Posted: Mon 17th Jun 2024

Final preparations underway for first-ever Chester Festival of Ideas

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

With just three weeks remaining, excitement is mounting for the inaugural Chester Festival of Ideas. The four-day event, running from July 4-7, 2024, promises nearly 100 free activities designed to engage and inspire people of all ages.

Organised by the University of Chester and its partners, the festival will feature a wide array of events, including discussion panels, theatre performances, pop-up exhibitions, interactive activities, music sessions, readings, and guided walks. Full details and booking options are available on the Festival of Ideas website.

Among the distinguished speakers is Dr. Louise Newson, a GP and menopause specialist. The festival will also welcome Baroness Floella Benjamin, an acclaimed actress, presenter, broadcaster, writer, campaigner, and parliamentarian.

Baroness Benjamin has been honoured with an OBE, a DBE, and a Doctor of Letters from the University of Chester. Other notable guests include historian and filmmaker Professor David Olusoga, the University’s Chancellor Dr. Gyles Brandreth, and Pulitzer-nominated journalist Carole Cadwalladr.

Local schools will contribute significantly to the festival. Pupils from Millview School will present their arguments on climate change, while Grosvenor Park Academy will host a drop-in upcycling workshop. Additionally, a special day is planned for sixth-form students and their teachers studying the English Civil War.

The festival’s language sessions will cover diverse topics, from Old English and Taylor Swift’s accent to speaking chimpanzees.

Animal enthusiasts can learn about the extraordinary abilities of the world’s smartest creatures and the social lives of bats. Music lovers will enjoy discussions and opera extracts from Disunited Jukebox.

Events will be led by representatives from Chester Cathedral, the Grosvenor Museum, Chester Roman Tours, and Brio Leisure, among others. Chester Town Hall will serve as the central hub for the festival, with additional events spread across various venues in the city.

Katherine Wilson, Associate Professor of Later Medieval European History at the University of Chester and leader of the festival, expressed her excitement: “With almost 100 events and activities to choose from, on everything from the body to bats, everyone can find something to enjoy. If you haven’t already made plans to come along, please do take a look at the website and join us during what is set to be a fascinating and fun-filled four days. We can’t wait to welcome everyone and place the spotlight on our incredible and vibrant city.”

For more information and to book your place, visit www.festivalofideas.chester.ac.uk.

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