The Great Exhibition Is Brought Back To Life At This Whopper Festival

Harry Rosehill
By Harry Rosehill Last edited 18 months ago

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The Great Exhibition Is Brought Back To Life At This Whopper Festival

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The original Great Exhibition. Courtesy of the Science Museum

Remember the Great Exhibition of 1851?

No, us neither. But had we been around back in the mid-Victorian period, we're sure the event would be seared upon our brains. An epic showcase of cutting-edge technology, held in a purpose-built Crystal Palace in Hyde Park. The event even had the world's first public flushing toilets, thanks to inventor George Jennings.

London's never seen anything quite like it since. Until now.

The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park. Courtesy of the Science Museum

There's an epic festival taking place at the end of June that brings the spirit of the Great Exhibition back to South Kensington. Dubbed The Great Exhibition Road Festival, it promises to be a celebration of curiosity and discovery, just as the original exhibition was.

As the name suggests, the festival takes place on and around Exhibition Road — an area that was built using the profits of the original exhibition. More than 20 venues in the area are taking part, from big hitters like the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and V&A, to more more niche venues, such as The Royal Society of Sculptors and the Goethe-Institut.

The range of events is stunning. You can build your own theremin, take a LGBTQ+ tour of the V&A, have a go on Imperial's flight simulator, or meet insects aboard the Royal Parks' bugmobile. That's barely scratching the surface, as there are hundreds of fantastic talks, tours, workshops, and more to get your teeth into.

The Great Exhibition Road Festival takes place on the weekend of 28-30 June 2019 in South Kensington. Events are free but some require booking.

Last Updated 17 June 2019