Imperial College London

Imperial Festival returns with free weekend of science, creativity and art


Imperial Festival returns in 2018 with a free weekend of discovery for the curious of all ages.

This year is certainly set to once again wow the crowds with the biggest Festival we have ever put on. Professor Maggie Dallman OBE

The annual Festival returns for its seventh year on 28-29 April at the College’s South Kensington Campus with new events including a showcase of technological marvels to celebrate of the Year of Engineering, a hands on zone for families, and talks from world-leading thinkers and doers.

The public will have the chance to go behind-the-scenes and explore the latest research and innovations from Imperial College London through interactive demonstrations, workshops and live experiments.

Creativity and culture will also be at the forefront with vibrant live musical and dance performances, a theatrical performance and exhibition exploring the boundaries between medicine and the arts, plus delicious treats from some of London’s best street food vendors.

Introducing new zones

More than 150 exhibits will be on show at the Festival, grouped into themed areas including new zones:

  • The Hands On Zone: An interactive space for all young people, from toddlers to 12-year-olds. It includes Breathing Together – a project investigating childhood asthma created by Okido Studio (the people behind the popular CBeebies TV programme Messy Goes to OKIDO) and researchers from Imperial and other UK research institutions.
  • Spotlight talks: A dedicated space featuring a packed programme of talks by luminaries in the fields of science, technology, health and business – including volcano researcher Dr Christopher Jackson who will share exclusive footage of his expedition to Mount Nyiragongo as part of the BBC 2 documentary, Expedition Volcano. Writer and Call the Midwife star Stephen McGann will also be on campus for a Q&A about his new book Flesh and Blood: A History of My Family in Seven Sicknesses.
  • Enginuity: Novel solutions designed by Imperial engineers will be on show in a special zone celebrating the international Year of Engineering. The showcase will feature eco-marathon racing cars, fire tornados, body controlled computer games, and a baby buggy with hazard response.

A taste of what's to come

The Festival will feature more than nine zones in total – such as Superbugs, Robot and Exploring Worlds – with a host of exciting exhibits including:

  • The Science of Drumming: Visitors can test the speed of their drumming and compete with professional scores.
  • Robots on show: Play air hockey with a robotic arm, get in stride with the first walking robot built at the College, and get up close with a super sensitive robotic whisker.
  • Brain power: Play classic video games and compose beautiful music, all with your brain waves
  • London life: Learn what impact London is having on our health, try out special air pollution sensors, and find out how you could make your daily commutes a little bit healthier

The Festival has something for all ages to enjoy, from new technology demonstrations, in-depth talks, lab tours, creative workshops and a packed programme of live music and dance.

Professor Maggie Dallman OBE, Associate Provost (Academic Partnerships) and Vice President (International), said: “The Imperial Festival is a wonderful celebration of the world-leading research going on at the College. But more than that, it also showcases the vibrancy and creative talents of our community.

“Last year, around 20,000 visitors came to learn about the world around them through our hands-on research exhibits, as well as to take in the sights, sounds and tastes on display. This year is certainly set to once again wow the crowds with the biggest Festival we have ever put on.”

Register to attend the free Festival

Imperial Festival is free and open to the public. To attend please register in advance.

The Festival runs 12-6pm on Saturday 28 and 12-5pm on Sunday 29 April. The free public festival will be held on Imperial’s South Kensington Campus, Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2AZ.

  • A young visitor at a hands on exhibit

    Hands on exhibits will bring science and creativity to life

  • A singer holds a microphone up to a saxophone

    Live music, theatre and dance will be on show throughout the weekend

  • A volunteer leads a tour to the Data Observatory

    Free bookable tours, talks and workshops will be announced in the run up to the Festival

  • An Indian chef makes roti pancakes

    Delicious meals will be cooked up by some of London's top street food vendors

  • A female volunteer holding balloons waves at the camera

    Our band of volunteers will be on hand to guide you through the Festival experience

  • Performers in lab coats make creations out of balloons

    Scientists, communicators and enthusiasts will bring the fun

  • A researchers holds an ultrasound device to her neck, showing to a happy family

    Imperial Festival truly is an event for the curious of all ages


Andrew Youngson

Andrew Youngson
Communications and Public Affairs

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