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Festival of Ideas call-out to community groups and more


Chester Festival of Ideas runs 4th - 7th July 2024

Do not miss the chance to play a part in the first-ever Chester Festival of Ideas - that is the call-out from organisers of the exciting new highlight in the city’s events calendar.

Members of the public and community groups are urged by the University of Chester and partners to submit their events to add to the free Festival which seeks to entertain, inform and inspire this summer.

Featuring names including Baroness Floella Benjamin, the Chester Festival of Ideas will run from Thursday July 4 to Sunday July 7, 2024.

Everyone is warmly invited to be part of the Festival and to submit events through the Festival website from now until April 1. Ideas for event types can also be found on the Festival website.

The Festival will offer a programme of inclusive and accessible public events, in and around Chester. Speakers are lined-up to talk on a range of topics, with activities such as discussion panels, theatre, pop-up exhibitions, interactive activities, music, readings, guided walks and many more in the planning.

Actress, presenter, broadcaster, writer, campaigner and parliamentarian, Baroness Floella Benjamin, who has also been awarded an OBE, DBE (Officer and Damehood of the British Empire) and a Doctor of Letters from the University, is among the guests presenting free public talks. She will discuss her life and ‘Facing Adversity With a Smile’. Speakers also include historian, writer, broadcaster, presenter and filmmaker, Professor David Olusoga, who will look at ‘History and the History Wars’ and GP and menopause specialist, Dr Louise Newson, highlighting the subject as well as perimenopause.

Chester Cathedral will host an ‘Assemble’ discussion forum, the Grosvenor Museum will run several ‘Shout Out’ events on its collections, Cheshire Archives and Local Studies will present its work with Cheshire Halton & Warrington Race & Equality Centre, and Chester Roman Tours will hold a session exploring diversity and culture in the Roman Army.

A school project has also been launched on the Festival website for schools in the region, to enable them to contribute events, projects or pupil work focused around the theme of Sustainable Communities. In addition, some funding is available to support schools with project materials, resources and attending the Festival.

Chester Town Hall will be the hub for the Festival during the four days while events will also take place in other venues across Chester.

A final programme of events will be released to the public for booking towards the middle of May.

Katherine Wilson, Associate Professor of Later Medieval European History at the University of Chester, who is leading on the Festival, said: “Excitement is building for the inaugural Chester Festival of Ideas, with a growing programme of free, diverse, inclusive and accessible public events.

“We’d love to hear from more members of the public and community groups who are warmly invited to be part of the Festival and add even more to what is shaping up to be a fantastic four days of celebration, inspiration and creativity.

“The Festival has a number of themes, which were chosen in collaboration with city partners to inspire the submission of further public events. They include: Sustainable Communities; Arts, Culture and Creativity; Health and Wellbeing; Investigating History; Scientific Futures, and Showcasing Business and Entrepreneurship.

“If you have an event that could feature in the Festival, and further the ways the Festival is bringing people together, please don’t miss the chance to take part and submit the details through the Festival website before April 1.”

To keep up-to-date on the Festival, please visit: