Festival of Tomorrow returns to Swindon

By Ben Carey on 8 January, 2024

Next month sees the Festival of Tomorrow return to Swindon.

Bringing a nine-metre inflatable robot snail, a squadron of flying drones and bio-inspired interactive robots to the town, the festival promises a wealth of opportunities for tech-based interaction, learning and fun.

Launched in 2021, the festival aims to be a catalyst to create an outstanding research and innovation system in the UK, giving everyone the chance to contribute and to benefit.   

Events will take place during the February half term week, with opportunities to take part across Swindon from Peatmoor to Coate Water, and from the Vic in Old Town to the Swindon Designer Outlet. Individuals and organisations from Swindon and across the UK will be on hand to help people explore the science, technology and discoveries that will shape the future.

The Festival of Tomorrow will culminate in a two-day finale on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th February. Swindonians can look forward to an even bigger programme of events, activities and performances than ever before, thanks to support from key partners UK Research and Innovation, Business West and Arts Council England.

The fun will kick-off with a dedicated programme for Swindon schools, followed by an exciting line-up of performances, installations and free family activities at venues across Swindon.

The programme of events features Luma the nine-metre inflatable robotic snail, a robot escape room and an augmented reality trail.

Evening entertainment will include a film night, a science comedy night, and Last and First Men presented by Neon Dance – a stunning and unique live performance set to the rich visuals of the late Jóhann Jóhannsson’s science fiction film with narration from Tilda Swinton.

Rod Hebden, Festival of Tomorrow Director, said, “We’re so thankful to all the volunteers, local venues, performers and companies who come together to help us deliver the festival each year, and we’re really excited to have lots of new people involved this year.

“We’re very privileged to have the support of Business West and UK Research and Innovation, along with support from Arts Council England, and host of other partners and sponsors. The programme is going live soon, so we’d encourage any other company that would like to join this year’s festival to get in touch right away.”

Ian Larrard, Director at Business West Swindon and Wiltshire Initiative, added, “Having been involved with the festival since year one, and seen the impact it has, we’re delighted to be increasing our support this year.

“The links between science, technology and the arts are greater than we often realise, and Swindon has that relationship at the heart of the town’s culture and heritage. It’s wonderful that the festival can celebrate that culture in Swindon, and we want to see all of Swindon’s business community get behind it!”

Organisations including The James Dyson Foundation, Catalent, Intel UK, Swindon and Wiltshire Institute of Technology, the Royal Institution and several leading universities will be supporting the festival once again. With hands-on science activities, spectacular shows and free workshops, people of all ages will have the chance to share in the latest research and technologies which will help shape our future.

For more information and tickets, visit www.festivaloftomorrow.com