Queen Mary University of London: 2022 Festival of Communities Sets New Attendance Record

Held annually, the Festival brings together Queen Mary researchers and local community groups to celebrate everything that makes Tower Hamlets a fantastic place to live and work.

On Saturday 11 June in Stepney Green Park visitors took part in hands-on demonstrations of research; building inflatable robots, visiting a Virtual Reality Dental Clinic and discovering how to think like a computer scientist by learning magic tricks. With a performance stage, face painting, balloon modeling and a bouncy castle, there was something fun for everyone to get involved in.

On the Sunday, the Festival took over Queen Mary’s Mile End campus with Greek dancing on the lawn outside the Queen’s Building, tours of the telescope on top of the Physics building and of the Novo Cemetery, and opportunities to make batteries out of lemons, learn about Old English sleep remedies, play Bingo in multiple languages and much more.

Ninety Queen Mary researchers and thirty local community groups including St Joseph’s Hospice, Mind in Tower Hamlets and Newham, the Whitechapel Gallery and the Bishopsgate Institute made this the largest Festival of the Communities ever run.

Sarah Gifford, Community Engagement Manager at Queen Mary University of London said: “It was fantastic to see so many of our local residents, Queen Mary staff and students and community groups come together. A record number of people attended and everyone had such a wonderful time. We can’t wait to do it all again in 2023!”

Professor Dylan Morrissey from Queen Mary’s Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry said: “What an amazing couple of days the Festival of Communities really was. I was involved in three workshops and activities and thought all three were superb. We have got so much from it.”

A spokesperson for the Whitechapel Gallery added: “We had an amazing time at the Festival of Communities this year. It was wonderful to see so many people there, we had brilliant conversations with visitors and our creative activities were very well attended. It was a really, really great weekend.”

The Festival of Communities will return on Saturday 10 June and Sunday 11 June 2023 with more exciting activities and opportunities to engage with the latest research at Queen Mary for people of all ages.