Ten picked to create £120m UK-wide festival

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Ten teams ranging across science, technology, engineering, the arts and maths - STEAM - have been picked to create Festival UK* 2022.

The festival, backed by £120m from the three national governments and Whitehall, has been devised to represent Britain’s achievements in the STEAM disciplines working together, and the final selection from 30 consortia comes after a three month £3m research and development period, which supported more than 500 creatives to work on their projects.

The British Council has now joined as an international partner, adding an overseas engagement programme to the festival.

The 20 teams that were not commissioned in the end will continue to get support from the festival to develop their projects further. Wraps are being kept on the ten winning projects until later in the year as their experiments are developed, when a new name for the festival will be announced.

Chief Creative Officer for Festival UK* 2022 Martin Green said: “We asked 500 of the best creative minds in the UK to tell us what a festival of creativity could be. What they came up with has exceeded our expectations, and then some, which made deciding which 10 teams to commission very difficult” said Martin Green, the festival’s chief creative officer. “We believe the extraordinary breadth of talent, their thrilling ideas and geographic spread, will be ground-breaking, inspiring and exciting for millions of people across the UK and further afield.”

The ten chosen teams are:

59 Productions Collective with an experiment uniting cosmology, biology, projection technology, poetry and 13.8 billion years of history.


Aproxima Arts Collective with an approach to community growing celebrating music, future food technology and sustainable festivals.


Assemble + 8 Collective, exploring the human mind through architecture, neuroscience, technology, light and sound.


Collective Cymru led by National Theatre Wales, with an inclusive co-design involving immersive mobile technology, TV Drama, futures thinking in science, and live performance a form of transmedia storytelling.


Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios Collective with a cosmic adventure exploring immersive experiences, new technologies, science innovation, social media, youth culture and the power of imagination to ignite the creative energy of towns across the UK.


Nerve Centre Collective with an experiment in astrophysics, augmented reality, landscape, visual art and play, looking back at earth from space.


Newsubstance Collective, a celebration of the British weather and UK coastline with a large-scale installation addressing global questions but encouraging playfulness.


Storyfutures Collective with an experiment in film, broadcast and augmented reality, public archives, digital access and immersive storytelling asking who we are.


Trigger Collective has an experiment in mass participation, co-creation, shared histories, sustainability, installation, performance and spectacle. 


Walk the Plank Collective is experimenting in lighting technology, environmental science, geo-tracking, mass participation, exploring the beauty of the UK outdoors and asking questions about access, taking part, landscape and the future of public spectacle.

“It has been incredibly exciting to see hundreds of creative people from across the UK collaborate so imaginatively at such a difficult time and we’ve been bowled over by the positive response of those taking part in the R&D process” said Festival UK* 2022’s chair Dame Vikki Heywood. “As the ten commissioned projects go forward there will be many opportunities for everyone to participate in creative experiments across the worlds of science, technology, engineering, arts and maths from all ages and all corners of the UK in 2022.” 

There is more information at www.festival2022.uk.

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