A FUTURISTIC festival launched in Swindon returns after having a sell-out event in 2020 and seeing 7,000 people taking part from home last year.
The Festival of Tomorrow invites visitors to imagine what the coming decades will look like and get a glimpse of cutting-edge breakthroughs in science, technology and research.
Exhibits, talks, family shows and in-depth debates aim to inspire the next generation of scientists who will come up with the next big innovations.
The first event at Steam, pre-pandemic, sold out and organisers are hoping to bring the in-person experience back this year with activities around the town as well as a virtual schools programme which will lead to a two-day festival at The Deanery CE Academy during the February half-term.
The full list of shows and events are still being tallied up, but Swindonians can expect the latest advances of scientists, engineers and researchers which cover space, robotics, smart cities, and the fight to tackle climate change.
A special session will be held about the team who discovered a mammoth graveyard north of Swindon – which just featured in a David Attenborough documentary.
Festival director Rod Hebden said: “We were blown away last year when over 7,000 people joined the festival activities from home, and those people asked us to keep the elements that made the online experience so incredible and engaging.
“This year, we’ve planned to be ready for whatever is thrown at us and we’ll balance the virtual and physical.
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming people to an even bigger and better event in February, with an exciting mix of in-person, online and blended activities to reach even more people across the town.”
Major organisations based in Swindon, like the UK Space Agency, UK Research and Innovation, Intel, the James Dyson Foundation, and the Science Museum Group will be supporting the festival with hands-on science, talks, shows and workshops to give people of all ages and backgrounds the chance of exploring the surprising, the entertaining, and the inspiring.
Alexis Mannion from UKRI said: “The UK is at the forefront of responding to the devastating effects of the pandemic, with the past two years highlighting the vital importance of research and innovation in empowering us to tackle the many challenges we face as individuals and as communities.
“UKRI is proud to partner with the Festival of Tomorrow, to create opportunities for everyone to grow our understanding of how research and innovation work, and how they can help us all to create tomorrow, together.”
For more information and to sign up for ticketing updates, visit www.festivaloftomorrow.com