Past festivals

Manchester Science Festival 2018

The 12th year of the Manchester Science Festival featured the award-nominated Distortions in Spacetime, by Marshmallow Laser Feast, where visitors could step inside a black hole and be taken to the singularity and beyond. Unlimited Theatre invited us to You Have Been Upgraded, a tech showcase like no other featuring cyborgs, human enhancements and technology that could make you live for ever (or at least for a very long time). And our headline exhibition was Electricity: The spark of life, considering humans’ battle to understand and tame this awe inspiring natural force.

Manchester Science Festival 2017

The 11th year of the Manchester Science Festival featured Tape, an immersive art work created by Numen/For Use, inspired by spider webs, allowing visitors a ‘Spider’s eye view’ of the world. BBC Tomorrow’s World Live was broadcast live from the Museum of Science and Industry, and our Robots Exhibition was opened. The museum was also home to robot dogs as part of our Robots Playground and Robots: Late events. Across Greater Manchester visitors got hands-on with VR at the University of Salford’s GameLab, explored air raid shelters, and raved their way into the day.

Manchester Science Festival 2016

The 10th birthday year of Manchester Science Festival started with The Chronarium Sleep Lab at Manchester Arndale, produced by Loop.pH, an immersive experience exploring sleep. Public Service Broadcasting performed their album The Race For Space in full for the first time at the Albert Hall and Parisian artists HeHe brought Cloud Crash to the Museum of Science and Industry. Other Festival highlights at the museum included a special visit from Tim Peake, fresh from his trip into space; live mosquitos and melting ice blocks at the Royal Society Science Exhibition, science busking with Siemens, listening to a robot orchestra and hearing from the producers of BBC’s Planet Earth II reveal the stories behind the scenes. Across Greater Manchester, we heard The Music of Star Wars with the Hallé Orchestra at Bridgewater Hall, experienced a sensory sound pit, got hands-on with science at Manchester Museum, the University of Salford, The Whitworth and at The Runaway Visitors Park, Manchester Airport with National Environmental Research Council.

Watch the 2016 Manchester Science Festival video

Manchester Science Festival 2015

The ninth annual science festival highlights included: an adult-only ball pool; artist Tania Kovats premiering Evaporation; Brian Cox, Robin Ince and Jon Culshaw recording The Infinite Monkey Cage; exhibition Kinetic Flux by Paul Miller and Griet Beyart; and a two-day drone expo with the University of Salford’s Andy Miah. Manchester Evening News wrote that “The Manchester Science Festival – supported by Siemens – gives people the chance to get up close and hands-on with all things loud, lively, explosive and experimental”. The ball pool won Manchester Evening News’ City Life Awards Special Events Category 2015.

Manchester Science Festival 2014

The eighth Manchester Science Festival showcased Marcus Coates’ exhibition The Sounds of Others, a 3D printing exhibition, a debate over the future of fracking with Bez from Happy Mondays, and the building of a Mega Menger. The website Creative Tourist wrote about Manchester Science Festival’s programme, saying that, “The delight in such a diversity of diversions is being able to wander according to one’s own fancy; being cartographer to your own map. The book of Manchester is open: choose your own adventure”.

Manchester Science Festival 2013

In its seventh year, Manchester Science Festival brought the exhibition Brains: the Mind as Matter and a supporting events programme, launched its second citizen science project, Hooked On Music and built a giant Rube Goldberg Machine. The Festival also won the Manchester Tourism Award for Large Tourism Event of the Year.

Manchester Science Festival 2012

The sixth edition of the Manchester Science Festival profiled the results of the citizen science project Turing’s Sunflowers, which continued the work of Alan Turing’s study of mathematical patterns in nature, with the help of over 12,000 sunflowers grown by people around the world. The festival also looked at how clothes could be treated to purify the air in Catalytic Clothing: Field of Jeans.

Manchester Science Festival 2011

Manchester Science Festival celebrated it’s 5th birthday with the BBC Bang Goes the Theory LIVE Experience, inviting the audience to join the presenters in recreating the best bits of the TV series. We also explored the science of zombies and real-life invisibility cloaks, as well as giving visitors the opportunity to experience blizzards, beluga whales and polar bears in Polar, a cinematic experience accompanied by a live orchestra.

Manchester Science Festival 2010

In it’s 4th year, Manchester Science Festival put physic abilities to the test in The Alpha Project, and ate the world’s weirdest food in Gastronuts. Visitors experienced hands-on science whilst exploring the city by boat and Killer robots were put under the microscope.

More information about the Festivals from 2006 to 2009 will be added soon.