UCL Campaign


Bloomsbury Festival 17-21 October 2018

31 July 2018

Bloomsbury Festival celebrates the people and organisations that shape this remarkable area, which has one of youngest and most diverse population in the country.

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Bloomsbury, home to UCL’s main campus, has been a hotbed of pioneering ideas, inventions and creativity for centuries. For five days in October (17 - 21), Bloomsbury Festival will present an inspiring programme of science, arts, discussion, reflection and fun, shining a light on the radical imaginations, institutions and 11,000 residents of contemporary Bloomsbury.

Taking place everywhere, from major institutions like Wellcome Collection, British Museum and UCL, to quirky indoor and outdoor spaces, 120+ events will pop-up across this lively cultural quarter.  With over 60% of the Festival programme being free to attend the Festival plays a key role in uniting its diverse community and ensuring access for all.

The 2018 Festival theme is Activists and Architects of Change, inspired by the centenary of The Representation of the People Act 1918, which permitted women to vote for the first time and gave more men the vote. Bloomsbury has rich history of individual and institutional pioneers including UCL - the first university in England to welcome students of any religion and to welcome women on equal terms with men.  As radical now as ever, Bloomsbury’s institutions, artists, academics and scientists pioneer change across the arts and sciences.  

Full festival details will be announced later this Summer. Visit bloomsburyfestival.org.uk to find out more. Highlight’s of the 2018 Festival include;

Roll Up Store Street!  A Night-time Street Party with a Twist – Friday 19 October, from 6pm

The Festival’s big weekend will launch with a thrilling circus-led street-party.  Celebrating the 250th anniversary of circus, for one night only, central London’s Store Street will be transformed into a stage for revelry, whilst its shops will open up to reveal a host of artistic delights. Presented in association with the National Centre for Circus Arts and also featuring live music from the Store Street House Band.

Suffragette Scavenger Hunt – Saturday 20th October and Sunday 21st October 11am-4pm

Celebrating the many female activists who have walked Bloomsbury's streets from Mary Wollstonecraft, Emmeline Pankhurst and Millicent Fawcett to contemporary change makers such as Amy Lame and Baroness Amos

The Festival’s suffrage inspired scavenger hunt will take you through the streets of Bloomsbury, to explore episodes from history, discover contemporary stories, track down clues, glimse distant Suffragettes, and finally stumble upon a Suffragette themed tea party.

Weekend Festival Hubs

Each of the Weekend Festival hubs will focus on a particular aspect of the 2018 theme – Activists and Architects of Change – whilst being tailored to different audiences.

  • Family hub - Sunday 21 October – an empowering and fun day of performance, play and fun for Bloomsbury families in 2 marquees on Brunswick Square
  • UCL’s Activism hub – Saturday 20 October – a day of science, technology, research and performance exploring Activism, in its many forms
  • Conway Hall’s The Rights of Woman hub – Sunday 21 October – discussion, exhibition, performance and talks about Women and Equality.

New Wave – throughout the Festival

A platform for emerging artists and new work, the New Wave programme features music, theatre, dance, and visual arts from up-and-coming artists giving you the chance to see some of the hottest new talent on the arts scene.

Senate Women – throughout the Festival

A sonic installation which shines a light on 10 inspirational women who work at University of London’s Senate House.  From everyday activists to world leaders, each Senate Woman shares with us a fascinating personal story.  The women will work with writer/director Patrick Sandford to create this aural work which can be explored in The Crush Hall at Senate House.

In order to present such an extraordinary event, Bloomsbury Festival has a unique funding model receiving sponsorship from a number of key businesses, funding and support from local institutions, Arts Council England, trusts and foundations and donations from individuals. To find out how you could support the festival click here.