Gravity Fields Festival 2016 is off and running, with planning under way on events and locations in and around Grantham.
Dates have been announced for the September 21-25 in a milestone year for the scientific community and followers of Sir Isaac Newton, whose legacy has inspired the Gravity Fields Festivals of 2012 and 2014.
Next year marks the 350th anniversary of Newton’s law on gravitational forces following observations of a falling apple at his birthplace and childhood home at Woolsthorpe Manor, south of Grantham.
His genius has left a rich seam of material across the festival’s themes of science, arts and heritage in a mix that drew a 2014 audience of 65,000 people and delivered an economic benefit to the town of around £500k.
The biennial festival featured 100 events during its five day duration. Furthermore 132 artists from 32 visiting companies were involved in creating performance and arts activities, with over 10 new outdoor performances commissioned.
Around 1,000 community participants from 30 schools and community groups took part in Heritage Lottery funded pre-festival workshops over a five month period, which led to participation in the outdoor performances. The schools events welcomed over 2,894 school children across the education programme.
The 2014 festival attracted major funding from Arts Council England and was launched with three eminent patrons: Professor Valerie Gibson, Professor Rob Iliffe and broadcaster Dallas Campbell.
Festival speakers were equally celebrated, including Mark Miodownik, Richard Fortey, Andrew Hunter, Nigel Allinson, Dr Harry Cliff, Dr Suzy Lishman, Dr Afzal Ansary and Dr Sarah Dry.
Rock star scientist Professor Brian Cox made a live virtual appearance at the festival as did the facilities at CERN via live links to St Wulfram’s Church during a major exhibition.
Other partners included the Royal Photographic Society and the Royal Society. Arts companies came from around the UK with special guests from Spain.
The festival is financially supported and co-ordinated by South Kesteven District Council, whose Leader Coun Bob Adams said: “We are incredibly proud as a council to have instigated and overseen two very successful Gravity Fields festivals.
“It’s been great for the town and the area for both residents and visitors and a huge success for the local economy. Next September promises to be another very exciting event and we look forward to hearing more about the programme as it develops.”
For more details and updates go to www.gravityfields.co.uk