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Manchester Science Festival returns with world premiere exhibition and experiences

A highlight of Manchester's cultural calendar and one of the most popular science festivals in the UK is returning to host a programme of live, interactive events and world premieres for the first time since 2018.

Manchester Science Festival, produced by the Science and Industry Museum, will return from Friday 21 – Sunday 30 October 2022. The first details of its packed programme have been announced, including a never-before-seen exhibition and new cosmic dance experience, all aimed at exploring what makes us human and asking the question, 'What does the future hold for humanity?' 

Prepare to get hands on with brand new headline exhibition, Turn It Up: The power of music, which will showcase the new melody-making opportunities unlocked by science and technology and the fresh perspectives revealing how music affects our bodies and minds. The space will be alive with music, supporting visitors to open their ears and hearts by listening to tunes and experimenting with sounds. Through intriguing objects, musical commissions and interactive experiences, including an incredible 'musical playground', discover how technological advancements continue to push the limits of music. 

This multi-sensory, hands-on exhibition will provide accessible experiences for everyone, and encourage visitors to feel and reflect on what music means to them and others. It will premiere at Manchester Science Festival and run until May 2023 at the Science and Industry Museum, before taking off on an international tour. Eager audiences can prebook tickets now via the museum's website

Festival-goers can also enjoy an out-of-this-world dance experience that will help to create the first dance in space. Acclaimed choreographer, Corey Baker, is working with the European Space Agency to design a dance routine to be performed by astronauts. An accompanying interactive installation has been commissioned and will premiere at Manchester Science Festival. 

Visitors can throw shapes as avatar dancers to see how they move under different gravity conditions. The results will be shown around the room against spectacular backdrops filmed in space. They will add to our understanding of how the human body might behave when dancing outside of earth's atmosphere, with the possibility of visitors' moves appearing in the European Space Agency astronauts' dance.  

There will be lots more for visitors of all ages and interests to enjoy at the festival, including opportunities to get hands-on with some of science's most cutting-edge developments, get lost in immersive technology, investigate the future of humanity and explore the role of cities like Manchester in creating communities of tomorrow. From family-fun games and tinkering to after-hours adult events and live music performances, Manchester Science Festival will include an unmissable line-up of entertaining and playful experiences for everyone. 

The majority of the festival's events will be hosted at the museum, with experiences also taking place across the city at Central Library, Manchester Arndale and a special collaboration with the National Trust at the new Castlefield Viaduct. 

Sally MacDonald, Director of the Science and Industry Museum, said:

'I am delighted that Manchester Science Festival is back with a bang this year. I've missed the buzz of our visitors coming to live festival events and seeing science in action right before their eyes. This year's programme is packed full of fun, playful experiences designed to ignite curiosity about our future, and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors in October.'

This is the first time in four years that the biennial Manchester Science Festival has taken place live and in person. Owing to the pandemic, last year the museum hosted an online programme of digital talks and activities centred around our changing climate and ideas for a better world. This year’s theme continues to focus on progress, encouraging visitors to explore opportunities for the future brought about by science and innovation. 

As the world's first industrial city, Manchester has long been at the heart of human development and continues to be a leader in progress and innovation. The Science and Industry Museum is uniquely placed to tell the city's story. Sitting on the site of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station, today it is alive with innovative discoveries and committed to inspiring visitors through ideas that changed the world.

Manchester Science Festival has been generously supported by Amazon (Principal Sponsor) and Waters Corporation (Major Sponsor). 

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For more information, please contact communications manager, Alex Urmston, on 07741 103 790/




The Science and Industry Museum tells the story of where science met industry and the modern world began. Manchester was one of the first global industrial cities, and its epic rise, decline and resurrection has been echoed in countless other cities around the world.

The museum's mission is to inspire all its visitors, including future scientists and inventors, with the story of how ideas can change the world, from the industrial revolution to today and beyond.  

The Science and Industry Museum is on the site of Liverpool Road Station, which was the Manchester terminus of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the world's first purpose-built passenger railway. Among its internationally significant buildings are the world's oldest surviving passenger railway station and the world's first railway goods warehouse. In total, there are two Grade I listed buildings and four Grade II listed buildings on the site. 

The museum is currently undergoing a multi-million-pound regeneration project that will see brand new spaces opened and significant improvements made to some of its best-loved galleries.

The Science and Industry Museum is part of the Science Museum Group, a family of museums which also includes the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York and Shildon; and the Science and Media Museum in Bradford. The Science Museum Group is devoted to the history and contemporary practice of science, medicine, technology, industry and media. With five million visitors each year and an unrivalled collection, it is the most significant group of museums of science and innovation worldwide.

About Manchester Science Festival 

Manchester Science Festival immerses visitors in the fascinating world of contemporary innovations and shines a light on future developments that have the potential to change our world. It attracts visitors from across the country, welcoming over 1 million people over the last decade.

This year, the theme is 'Future Human'. Manchester Science Festival will offer the people of Greater Manchester and beyond opportunities to take part in live, interactive events and world premieres, get hands-on with some of science's most cutting-edge developments while exploring some of the biggest questions facing humanity. 

Manchester Science Festival is produced by the Science and Industry Museum, part of the Science Museum Group. It shares a vision to inspire audiences through innovation with Bradford Science Festival, which is produced by fellow Science Museum Group site the National Science and Media Museum.

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