Festival Lab is a workshop and production hub featuring a week long series of research, development, participatory and exploratory projects. Spanning data, innovation, music and performance, Festival Lab sees the city as a space for play and experimentation.

Spread out across MMU’s The Shed, Manchester Town Hall and the RNCM, participants had the opportunity to map the city with cycling data with PuBliC, learn how to build and host your own website from home with Superglue, and help develop new interactive prototypes with innovators straight from our three month UK-Russian digital culture exchange programme, FutureEverything Moscow, in partnership with British Council

At The Shed, we hosted a two day workshop as part of Global FUTR Lab, a new partnership between FutureEverything and British Council that invited ten international innovators from across the world to develop their critical and creative skills with researchers, Strange Telemetry.

In the weekend before to the festival, The Shed hosted to our Lean Startup Weekend, an initiative in collaboration with Digital Catapult and Future Cities Catapult which brings together entrepreneurs, technologists, creative professionals and social innovators with highly skilled specialists to help bring their business ideas to life.

FutureEverything supports artists experimenting at the cutting edge of emerging technologies. The Festival Lab hosted the development and testing for two major new commissions to be presented on the main festival stage at RNCM. These were Memo Akten’s ‘Simple Harmonic Motion for 16 Percussionists’, and Koreless’s collaboration with live visual artist Emmanuel Baird ‘The Well’.

Outside The Shed we saw the return of the Apps for Europe competition, which presented thirteen of the best new developers across Europe displaying their new applications to the public ahead of their pitches to a panel of industry experts.

Festival Lab is the result of an ongoing concept and methodology, in which festivals become agile research and development environments for real-world rapid prototyping, open innovation and user-led design. FutureEverything has adapted the physical, social, infrastructural, conceptual space of its festival in order that it function as a living lab.

To read more on this ongoing project, read FutureEverything Founder and CEO Drew Hemment’s essay on the Festival As Lab framework.

Festival Lab is presented in association with the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL).