Sheffield scientists perform online concert for Cheltenham Festival

  • University of Sheffield scientists have adapted their Sound of Science show for this year’s online Cheltenham Science Festival
  • Free event will use music and explosive experiments to answer questions about the universe
  • Audience members will be able to ask the scientists questions live online

Dr Nate Adams with fire during Sound of Science performance

Scientists from the University of Sheffield are set to perform a free online concert as part of this year’s Cheltenham Science Festival.

From 10am on Friday 5 June 2020, Enzymologist Dr Nate Adams will host Sound of Science – an hour of live music, eye-popping 3D visuals and fiery explosions – via the festival’s YouTube channel. The show explores what the universe and people are made of, delving into key questions about our place on Earth, and the role everyone has in living a more sustainable life.

The live concert was originally developed by Dr Adams, Professor Duncan Cameron and Mel Hannah from the University of Sheffield, in collaboration with renowned Sheffield music producer Dean Honer and songwriter Kevin Pearce.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s festival will be called Cheltenham Science Festival @ Home, with the public invited to join events for free via smartphone, smart TV or laptop from 2-7 June 2020.

Over the last few weeks, the Sound of Science team has worked to re-imagine the show to bring it ‘from home’. Dr Adams, Ms Hannah and Professor Cameron have filmed explosive and fiery experiments in their attics, gardens and offices, which have been edited together with the original animation and music from the Sound of Science band.

The team will be online during the live stream to interact with the audience, and the video will be available for 30 days after broadcast.

Dr Adams said: “Cheltenham Science Festival is a great event, as it works with adult, family and school audiences. Even with the move to online delivery, they have such a wide variety of content on offer, and are keen to use as many methods of interaction as possible, from discussions and talks, to art and music.

“This year, working with the director of programming, Dr Marieke Navin, we’ve taken our amazing project from 2018’s Festival of the Mind and re-imagined it for the current environment.”

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.


For further information please contact:

Sophie Armour
Media and PR Officer
0114 222 3687
07751 400 287