PEOPLE will be able to see the Earth as astronauts do from space at an international arts festival which will return to Dorset this month.

Running over two weekends from September 17 until September 26, Inside Out Dorset, a biennial festival which was postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, will return to venues in Weymouth, Bridport, Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch.

The outdoor festival is hosted by Dorchester-based arts producer Activate, which aims to celebrate the natural landscape while promoting, supporting and producing performing arts projects in the community.

Over the second weekend, guests are invited to attend the 'Sense of Unity' event and join a parade through Weymouth town centre to search for giant puppets, thanks to a collaboration between Activate, German outdoor puppeteers Dundu, and UK percussion ensemble Worldbeaters.

The after-dark parade show will be illuminated by the puppets which are lit from the inside and moved by five puppeteers.

Dorset Echo: 'Sense of Unity' comes to Weymouth Picture: Sarah Hickson'Sense of Unity' comes to Weymouth Picture: Sarah Hickson

Meanwhile, 'Gaia', an artwork installation by Luke Jerram exploring humanity's place on the planet and the responsibility people have towards each other, will be set up on the Symondsbury Estate on the second weekend of the festival, after premiering at Moors Valley in Ringwood on September 17.

A seven-metre scale model of the Earth made using NASA photography offers visitors the opportunity to see Earth as an astronaut would view it from space.

The piece will be accompanied by an trail of events and performances that explore climate change and our future use of the land.

Kate Wood and Bill Gee, co-artistic directors of Inside Out Dorset, said: "There’s something uniquely inspiring about seeing Gaia presented like this in the heart of a working forest.

"The installation sets the tone for this year’s Inside Out Dorset and chimes with the festival themes of sustainability, land use and life cycles, human and environmental – Gaia is something we can all relate to, physically and emotionally."

Kate and Bill added: "With the relaxing of Covid restrictions and the success of the vaccine roll out our sense of hope is re-energised and, we think, reflected across the Inside Out Dorset programme."

The event is free to attend. For more information on the Inside Out Dorset festival, visit