Cheltenham’s acclaimed annual Science Festival goes virtual

Cheltenham Festivals

This year’s Cheltenham Science Festival will be going ahead virtually festival to be streamed for free from 2-7 June via Cheltenham Festivals’ YouTube channel.

Called Cheltenham Science Festival @ Home,it will mix live online and pre-recorded events with live Q&As, workshops and other novel online formats.

AIDA, the world’s first A.I. Festival Curator will be the viewer’s guide and will be visible on Cheltenham Festival’s social media channels via the hashtag #MeetAIDA.

Ian George, Director of Festivals, said: “Cheltenham Science Festival @ Home is an unprecedented opportunity for Cheltenham Science Festival to grow into an emerging digital events and festivals space.  It presents us with new freedom to experiment with different event formats, as well as to expand our digital and worldwide audiences.”

The news comes after Cheltenham Festivals cancelled its phenomenally successful Jazz Festival and Cheltenham Science Festival.

In a statement, the Festivals said: “Our charity was born in 1945 during the second world war as a response from the creative community to a global crisis. Since this time, we have brought the very best artists, writers and scientists to Cheltenham; created unique experiences and a year-round outreach programme to engage everyone with science and the arts. We are determined to secure our work for the future with the help of all those who have been so generous to support our Festivals over the years.”

Ali Mawle, Director of Learning and Public Engagement, said: “Extraordinary circumstances such as this pandemic have serious financial consequences for us. As a not-for-profit charity we hope our supporters and audiences will be willing to work with us to find a way forward.

“When this crisis subsides, we are going to need culture more than ever to lift the spirits, foster community and galvanise creativity. We ask supporters to help us safeguard the future of Cheltenham Festivals so we can continue to play our part locally, nationally and internationally. We are brimming with ideas of how to bring world-class culture to Cheltenham in the months to come.”