All the fun of the Festival


Crowds on Exhibition Road

The Great Exhibition Festival 2023 opens its gates to share ‘awe and wonder’ across science, art, music and design.

Adults and young people have plenty to get stuck into at this year’s Great Exhibition Road Festival, as Imperial College London and the cultural institutions of South Kensington come together for another jam-packed weekend. Read on to find out some of the highlights from Saturday for adults and young people. 

Exhibition Road 

Exhibition Road was a hive of activity. The road was turned into a giant canvas for Paint Lab, where artists were invited to spend the day creating live artworks inspired by science. Tamara Venn created a piece titled ‘London’s Wild Residents’, which you can see on the right below, inspired by her conversations with Sebastian Pipins, a PhD student in the Department of Life Sciences. Tamara combined 17 examples of London’s urban wildlife into her artwork, most notably London’s notorious foxes, which attendees saw her create in real time on Saturday. 

NextGen Zone

The NextGen Zone was a great spot for young people aged 13-24 to experience the Festival, a dedicated space to showcase the creativity and ingenuity of young people themselves.

The Science Museum is home to Fighting Bac, an installation created by our Young Producers encouraging participants to learn about antimicrobial resistance with the help of an infection, treatments and lego. There was also a chill out zone complete with silent disco, snacks and drinks, and interactive challenges highlighting the dangers of online misinformation through a game where players are misinformation influencers!

Three people visiting the Fighting Bac exhibit

Future food

The Festival’s first ever demo kitchen cooked up a storm, providing samples to hungry and curious attendees as they discussed the food at the Future Food Zone

Demonstrators explored the commonalities between cooking and operating on patients with a demonstration from the Medical Kitchen, where demonstrators showed how precisely chopping (or turning) vegetables is a useful technique for medical students preparing to begin practising on patients. They also discussed the sustainable foods of the future and sampled crickets to explore how insects can be a source of protein!

Responses to climate change

There were plenty of conversations happening in response to climate change. Young people got to design their own Climate Action Murals as part of this year’s Grantham Climate Art for 12-25 year olds. Meanwhile, over at the Climate Protest Artshop, young people created their own placards to protest the climate emergency.

Five young people hold up their placardsIn the Creative Science Zone at the Royal Geographical Society, Neal Haddaway’s photographic exhibition Hope? And how to grieve for the planet showcased Neal’s portraits and words from those working on the front lines of climate and environmental research to create a moving and thought-provoking piece. 

Similarly, at Earth Photo 2023, showstopping images told powerful and provocative stories about our planet and posed questions about the future of living through the climate crisis. Powerful images invited viewers to reflect on the reality of climate change for communities across the world.


Attendees of all ages were also treated to many musical performances, showing the full spectrum of cultural institutions that call Exhibition Road home. On the Main Stage and Dangoor Plaza Bandstand, the sounds of voices and brass soared into the air in performances from artists including Imperial Gospel Choir, the Royal College of Music’s RCM brass, Albert’s Band and South London’s All Day Breakfast Café. 

And that’s it for the first day of the Great Exhibition Festival – we’re back tomorrow to do it all again!


Lily Baker Haynes

Lily Baker Haynes
Communications Division


Great-Exhibition-Road-Festival, Societal-engagement, Public-engagement
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