The Great Exhibition Road Festival Returns For A Glimpse Of The Future

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By M@ Last edited 9 months ago
The Great Exhibition Road Festival Returns For A Glimpse Of The Future
Great Exhibition Road Festival with lots of people outside tents on a road

This June, 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 will take over the eponymous road during the weekend of 17-18 June 2023. Expect the food of the future, a street-sized live art gallery, the smartest of smart machines, a musical journey through the solar system... cosmic ray baths, Japanese costumes inspired by nature, personal mini-earthquakes, and photographs of the invisible, just to pluck a handful of wonders from a very long and varied menu.

A child in a crown inspects a cutaway of the human body, which is wearing a blue cap. A lady wearing a lanyard superintends
Expect lots of hands-on science, with the museums and Imperial showing off their stuff

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.

A group of people, perhaps a family, inspecting an anonymous object held by a person in a purple shirt

One notable highlight is the Smart Machines zone — a timely look at how we'll interact with the swiftly advancing tech of artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles (more on this in a future article). But the programme is huge, so take a look for yourself, and see you there.

The Great Exhibition Road Festival 2023 runs 17-18 June 2023 from 12 noon to 6pm. Entrance and all events are free. Nearest tube South Kensington. All images courtesy of the Great Exhibition Road Festival/Imperial College.

Last Updated 02 May 2023