It’s the biggest and most ambitious program of creative events ever held in the UK. UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK invites you to explore the solar system here on Earth with a spectacular 10km sculpture trail; party in a pop-up forest garden, and marvel at the beauty of the UK’s landscapes as 20,000 people come together to create extraordinary outdoor artworks – and much more.
Funded by the four governments of the UK, UNBOXED can be enjoyed in person, on TV, radio or online from March 1 to October 2, and is all free!
Led by Martin Green CBE, who masterminded the spectacular opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, the program features hundreds of unmissable events and digital experiences across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
There are fun family days out, plus the chance to enjoy awe-inspiring sights and discover unique stories about where you live – and gain a fresh appreciation of your natural surroundings.
Wander through cities with a virtual reality guide that recreates the past. Dive into prehistory and watch as your local landmarks become a canvas for a spectacular Big Bang projection, and travel into the future with a film that imagines life in Wales in 2052.
The 10 UNBOXED projects say something about who we are, reflecting on our past and our present, with ideas for our shared futures, and covering a range of subjects, from growing and sustainability to identity and community.
Whatever inspires you – art, science, history, the environment – there’s something for you to enjoy. Visit unboxed2022.uk and subscribe to the newsletter to get information on all the forthcoming events and ensure you’re part of this once-in-a-lifetime celebration of UK creativity.
LOCATIONS Caernarfon, Derry-Londonderry, Hull, Luton and Paisley
WHAT’S HAPPENING? Cutting-edge projections and thrilling animations beamed onto town center landmarks at night will take us time traveling through 13.8 billion years of cosmic history from the Big Bang to the present day – all set to the rousing sound of an original music score, poetry and live performances by local choirs, About Us is an open-air spectacular for anyone who has ever stared up at the starry sky in wonder at the universe and everything in it.
LOCATIONS Blackpool, Bradford, Bristol, Dumfries, Dundee, Lincoln, London (Lambeth and Lewisham), Newport, Omagh, Sheffield, Slough, Swansea, Swindon and Wolverhampton
WHAT’S HAPPENING? StoryTrails transforms your phone into a town guide, using virtual reality to bring local stories of the past to life. Enter the app and discover a story trail, which will guide you on a unique tour of your town; or step into an immersive dome and see a virtual map of your town like never before; or put on a virtual reality headset and explore new ways of feeling part of our shared histories.
LOCATIONS Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London
WHAT’S HAPPENING? Imagine an artwork “seen” with your eyes closed. intrigued? Then don’t miss Dreamachine. A little-known 1959 invention that created vivid patterns in the mind via flickering lights has been reimagined by Collective Act, in collaboration with Turner Prize-winning artists Assemble, Grammy and Mercury Award-nominated composer Jon Hopkins, and a team of leading technologists, scientists and philosophers. Dreamachine will enable audiences to experience an immersive environment of light and sound – but one that’s unique to each person.
LOCATIONS Birmingham and Edinburgh
DATES August and September
WHAT’S HAPPENING? Enjoy live music, poetry, costume-design workshops and light shows in a pop-up city-centre forest garden. Giant architectural trees sit among thousands of plants and flowers co-planted by the city’s residents. The forest garden hosts a spectacular free events program celebrating colour, beauty and natural diversity. Don’t miss the Ballistic Seed party – imagine Carnival and Holi combined in one brilliant, messy, playful party and everyone is invited!
WHAT’S HAPPENING? A decommissioned North Sea offshore platform is transformed into a giant public art installation on the site of a former lido. Step on board to see how a waterfall, solar trees and wind turbines help power the plant. Explore renewable technologies in a tree-filled garden. And take part in playful experiments to teach us more about the main talking point for all Brits: the weather.
LOCATIONS across scotland
WHAT’S HAPPENING? Gardens will pop up in unexpected places: on canals, in car parks, in city centres. There will be music specially crafted for each of them. And hundreds of Cubes of Perpetual Light – miniature vertical farms and artworks – will be scattered across Scotland. Two festivals, in Glasgow and Inverness, will offer live music, locally grown food and free plants and seeds.
LOCATIONS Leicester, Newcastle, Southampton and satellite locations across England
WHAT’S HAPPENING? A touring festival of live events and immersive experiences created by artists, musicians, writers, scientists and digital creators aged 18-25. Across England and online, enjoy eight programming strands, from Moon Cinema and Moon Music, to the interactive Moon Hotline and the fully electric Moon Convoy – all designed to help us consider the consequences of human life on Earth.
Our Place in Space
LOCATIONS Belfast, Cambridge and Derry-Londonderry
WHAT’S HAPPENING? Stroll around the sun, meander by Mars and nip to Neptune as you explore our vast solar system recreated here on Earth as a 10km trail, designed by children’s author Oliver Jeffers. The project also includes an immersive learning experience you can take part in from anywhere in the world via an interactive augmented-reality app.
GALWAD: a story from our future
LOCATIONS Blaenau Ffestiniog, Merthyr Tydfil and Swansea
WHAT’S HAPPENING? GALWAD is a story set 30 years in the future, which will unfold across TV drama, digital platforms and live events in three Welsh locations – Blaenau Ffestiniog, Merthyr Tydfil and Swansea. GALWAD brings together Wales’ boldest talent in film and TV, creative technology and live performance including award-winning production designer Alex McDowell (who worked on Minority report ).
Green Space Dark Skies
LOCATION Online and across the UK
WHAT’S HAPPENING? For the Green Space Dark Skies project, 20,000 participants carrying low-impact lights will create patterns on mountains, lakes and moorland across the UK. The so-called ‘Lumenators’ will gather at secret locations and landmarks as dusk falls, creating digital choreography captured on film for online audiences anywhere in the world. These amazing artworks are taking place at 20 locations in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty throughout the UK.
Subscribe to the newsletter at unboxed2022.uk to get the latest information and to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime celebration of UK creativity.