What is Festival UK* 2022?

Festival UK* 2022 is a festival of creativity and innovation that will commission up to 10 major public engagement projects designed to reach millions, bring people together and showcase the UK’s creativity globally. It involves creative talent from across science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) coming together from the four nations of the UK. The festival will take place during 2022, with each project bringing new opportunities for creative people, including freelancers, emerging talent and under-represented voices. A guiding principle is to be open, original and optimistic.

What is the R&D Project?

The R&D Project is a £3 million research and development programme. 30 Creative Teams made up of individuals and organisations from across STEAM have each been selected to receive up to £100,000 to develop a creative project that could go on to become one of ten major commissions for the festival in 2022. The 30 teams are made up of 22 UK-wide collaborations, and two each from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

When is the R&D project?

The R&D project takes place between November 2020 and February 2021, when each team will present its big idea. Ten will be selected to go into full production for 2022.

How were the 30 teams selected?

299 teams applied to be part of the R&D Project and were assessed against a range of criteria before being shortlisted by representatives of the Festival UK* 2022 team and the delivery bodies for each nation, with input from the Creative Advisors.

Who is in the Creative Teams?

The 30 Creative Teams bring together more than 500 organisations and individuals, including freelancers and emerging talent, who are based in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. They bring an extraordinary breadth of knowledge and creativity across STEAM and many are working together for the first time, with unexpected partnerships. You can find them listed here.

There’s a lot of big names in there – what about freelancers?

Freelancers already play a vital role in Festival UK* 2022, with more than 100 working on the project, both as part of the festival team, and in Creative Teams. There are actors, choreographers, coders, curators, designers, digital artists, animators, engineers, BSL signers, film-makers, facilitators, games developers, musicians, poets, producers, scientists, tech developers, writers, visual artists and more….

When the ten projects are selected to go into full production for 2022, there will be many more opportunities for freelancers, with a specific focus on emerging talent and under-represented voices.

When will the festival programme be announced?

The festival programme will be announced with a new brand in autumn 2021.

Who is funding Festival UK* 2022?

The festival is backed by £120 million of new investment from the UK Government, including £22.8 million to the Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales devolved administrations.

Is this the Festival of Brexit?

No. We are producing a festival of creativity and innovation steered by an independent organisation with an independent Board, and supported by the four governments of the UK. The geographic spread of Creative Teams reflects the UK’s diversity, including disability organisations, and creatives from Black, Asian and other minority communities and the festival has a specific focus on under-represented voices. When the ten projects are selected to go into full production next year, we expect some teams to forge international partnerships to help their projects achieve a global reach.

How can I keep in touch with Festival UK* 2022?

You can join our mailing list, or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn to keep up with our news and updates.