Festival of the Future 2023

Published on 13 November 2023

Festival of the Future is the University of Dundee's flagship festival programme that celebrates and enhances collaboration between science, arts, and culture.

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The festival is a celebration of how science, art and culture can inspire in equal measure, and how creative collaborations can help change our lives for the better. The fifth edition of Festival of the Future took place in October 2023 and explored the theme of care: looking after ourselves, those around us, and our environment.

The programme included workshops, exhibitions, talks, walks and performances for families and all ages in venues across the city including Dundee Botanic Gardens, Dundee Contemporary Arts, The Keiller Centre, Dundee Rep, Dundee Design House and V&A Dundee.

We were joined by a very special guest this year, Dexter the dog, who enjoyed taking part in festival activities, and our Light It Up event saw the Walled Garden in the Botanic Garden transformed with sound, lighting, singing, and dancing for a special one-off performance experience. 

In total we offered 51 low cost and free opportunities over 5 days at venues across the city where the over 900 members of the public could engage with our activities and research. We engaged with 60 university academics and staff members and 36 cultural partners to deliver our activities.

This year’s Festival of the Future explored the many ways in which care impacts and influences our lives and celebrated how empathy can help create a better world for us all.

Festival of the Future participants said:

"The passion of the people involved in the activities is unmatched. I only attended two events but would have gladly attended every event that day! Being out in and enjoying nature was a huge relief. I saw a red squirrel!!"

"The selkie show was beautiful. It was wonderful seeing my two grandsons’ reaction and interaction with the performers. They are 3 and 5 years old."

"My son who is a toddler absolutely loved this event. Messy play areas were fantastic especially Scrap Antics. All the staff were amazing."

"I loved seeing my daughters eyes light up as she built her robots. It was also great to see her confidence grow doing the CPR training. The instructor was wonderful with her and in general you could tell he was passionate about what he did as well as incredibly knowledgeable."

"I liked that many of the events were family friendly, meaning both adults and children could enjoy them together and take away something for themselves."


Press Office, University of Dundee
Story category Events and exhibitions