Curious? Festival of Futures nominated for The Drum UK Event Awards

We are delighted that Curious? Festival of Futures has been nominated for The Drum UK Event Awards and is in the running for the ‘Cultural Event of the Year’ Award.

The Drum UK Event Awards aims to recognise and reward the very best of Britain’s events industry, celebrating everyone from event organisers to suppliers and marketers. So we’re delighted that Knowledge Quarter partners PRODUCE UK have been nominated for their work on the Curious? Festival of Futures and for three more categories: Experiential Event of the Year, Cause Related / Charity Event of the Year and the prestigious Event Agency of the Year awards.

Building onphoto-124 the amazing success of Curious? 2015, King’s Cross and the Knowledge Quarter briefed PRODUCE UK to curate a content-rich edition of the festival that would further the public connection with Knowledge Quarter and King’s Cross. The Curious? Festival at King’s Cross is an annual one-day learning and knowledge-focused festival, encouraging and enabling partnerships and collaborations from across the Knowledge Quarter.


The event took place across the whole of the King’s Cross site, with particular focus on Granary Square and The Crossing. The focus of the event is learning and knowledge, while ensuring an element of theatricality, fun and spectacle. This festival needed to be entertaining as well as educational, and needed to feature content to appeal to all ages.

Click here to see the festival video.

In 2016 Curious? was organised around three key sectors:photo-110

  1. Curious Kids! which focused on content mainly aimed at children
  2. The Curious? main programme – focusing on content suitable for all audiences – with more of an emphasis on content appropriate for adults;
  3. Curious Bites – featuring bite-sized presentations of a varied, interesting content

The driving force of the programme is knowledge – particularly the amazing array of different manifestations of knowledge encompassed by the Knowledge Quarter member organisations.

The theme for this year’s Curious? was Futures. From envisaging the future of King’s Cross and the Knowledge Quarter, through breakthrough research and tech developments, to picturing communities of the future (both near and far futures) and exploring what new partnerships could be formed – KQ partners were invited to reflect on what these different Futures could look like.


This event hoped to be a platform, or rather, the laboratory to test things out and make new ideas happen.  An open call for projects went out to all KQ partners in April 2016 with the proposals selected by a curation committee comprising of PRODUCE UK, Argent and KQ.  The committee selected the most outstanding examples of collaboration, creative content, spectacle and engagement to make up the 2016 programme.


The final programme included contributions from 17 organisations including The School of Life exploring ‘How to Change the World’, The Foundling Museum, who created a participatory flag that encouraged people to share their hopes for the future and The Place, who presented an all-day dance workshop. Alongside these, The Wellcome Trust explored the future of medicine and The Francis Crick Institute presented their highly entertaining ‘science buskers’.photo-7


In addition, Central Saint Martins created an interactive exhibition to introduce young people to coding, the Royal College of Physicians discussed ‘The Doctors of the Future’ and Google presented their incredible Tilt Brush technology.


Given the volume of content, the PRODUCE UK team utilised their extensive team of producers to ensure the entire event ran smoothly, and worked with partners including Hel’s Angels to brief in and manage a team of hosts that could help explain the event breadth to the public and help them navigate the full range of activities on site.

One of the cphoto-42hallenges working in King’s Cross is that the space is an ongoing public and residential space. As a long-term partner of KCCLP, PRODUCE UK were well-equipped to handle this. On the day, the team were on site to manage and run the site build from 5am and stayed for the de-rig late into the evening, ensuring that the public spaces were clear and ready for breakfast visitors the following Sunday morning.


Over the course of the eight-hour event more than 7,500 visitors attended the festival. In total, 17 world-famous organisations participated delivering nine interactive workshop and seven talks on four stages. 48 performers kept everyone entertained and the feedback from visitors and participants was fantastic.

Catherine Borowski, Managing Director of PRODUCE UK said,

“Curious? is a truly innovative festival that gave us the opportunity to work with some of the most exciting organisations in the King’s Cross area. Our curatorial role gave us the chance to flex our creative muscles and collaborate with some of the most forward thinking and creative minds in the UK. After just two years is it firmly established as one of the most exciting summer events in London.”

To read more about KQ partners and Curious? producers and curators PRODUCE UK, click here:

The full list of UK Event Awards nominees can be found here: The winners will be announced on Wednesday 1 December at the Marriot Grosvenor Square Hotel, London.