The Great Exhibition Road Festival Returns

By M@

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Last Updated 13 June 2024

The Great Exhibition Road Festival Returns
Crowds gather for the great exhibition road festival

This weekend, Imperial College plays host to a grand cultural festival, and they've invited their famous neighbours along for the show.

The Great Exhibition Road Festival takes over the eponymous road during the weekend of 15-16 June 2024. This year, we're told to expect "an AI silent disco, Paint Lab live street art, the fridge of the future, science cabaret, the pavement that saves energy when you step on it, the real Loch Ness monsters and virtual reality devices that improve mental health".

As veterans of the festival, though, we know that this is only scratching the edge of the petri dish. It's hard to express in words just how much there is to see and do — the festival sprawls throughout the Imperial College campus and museums, spilling into adjacent squares and roads which are closed to traffic. It's Glastonbury with lab coats.

It's also something of a Crystal Maze. Visitors can explore the Family Fun Zone (games and activities for the under 13s), the Future Food Zone, the Brilliant Bodies Zone and the Creative Science Zone (science meets art for kids and adults) to name a few.

The festival plays on the name of the Great Exhibition of 1851, which helped kick-start the area as we know it today. Like the Victorian original, this is a showcase for the best of invention, science, technology, art and design... a dip into the near future. Unlike in 1851, this festival can draw on the talents of long-established, world-class institutions such as the Science Museum, NHM, V&A, Royal Albert Hall, Royal College of Music and, of course, Imperial College itself.

A young girl wearing an astronaut glove and suit

It's a chance to mingle with scientists, artists and musicians, see the latest technology in action, or try a few foods you've never sampled before — all at one street party.

The Great Exhibition Road Festival 2024 runs 15-16 June 2024 from 12 noon to 6pm. Entrance and all events are free, though you're encouraged to register in advance via the website. Nearest tube South Kensington. All images courtesy of the Great Exhibition Road Festival/Imperial College.