A Guide to the Great Exhibition Road Festival

The first ever Great Exhibition Road Festival is days away! We explore some of our top picks so visitors can make the most out of the Festival.

“The Great Exhibition Road Festival is a free three-day celebration of curiosity, discovery and exploration in South Kensington.”

The Great Exhibition Road Festival builds on the success of  Imperial Festival, which is now in its eighth year, and has led to collaboration between scientists, artists and other creative partners. The Festival is a collaboration between Imperial and 19 other cultural institutions including the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the V&A and the Royal Albert Hall. 

Enjoy a weekend that brings together science and the arts in a unique programme of creative workshops, talks, exhibitions, live demos and performances - all in the spirit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s vision for the Great Exhibition, 200 years on from when they were born. Find out more about the Great Exhibition 1851 here

Even though this year's Festival is the first of it's kind you can watch the video at the top for a better idea of what to expect based on last year’s Imperial Festival goer’s experience. 

Here we showcase a few of 2019's Great Exhibition Road Festival's highlights. Please open the links in new tabs so you can find out more and plan your visit!


We're bringing together art and science in exciting and innovative ways at the Festival, so don’t miss these visually stunning, exclusive installations!


Get away from the madness of the Festival and immerse yourself into a calming cocoon of light. Biofeedback installation Symbiosis, by Kira Zhigalina, responds to the rate of your breathing. You are guided to use slow diaphragm breathing to increase wellbeing. Open Saturday and Sunday. 


Join the Analema Group in exploring the power of the human voice. KIMA is a sonic and visual composition and an act of co-creation. It’s an ‘open work’ to which everyone can contribute. Find times via the link. 

We Will be Forgotten

Plastic pollution is a pressing problem for scientists. We Will be Forgotten is an impressive selection of moulds made from our familiar plastic containers. The site resembles an archaeological site of the future.


What looks like an Instagrammers dream, GREEN SPACE is the result of a collaboration between a science PhD student, an artist, a designer, a musician and a curator. The installation communicates how urban green spaces in our local neighbourhoods can help all of us.

Can of Worms

Can of Worms aims to get people talking about data in healthcare, however difficult. You can explore how it’s used, when it’s necessary and the prospects for the future in a creative way.

Interested in how art and science are combined at the Festival? Find more crossovers here.

Earth Photo 2019 Exhibition

Visit the Royal Geographical Society to see a shortlist of 50 exceptional photographs and films that document the earth in all its diversity. More info here.


You have to go on at least one of the fantastic tours over the weekend of the Festival. Find out about the rich history of the area on our Albertopolis tour. Other highlights include the Flight Simulator Tour, Carbon Capture Plant Tourand the V&A LGBTQ+ tour.

Find all the tours here.


 We have a fantastic range of free talks on at the Festival. One you definitely won’t want to miss is The Engineers: Space Flight, which will be broadcast on the BBC World Service, three of the world's greatest astronautical engineers come together to discuss space flight.

In a meeting of two giants in their field, Imperial College’s Lord Robert Winston will be interviewed by Royal College of Music’s about the intersection of science and music. 

Find more Festival exclusives like this here

There will be an exciting ‘Day in the Life’ series, perfect for teens thinking about their future careers. Hear from a volcanologist, astrophysicst and even a spoken-word scientist. See them all here so you can plan ahead!

Find our full talks programme here.


While most things at the Festival are suitable for children there are some things that are especially for them! 

The Serpentine Galleries’ Family Weekend and the Design Museum Create and Make Series are sure bets for young ones. Outside of the main Festival madness, both institutions are putting on a fantastic range of creative activities. Explore the outdoors and see what lives in the Wildlife Garden at the Natural History Museum in BioBlitzor get up close and personal with plants and animals at Hands on Nature with the Royal Parks.Try on a spacesuit or go on an exciting adventure exploring the lungs in WHOOSH-CRACKLE-POP!

Kids a little older?Take a look at our collection of things to do for teens here


You can't have a festival without the performing arts!

Sing along to Imperial Musical Theatre Society's electric arrangements, experience Mrs X, a mysterious drama tackling antibiotic resistance or immerse yourself in an evening of Jazz in the Science Museum's Flight Gallery. 

As you can see, there are plenty of things to do! We suggest coming prepared with a few things you'd like to do and then spend the rest of the time wandering around. 

Register for the Festival here!

For maximum enjoyment, don’t forget to check our map!

Can’t make it? Don’t despair! Follow our social media pages for live videos, photos and updates.

Facebook: Discover South Kensington
Twitter @SouthKensington
Instagram @discover.south.kensington

Talk to researchers, artists, musicians, curators and more!
Symbiosis by Kira Zhigalina

Earth Photo 2019 Exhibition

Flight simulator at Imperial College London
Three world class engineers will discuss space flight

BioBlitz in the Wildlife Garden