Festival showcasing pioneering science, art, engineering and culture from city set for launch

  • Unique city-wide festival set to showcase pioneering research from University of Sheffield
  • Festival sees academics collaborate with talented professionals from city’s cultural, creative and digital industries
  • Public events feature exhibitions, workshops and performances held in venues throughout Sheffield over 10 days
  • Highlights include an augmented reality experience of Sheffield’s long-lost medieval castle and an exhibition by renowned artist Pete McKee highlighting the stigma older people experience around sex and intimate relationships

The Festival of the Mind 2018 logo

A unique city-wide festival showcasing some of the most pioneering science, art, engineering and culture from across Sheffield is being held this month (20–30 September 2018).

Festival of the Mind will see academics from the University of Sheffield collaborate with some of the most talented professionals from the city’s cultural, creative and digital industries through a series of exhibitions, workshops, performances and events to showcase their world class research.

From an augmented reality (AR) experience of Sheffield’s long-lost medieval castle to an exhibition by the renowned artist Pete McKee highlighting the stigma older people often experience when it comes to being open about sex and intimate relationships, Festival of the Mind will feature a series of interactive, informative and engaging events over a 10 day period.

The bi-annual festival, which attracted more than 50,000 visitors in 2016, is returning to the city for a fourth time and is supported by Sheffield City Council, the Moor Markets and the University of Sheffield’s Students’ Union.

This year's festival will see a Spiegeltent return to Barker's Pool and the award winning Futurecade exhibition of virtual reality and more return to the Millennium Gallery with the theme dystopia. The festival will host a vast array of talks, performances and interactive entertainment, both in the day and in the evening.

Highlights of this year’s festival include:

  • The Age of Love – An exhibition by University of Sheffield researcher Dr Sharron Hinchliff and renowned Sheffield-based artist Pete McKee illustrating the prejudice and discrimination that older people often experience around sex and intimate relationships.
  • Experience Castlegate – A chance for people to explore Sheffield’s lost medieval castle through an interactive AR experience.
  • Beware the Cat – The first ever public performance of the world’s first English novel, Beware the Cat. The 16th century text is a little known controversial story of magic, satire and religious freedom written during a time of immense political and social change across the United Kingdom.
  • Futurecade – a series of exhibitions and more in virtual reality exploring the concept of how future technology will change, inspire, and ultimately be part of our everyday life.
  • The National Food Service – An exhibition showing a Utopian vision of a future where social eating spaces are on every high street, every street corner and every place they need to be. The project also includes talks and symposiums that will attempt to speculate on the future of social eating spaces.
  • Universal Basic Income Sheffield – An interactive website allowing people to explore how a Universal Basic Income – a regular, unconditional sum of money without means testing or a requirement to work – would change their life.
  • Sounds of the Antarctic – A creative project combining live music and event production from the University of Sheffield Concerts with breath-taking visual design by creative studio Human. The event will feature the world premiere of a new score for the music from the 1948 film Scott of the Antarctic, which documents Robert Falcon-Scott’s ill-fated Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole.
  • Untameable – A project highlighting current research at the University into the work of writer Barry Hines. This includes public artwork installations throughout Sheffield and a talk in the Spiegeltent exploring a number of the writer’s key pieces of work from the 1980s.
  • Among the Skulls – An immersive installation replicating one of the best surviving examples of a medieval charnel chapel in the UK. The chapels were used as a place to store the bones of thousands of people who died between the 13th and 16th centuries.
  • The Sound of Science – An eclectic multimedia and digital experience for families which combines dramatic live demonstrations of science with music, 3D animations and graphics.

Festival of the Mind: browse events

The programme of events will also feature a strand of talks from the Off the Shelf Festival of Words, visual art produced in Sheffield as part of the Making Ways project, and Sheffield Makes Music – a collaboration with BBC Music Day celebrations to showcase the city’s music heritage.

The spiegeltent that will be part of Festival of the Mind

Professor Vanessa Toulmin, founder of the festival and Director of City and Culture at the University of Sheffield, said: “Festival of the Mind is a chance for people to explore some of the latest pioneering research that is being conducted at the University alongside some of the city’s most talented artists and creative professionals.

“Sheffield is rapidly developing a reputation throughout the UK and overseas for being a hub of inclusion, creativity and collaboration and it’s festivals such as this that give us an opportunity to showcase some of our latest work to the public and visitors to the region.

“I’m delighted that we are once again collaborating with partners from across the city to demonstrate some of Sheffield’s creative talent and we’re looking forward to welcoming people to our events.”

Festival of the Mind is being held from 20–30 September 2018.

For more information on the festival, including a full list of events and ticket information, visit: www.sheffield.ac.uk/fotm

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2018 and for the last eight years has been ranked in the top five UK universities for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

Contact

For further information please contact:

Sean Barton
Media Relations Officer
University of Sheffield
0114 222 9852
s.barton@sheffield.ac.uk