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Past festivals

Manchester Science Festival creates a place for innovative, surprising and meaningful experiences, where people of all ages can ignite their curiosity in science.

Our visitors are at the heart of everything we do, meaning we have always kept our programme inclusive and accessible to everyone.


Manchester Science Festival 2022 took place between Friday 21 – Sunday 30 October, returning as a live event for the first time since 2018. The festival featured world first experiences including headline exhibition Turn It Up: The power of music and out-out-of-this-world immersive experience Giant Leaps by acclaimed choreographer Corey Baker. 

The packed festival line-up delivered 10 days of fun, discovery and entertainment as it explored one of life's most crucial questions—what does the future hold for humanity?—with events taking place at the Science and Industry Museum, Central Library, Manchester Arndale and the Castlefield Viaduct.


Manchester Science Festival 2021 took place digitally between Friday 12 – Sunday 21 February. It featured a programme packed full of free online talks, exhibitions, debates and activities exploring our changing climate and ideas for a better world.

You can rewatch the live talks and hear from scientists and experts at the forefront of the fight against climate change, listen to local voices making a difference in our communities and discover practical ways you can help to protect the natural world.


The 12th year of Manchester Science Festival featured the award-nominated Distortions in Spacetime, by Marshmallow Laser Feast, where visitors could step inside a black hole and be taken to the singularity and beyond. Unlimited Theatre invited us to You Have Been Upgraded, a tech showcase like no other featuring cyborgs, human enhancements and technology that could make you live forever (or at least for a very long time). And our headline exhibition was Electricity: The spark of life, considering humans' battle to understand and tame this awe inspiring natural force.

Download the full programme here


The 11th year of Manchester Science Festival featured Tape, an immersive art work created by Numen/For Use, inspired by spider webs, allowing visitors a 'Spider's eye view' of the world. BBC Tomorrow’s World Live was broadcast live from the museum, and our Robots exhibition was opened.

The museum was also home to robot dogs as part of our Robots Playground and Robots: Late events. Across Greater Manchester, visitors got hands-on with VR at the University of Salford's GameLab, explored air raid shelters, and raved their way into the day.

Download the full programme here


The 10th birthday year of Manchester Science Festival started with The Chronarium Sleep Lab at Manchester Arndale, produced by Loop.pH, an immersive experience exploring sleep. Public Service Broadcasting performed their album The Race For Space in full for the first time at the Albert Hall and Parisian artists HeHe brought Cloud Crash to the museum.

Other Festival highlights at the museum included a special visit from Tim Peake, fresh from his trip into space; live mosquitos and melting ice blocks at the Royal Society Science Exhibition, science busking with Siemens, listening to a robot orchestra and hearing from the producers of BBC's Planet Earth II reveal the stories behind the scenes.

Across Greater Manchester, we heard The Music of Star Wars with the Hallé Orchestra at Bridgewater Hall, experienced a sensory sound pit, got hands-on with science at Manchester Museum, the University of Salford, The Whitworth and at The Runaway Visitors Park, Manchester Airport with National Environmental Research Council.

Download the full programme here

Previous years