International Sand Sculpture Festival

While on my travels to Denmark, I was taken to the International Sand Sculpture Festival – having been told there would be sand sculptures of dinosaurs, I really didn’t need convincing. For the last 14 years, Sondervig, Denmark, has hosted the festival, featuring renowned sand-sculpting artists from around the world. Last year the area was transformed into an awe inspiring Jurassic terrain. The special sculpting-specific sand is pressed, poured with water and shaped into large blocks that are then stacked. Once the desired height is reached, the sculpting begins, working from top to bottom.

Sand Sculpture Festival
Sondervig Sand Sculptures

Each of the 38 artists has their own section, allowing for different styles and interpretations of the theme to emerge. It takes approximately 60 hours and 12 tonnes of sand from a local quarry to make a 13 ft sand sculpture.

Jurassic Sand Sculptures
Jurassic Sand Wall

The festival opens in May and runs until October 2016 with slightly shorter opening hours in the Autumn months. For further details about visiting see the Sandskulptur website.

Sand Sculpture Festival
Uncovered remains

The site is open to the elements, allowing the sculptures to gradually erode and weather over time. Once the festival is over, the sand is then re-shaped into the blocks in preparation for the following year.

Sand Sculpture Festival
Prehistoric Creatures

This year’s theme: The Wild Beasts of Africa

This year you’ll be taken on an African safari adventure, with stunning landscapes and wild animals from the savannah. Stand alone sculptures will accompany the imposing sculpture wall, measuring an impressive 200 metres long and 7 metres high. The scale and attention to detail of the Prehistoric animals and Jurassic terrain were a spectacle to behold and I very much hope to return to see this year’s wildlife offerings.

Sondervig Beach
Sondervig Beach

And if you’re anything like the T&P team, once you’ve finished exploring the enchanting sand-world, you’ll head straight to the beach to create sand castles of your own! (we’re all happiest armed with a bucket and spade, with sand between our toes.)

If Denmark is a little far to travel, there are Sand Sculpting Festivals in both Weston-Super-Mare and Weymouth this Summer.


Written by Louise Gibbs, Thornback & Peel Retail Manager

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