTIEL (1993) by Sophia Vari, 40 x 96″ Freestanding Birch Rectangle by Anthony James, Horse Head sculpture by Nic Fiddian-Green, and Love by Robert Indiana.

Free Selfies hosted by The Photographers’ Gallery – 17 – 20 September, 12pm – 6pm
The public can visit a vintage photo booth to have their portrait taken and share their thoughts on selfies and being on camera. The photos and interviews will be displayed in a temporary outdoor exhibition in Soho’s Photography Quarter.

West End LIVE – 18 and 19 September
Produced by Westminster City Council in partnership with the Society of London Theatre, the much-loved West End LIVE is set to return over the weekend of the 18/19 September with a series of open air performances from top West End musicals, live and free in Trafalgar Square.

Vans at Strand Aldwych
In September, the soon to be pedestrianised Strand Aldwych will also host a range of activities with an exciting skateboarding collaboration between Westminster City Council, Northbank BID, Somerset House and Vans in the pipeline.

theCoLAB: the Artist’s Garden presents Lakwena
From September 2021 theCoLAB will open its brand-new Artist’s Garden on the roof of Temple Underground Station. Lakwena will create an oasis of coloured calm with her vibrant floorscapes and the powerful spiritual message ‘Nothing Can Separate Us’. British Ugandan artist Lakwena is internationally renowned for her command of a joy-inducing palette, dynamic designs and her profound and succinct messages.

National Portrait Gallery Temporary Exhibition
An open-air exhibition of Pioneering Women presented by the National Portrait Gallery on Villiers Street. The portraits highlight the often overlooked stories of women who have shaped British culture and are accompanied by a self-guided walking tour to discover some of the most pioneering and inspirational women in British history. Each stop is illustrated with portraits from the National Portrait Gallery collection. Visit to download the tour.

Serpentine Galleries
Explore the Serpentine Galleries, taking in the Serpentine Pavilion, Sofia Al Maria sculpture, Toma Saraceno’s Webs of Life and the Listening to the City sound installation. People can also book in advance for the free exhibitions: James Barnor and Jennifer Packer.


Written by Jorda Crowley