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A summer of festivals for CERN

This summer CERN scientists will be showcasing particle physics at festivals across Europe


Sign for Physics Pavilion at WOMAD
The Physics Pavilion at the 2016 WOMAD festival received over 3600 visitors (Image: CERN)

For many, summer means attending an outdoor festival. Music festivals in particular have expanded all over the world and look to offer new experiences to curious festival goers. This has created opportunities to share CERN’s work, and science in general, with new audiences, many of whom admit to never normally attending science events.

Based on the success of CERN’s participation in WOMAD, this summer sees three additional festivals on the schedule for the first time.

On Sunday, 30 June, a new Science Pavilion will open at Denmark’s Roskilde Festival. Over three days, the CERN partnership with the Niels Bohr Institute will be offering talks, workshops and a ‘lounge’, along with a new interactive light installation measuring six metres in diameter and designed to resemble the LHC, nicknamed the ‘Accelerator in the Sky’. Not forgetting the ‘PhysMobile’, a mobile laboratory run by Niels Bohr Institute scientists that will be pulled all over the huge campsite for impromptu physics demos.

Over at Slovakia’s Pohoda Festival, on Friday, 12 July, the collaboration between CERN and Comenius University will inaugurate the Magical Science Tent. Each day this beautiful wooden infrastructure will host physics talks and workshops, including a DJ set from the ATLAS experiment’s Larry Lee using the ‘Colliderscope’. Visitors can take photos in front of an LHC tunnel backdrop and experience CERN through virtual-reality glasses.

The following week sees another partnership, just across the border in the Czech Republic where a group of Czech universities and CERN will be unveiling the new Big Bang Stage in the old ironworks at the Czech Colours of Ostrava festival. Four days of shows, workshops and even a live-link Q&A to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory make up the programme.

Last but definitely not least is WOMAD in the UK. Such has been the success of this partnership with Lancaster University and the Institute of Physics, since the first Physics Pavilion in 2016, that there is now officially a ‘World of Physics’ at WOMAD (which has stands for World of Music Art and Dance... and now Physics). With three tents, the Accelerator in the Sky installation and this year even a planetarium, the organisers are looking to beat the record of more than 5500 attendees.

Find out more over the summer via the social-media hashtags #sciencepavilion #magicalscience #bigbangstage #physicspavilion