UNBOXED 2022 is an 8-month long UK festival beginning in March and concluding in October that celebrates creativity, innovation, and culture. In addition to sharing interactive exhibits in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics across a huge variety of towns and cities as well as online, UNBOXED is open to public involvement in their ten programmes. This is a huge opportunity for all creatives that Direct Access are committed to making fully accessible for disabled people.
UNBOXED 2022 is a cultural juggernaut supported by all four governments of the nation, and is co-commissioned with Belfast City Council, EventScotland and Creative Wales. UNBOXED will be available to visit in person, on TV, radio, or online completely free of charge.
In the next few weeks, the first of the ten commissions that are part of UNBOXED 2022 will go live. Each of the projects is committed to being inclusive and embedding accessibility within their programmes, supported by Direct Access’ Consultancy team.
About Us is a spectacular open-air event that combines live shows and multimedia installations exploring our infinite connections to our planet, the wider cosmos and each other. If you’ve ever looked up in awe at the night sky and wondered how you’re linked to the stars beyond, this is the show for you.
About Us uses cutting-edge projection mapping, animation, music, poetry and live performance to celebrate our extraordinary connections to everything around us: past, present and future. Created by 59 Productions, Stemettes and The Poetry Society in collaboration with poets and scientists across the UK, this epic free show will be projected at night onto the landmarks of Caernarfon, Derry-Londonderry, Hull, Luton and Paisley.
When and where:
28th February (Public Preview) – Paisley Abbey, Paisley
1-6th March, (7-9:15pm) – Paisley Abbey, Paisley
15-20 March (7 -9:45pm) – Guildhall Square, Derry-Londonderry
*21 March (6:45pm) – Guildhall Square, Derry-Londonderry
30 March – 5 April, (8:30pm – 10pm) – Y Maes, Caernarfon
*4 April (8pm) – Y Maes, Caernarfon
14 – 20 April, (9 -10:30pm) – Town Hall, Luton
*20 April (8:15pm) – Town Hall, Luton
30 April – 6 May, (9:30pm – 10:30pm) – Queen Victoria Hall, Hull
*3 May (8:45pm) – Queen Victoria, Hull
*A relaxed performance that takes place with lower levels of lighting and quieter sound effects in order to reduce stress for audience members who may find the show overwhelming.
StoryTrails is a unique immersive experience that will change the way we tell stories about ourselves. Each StoryTrail is a journey through time and space – a radical and magical new way to experience our towns and cities.
Using a mix of stunning augmented and virtual reality experiences that remix the BFI and BBC archives, you’ll experience history where it actually happened, bringing the physical and digital worlds together. These moments will retell the story of each place and its people via immersive technologies that bring together our national media archives, exciting new 3D ‘selfies’ of people and places to create the world’s first ‘Spatial Archive’.
StoryTrails takes place during 2022 in Blackpool, Bradford, Bristol, Dumfries, Dundee, Lincoln, London (Lambeth and Lewisham), Newport, Omagh, Sheffield, Slough, Swansea, Swindon and Wolverhampton. It will culminate with a brand new film for the BBC and the BFI by David Olusoga: exploring our history, considering our lives today and starting new conversations about where we might go next.
Tour De Moon
Tour de Moon is a two-month festival of performances, installations, interactive experiments and immersive experiences – created by a galaxy of nightlife artists, musicians, digital dreamers, writers, scientists, technologists and creative pioneers aged 18-25. Together, they’ll consider and challenge our current ways of living – and engage our imagination.
The Moon might be a faraway landscape, but to the Tour de Moon team, it’s also a sentient being: a living character who can help us shape new futures. Across the UK and beyond in 2022, we’ll consider the consequences of human life here on Earth. And with the collaboration of the Moon itself, we’ll imagine, consider and maybe even create new alien and pluralistic utopias.
There are eight distinct strands to Tour de Moon. Each strand has a focus on night-time culture, and each one is being co-created with young people aged 18-25 recruited through an open call. For more information on how to get involved, check out the project page on their website.
Dandelion is a six-month celebration of collaboration, creation and collective action. From gardens to fields, windowsills to wide, open spaces, join us to sow and grow crops of every shape and size – and then come together at harvest time to share what we’ve grown.
Dandelion is inspired by the simple concept of ‘Sow, Grow and Share’: not just food, but also new music, ideas, scientific knowledge and community. Rooted in Scotland but with an international outlook, Dandelion follows the arc of the growing season from April to September – when musicians, makers, scientists and performers will come together for hundreds of inspiring events and activities across Scotland and online.
Unexpected Gardens are springing up across Scotland in 2022. From the Borders to the Highlands, islands to inner cities, indoor spaces to the great outdoors – Dandelion’s nationwide network of gardens will bring new life to underused places and spaces that appear barren or neglected, showing that everywhere has the potential to blossom and bloom.
Join us for a journey into light, sound, colour and imagination – a shared experience that’s unique to you. Created by Collective Act in collaboration with Turner Prize-winning collective Assemble, Grammy-nominated musician Jon Hopkins and a team of pioneering scientists and technologists, Dreamachine invites you to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime immersive experience.
Over 60 years after its original invention, Collective Act has brought together leading minds in architecture, technology, music, neuroscience and philosophy to radically reimagine Gysin’s concept as a powerful new kind of collective experience. Presented in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London, the 21st-century Dreamachine will lead audiences through an immersive environment of light and sound – as rich and dazzling as any digital simulation, but created by and unique to you. The kaleidoscopic world revealed by the Dreamachine will come from within, providing a magical insight into the extraordinary potential of our own minds.
Coming September 2022, GALWAD is a story set thirty years in the future which will unfold across TV drama, digital platforms and live events in three Welsh locations— Blaenau Ffestiniog, Merthyr Tydfil and Swansea over seven days.
GALWAD brings together Wales’ boldest talent in film and TV, creative technology and live performance with the imagination and talents of Welsh communities to create a new kind of multi-platform, multi-lingual story for our times.
A creative and ambitious act of collective imagination from and by Wales, GALWAD is inspired by the Well Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and will invite audiences to explore the moral dilemmas and possibilities of a different kind of future.
For Green Space Dark Skies, 20,000 people from all paths in life will become Lumenators, each carrying a low impact light into the landscape. Together, we will experience beautiful green spaces across the UK. Imagine thousands of lights making patterns on mountains, lakes and moorland across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These lights will be sensitive to the night-time environment.
Led by outdoor arts experts Walk the Plank, up to 20 events will take place from April to September 2022. We will take the nation on a journey through our National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), to a climactic closing moment across the UK that will be broadcast to millions. These are places that anyone can visit, any time, for free. But we know not everybody feels welcome there. Walk the Plank is inviting people who don’t usually experience the countryside to take part and to share their stories – before, during and after.
Our Place in Space
Our Place in Space is a playful experiment that asks: What is the difference between ‘US’ and ‘THEM’? What happens to your perspective when you look back at earth from space?
Centred around an epic scale model of the solar system designed by the artist Oliver Jeffers, Our Place in Space combines a three-dimensional sculpture trail, interactive AR app and exciting learning and events programmes.
The Our Place in Space sculpture trail will stretch over 10 kilometres and will travel from a riverside location in Derry~Londonderry (April / May) to Divis and Black Mountain in Belfast (June / July), before heading to Cambridge (August) and returning to Northern Ireland at the Transport Museum and North Down Coastal Path (September / October).
Step into a city-centre forest garden of magical proportions where you will be welcomed by an epic array of colour and nature. Giant architectural trees drink rainwater and create electricity using wind power, as the forest plays host to a vibrant and spectacular free events programme situated in an oasis of thousands of plants and flowers co-planted by the city’s residents.
PoliNations is a celebration of colour, beauty, and of natural diversity. Explore, enjoy and be your true unique self. You will experience music from around the world, an incredible light show each evening and a grand finale like no other where the giant architectural tree’s canopies will burst into a joyful cloud of confetti and colour. This is Pride, Carnival and Holi combined in one brilliant, messy, playful all-day-all-night party and everyone is invited.
See Monster is an extraordinary act of collective creativity across science, technology, engineering and the arts. We’re regenerating a decommissioned offshore platform from the North Sea and giving it a second life on the coast of North Somerset. This large-scale installation will be open this coming summer – and is completely free.
See Monster will harness energy from the natural elements of the Great British Weather. The creation of on-board weather moments will provide joyous moments, while The Garden Lab will showcase a range of new renewable technologies – amid an overgrown garden awaiting discovery. Through our experiments, we’ll show how creativity and engineering can transform disused infrastructure into positive resources, igniting conversations around our inherited structures.
See Monster will be installed on the site of the Tropicana, one of Weston-super-Mare’s much-loved iconic attractions. Throughout the UNBOXED summer, it will stand as both a vivid reminder of the past and a symbol of our united journey towards a more sustainable future.
Direct Access is absolutely thrilled to be commended for our work with one of the largest national cultural programmes of the year; unboxed2022, within a few weeks of the event starting.
Our founder Steven Mifsud remarks; “It’s incredible that our accessibility consultancy has been commended by the good people at Major Events International Ltd, especially as the festival is just beginning and only a handful of the ten programmes have actually gone live yet. We must be doing something right!”.
Direct Access are relishing the opportunity to work with Amgueddfa Cymru on this project and have been encouraged and impressed by the knowledge, experience and appetite for accessibility and inclusive design amongst museum management teams.
If you own a facility or are part of an organisation that wishes to meet best practice obligations under the Equality Act, why not get in touch with us today? Our Consultancy team will ensure that you take the steps to not only do the right thing with your budget but open the door to the social and financial benefits that come only as a result of creating an accessible and inclusive environment for disabled people.
Get in contact today. We are here to help. Because for us, access is personal.