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Packed programme for 2023 Cheltenham Science Festival

4 April 2023
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Cheltenham Science Festival returns for its 21st birthday this summer, featuring a packed programme of 138 events for all ages delivered by 270 of the best scientists, thinkers, writers, and creators.

From Tuesday 6 to Sunday 11 June, Cheltenham is to once again host the Festival Village, where guests will be exposed to the latest thinking about what makes us tick.

2023 marks the third year of the Festival’s ‘Be the Change’ theme, which encourages visitors to explore their individual and collective role in shaping the future. Themes on this year’s programme range from climate change and disaster response to gender and mental health, with events spanning art and design, STEM, history, sport, food, and entertainment.

The Festival will take place across venues in and around Cheltenham’s Imperial Square, including the Town Hall and the free Apollo Stage. It will also feature three Interactive Zones for hands-on science, an installation from The Week Junior magazine, and a Nature Trail across the site.

Read more - Rousing return for Cheltenham Science Festival as it celebrates 20th birthday

Guest curators include BBC Radio 4’s Claudia Hammond, broadcaster and children’s TV presenter Dr Chris van Tulleken, documentary and podcast maker Hana Walker-Brown, and mental health campaigner Sophia Kaur Badhan. They will be joined by returning AI guest AIDA, who has curated an (Art)ificial Intelligence event.

This year sees the introduction of a free Friday Night Late for over 18s, who can learn to code a robot or visit an arcade with games from the past, present, and an imagined future. Friday will also feature an Alternative Comedy Night with host Shirley Halse.

Other highlights include VOICEBOX, a platform dedicated to bringing young voices to the forefront, and FameLab, the world’s largest public-facing science communication competition which also offers training programmes.

Marieke Navin, Head of Programming at Cheltenham Science Festival said: “For six days in June, Cheltenham will be home to an incredible mix of people, who will be having conversations – with you! – about the biggest issues of our times.

“We use a variety of artforms, from spoken word, to comedy, to debate, to paddle boarding, all to bring science to life in the most creative ways possible.”

Booking opens to Festival members on Wednesday 18 April, while general booking starts on Wednesday 25 April.

Read more - Cheltenham’s Journey Hospitality announces Premier Software acquisition


Born and raised in Berkshire, Dan fell into journalism after completing his bachelor’s degree in English at UCL.

Writing for The Business Magazine and local Biz News sites has given him the opportunity to chat with all manner of small business owners and share their success stories with a wider audience.

Outside of work, Dan enjoys live music, board games and quiz shows, and is making a slow but persistent effort to learn Spanish.

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