The Also Festival was created to get big ideas in front of people and to stimulate new thinking so this year we're really pleased to present Nobel Peace prize nominees, alien hunters and titled professors for your delectation.
Let scientist Dr Michael Brooks introduce you to his hero Jerome Cardano. Yes, this unacknowledged 16th Century astrologer discovered the mathematical foundations of quantum physics and maybe even almost inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Yes, we did say astrologer.
Do moments of wonder make us nicer people? Yes says Caspar Henderson and in fact, experiencing awe helps us to feel more human. Wonder is a state of deep attention in which we feel good and think clearly, and connect to phenomena beyond ourselves. It has never been more important to cultivate than in an era when we are all distracted all of the time. He'll be at ALSO to explain how we can search out these modern marvels.
For 2018 we have put together an extensive programme of ‘go deeper’ workshops, which offers the chance to go a little bit deeper with our expert in to their subject. Highlights for 2018 include ‘What Happens in Groups’ with psychotherapist Philippa Perry, explore gentle protest through craft with the Craftivist Collective, understand the micro and macro worlds through at the boiling of a kettle with physicist Professor David Tong, explore music production with Prof Simon Zagroski-Thomas, and how to flirt your way to success with Cate MacKensie.
Saturday morning at The Also Festival grab yourself a cup of coffee and join Sky Broadcaster and journalist, Nichi Hodgson and her festival friends will be bringing the broadsheets to life in our great fun, fast-paced morning session. Featuring guest speakers from the day's programming at the festival.
Understand all eastern and western philosophy has to offer – whilst listening to music as we present Salon London’s Dao of Jazz. Combining innovation, improvisation, and collaboration, Jazz is the music maverick that went mainstream. Philosopher Dr Julian Baggini explores the relationship between Jazz and philosophy and reveals what we can learn about how to live, just by listening a little closer. Accompanied by our in house jazz pianist and tracks performed live by Juliet Russell.
Musician and writer Dave Randall will be at ALSO to explain 'Sound System - The Political Power of Music'. His book is a brilliant exploration of how music and politics came together from the banned chords of the 12th Century - through the slave rebellions - to the free festival movement, and he’ll explore just how music can be used to change the world.
Join renowned psychotherapist, Philippa Perry as she leads us through a guided visualisation, one she has designed specifically for the Also Festival. Grab your coffee and find yourself a hay bale to sit on and begin the day beautifully as Philippa framed by a fabulous view of the lake as she takes you through her Isle of Noises visualisation. Designed to encourage, well-being and happiness and enabling you to connect with yourself, with nature, with those you love and indeed the whole world, what could be a better way to start your festival Sunday?
Xylaroo are a sister duo act with a refreshing take on folk music. Having travelled the world in their youth, starting in Papua New Guinea and ending in London via Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Azerbaijan, Switzerland and Kent, it is fair to say they have seen a lot. These experiences are vocalised in beautiful harmonies that drapse over familiarly folk-y vibes but in a way we haven’t heard before.
To give you just that little bit more, more, more - we'll be running a Double Talk session in our lakeside bookshop a little while after Jason’s talk. Double Talk gives you time to get your thoughts together post-talk, and to explore the speakers’ ideas in more depth, in a smaller group, and in a more relaxed session.
Drawing from her hugely popular BBC Radio 4 show, ‘Natalie Haynes Stands up for the Classics’, the critically acclaimed writer and broadcaster, Natalie Haynes will explain it's time for us to re-examine the past. In fact our lives will be infinitely richer if we take the time to look at what the Greeks and Romans have given us in politics and law, religion and philosophy and education, and to learn how people really lived in Athens, Rome, Sparta and Alexandria.
Academic, author, composer and record producer Simon Zagorski-Thomas opens up the secrets of the recording studio and is at Also Festival to explain how all your favourite tracks get their distinctive sounds. From Pop to Rock he'll explain the role the producer plays in studio and the tricks, skills and creative approaches used to create a hit.
Dr Catherine Loveday and Professor Simon Zagorski-Thomas will be at ALSO to discuss musicology on neuroscience and neuroscience on music.
Carl will explain how control and liberation are wrapped up together in the digital age and how a new, digital form of power is emerging scaring CEOs, forcing politicians to resign, swallowing up newspapers, eclipsing experts, and pulling down companies.
‘Dark Net’ and ‘Radicals’ author, Jamie Bartlett and ‘Death of the Gods’ author, Carl Miller will be at ALSO to discuss the big question of our time – is the internet killing democracy. They very much disagree – Jamie Bartlett says ‘yes’ and Carl Miller says ‘no’, but what will you say when we reach the conclusion of our Also Festival discussion hosted by Salon London’s Helen Bagnall.
Want to really develop your understanding of Theoretical Physics? What's happened in physics since Gravitational Waves? Why has David Tong been teaching a course about boiling a kettle? Bring a cup of tea (or grab yourself a cocktail) as we get to ask Prof David Tong. Find out how such an everyday act holds the key to understanding the unity of physics, and illustrates beautifully how nature uses her good ideas over and over again. Hosted by Salon London's Helen Bagnall.
What do you get if you cross a professor of theoretical physics with a life drawing artist with dyscalculia? Come along and take part to see for yourself! Theatrical life drawing company Art Macabre and Professor Ben Allanach (University of Cambridge) collaborate to design a life drawing experiment, especially for Also. In the quantum realm, reality transforms to the bizarre. Explore the relationship between quantum objects and art, physics and fairytales, science and the imagination through a playful hands-on drawing workshop. Don't be afraid if you think you're bad at art or struggle with science; when we combine the two it is sure to be a fun experiment for everyone to have a go.
In a magnificent mangling of Darwin, we’ve been brought up to believe that competition is what drives the best to the top. But everywhere we look, it seems to have the opposite effect: driving corruption and waste. Why doesn’t competition work - and is there another game in town?
Humans are story-making creatures but is that good for us? As we package our experience of life into neat stories, maybe we lose more than we gain. Margaret Heffernan will be at ALSO to explain what is false about the narrative fallacy.
The UK leads the world in the experimental process of gene editing and we’ll hear from CRISPR scientist Dr Alasdair Russell exactly where we are in a) editing fatal diseases out of our DNA b) creating viruses that could eradicate entire swathes of the population and c) bringing back the woolly mammoth (in that order, obviously).
As the author of over five of the official companion books to Downton Abbey, and the wildly successful novel The Mitford Murders, few authors have explored the social history of the first half of the 20th Century more than Jessica Fellowes. To help us understand how dramatically the world has changed, we will explore the different eras through the cocktails that defined them.Info & Booking
Come along and explore themes of deception, belief, and enchantment with University of Warwick’s Dr Fabio Camilletti. He'll be at ALSO to discuss his research into phantasmagoria - the most popular form of visual entertainment that existed before cinema and specialised in thrilling audiences with macabre illusions created through trickery and science.
To give you just that little bit more, more, more - we'll be running a Double Talk session in our lakeside bookshop a little while after Sophie’s talk. Double Talk gives you time to get your thoughts together post-talk, and to explore the speakers’ ideas in more depth, in a smaller group, and in a more relaxed session.
The KLF were famed for burning a million pounds in a boathouse on the Isle of Jura and saying they would not talk about it for 23 years. Guess what, the 23 years are up – and they have spoken about it – to John Higgs – and he’s at ALSO to explain all.
The author Lucinda Hawksley will be at ALSO to explore the women's movement in Britain, from the passing of the Marriage and Divorce Act in 1857 to women attaining the vote in 1928. Join to hear her explain how women were portrayed in literature, art and the media of the times the study of her incredible book March, Women March.
A revolution on the roads is approaching. Guardian news correspondent Peter Walker will be at ALSO to take us on a journey around the world, exploring the varying attitudes to cycling on our highways. He'll explain how rebuilding towns and cities for everyday cycling makes societies healthier, more equal and built around the needs of human beings.
We’re so pleased to have the award-winning comedien and Infinite Monkey Cage host Robin Ince at ALSO to present for the very last time his ‘Pragmatic Insanity’ show – a story of love, death and art – he’ll be explaining how we see what we believe and we believe what we see.
To give you just that little bit more, more, more - we'll be running a Double Talk session in our lakeside bookshop a little while after Nigel Shadbolt’s talk. Double Talk gives you time to get your thoughts together post-talk, and to explore the speakers’ ideas in more depth, in a smaller group, and in a more relaxed session.
We are all drawn to people like ourselves: those who look like us, live like us and think like us. It’s comforting and it’s dangerous. True creativity derives from argument — but most people lack the confidence for a good debate. How will we ever progress if nobody is willing to change their minds?
Love life more war-zone than honeymoon? There may be a historical hack for that! Join Nichi Hodgson, dating consultant and author of The Curious History of Dating as she takes you right back to 1750 and examines how we've loved, lost and loved again from Jane Austen's time to Tinder. Are apps really making it harder to find that special someone? And what lessons from the past can help us romance better today?
To give you just that little bit more, more, more - we'll be running a Double Talk session in our lakeside bookshop a little while after Margaret’s talk. Double Talk gives you time to get your thoughts together post-talk, and to explore the speakers’ ideas in more depth, in a smaller group, and in a more relaxed session.
Do you know how much space affects you day to day? Why is it useful to society in general as well as in your daily life? Does this mean we should continue to spend money on space, especially on things like a spaceport in Cornwall or Scotland? Let Dr Adam Baker tell you a bit about Spaceports and why the UK might find one useful, why rockets and satellites are hard to do but are really useful, and just what the future for space travel holds and what it might mean for you.
So when leading theoretical physicist Prof David Tong wrote to us to ask if we would like to hear about Prof Stephen Hawking’s life, work and legacy at The Also Festival - we, of course, said yes. David has worked closely with Stephen at the University of Cambridge for many years, even, on occasion had cause to correct Stephen’s maths. For those of you who know David from previous Also Festivals, you'll know that this is an exclusive opportunity to really understand the work of Professor Hawking on a whole new level. For those of you who are at Also Festival for the first time - this is a session not to miss.
LSE anthropologist, Jason Hickle is on the main stage at 3.00 p.m. on Sunday. Jason is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Guardian columnist and author of The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions and his message is a fascinating reversal of what we think we know about global poverty. With knowledge and clear thinking, he'll explain possible to increase the quality of life for us all and, within a generation, we can reverse the inequality that is at the root of many of today’s conflicts. Don't miss the chance to find out how to be part of the solution.
Laughter has a crucial role to play in sustaining communication with our nearest and dearest. It is also UCL neuroscientist Professor Sophie Scott's area of exceptional research. Sophie gave the prestigious Royal Institutions lectures this year and is at ALSO to help us understand the effect of laughter on the brain.
We have debates, discussion and papers reviewed live in the bar each day. Grab your coffee and croissants and join Sky TV’s Nichi Hodgson and her guests each morning to review the day’s news and what’s on at ALSO. Also look out for the BBC’s Catrin Nye who will be debating how to find common ground in the UK as we try to define what we want in our Isle of Noises.
Living Under Indifferent Gods with writer and broadcaster, Natalie Haynes. Hosted by Salon London's Helen Bagnall.
Could it be magic? Don't miss the entire festival community gathering together at dusk at the lake stage on Saturday night at 9:30 pm, as our favourite illusionist Philip Escoffey, entertains and amazes. A phenomenon for over 20 years; including TV, sell-out runs at the Sydney Opera House and a world tour, playing to millions with the stage show ‘the Illusionists’ - and he is at Also Festival to involve everyone who wants to take part in a mass illusion.
Viv Groskop’s literary self-help memoir, The Anna Karenina Fix explores the essential Life Lessons from Russian Literature. This extraordinary book has been picked as A SPECTATOR Book of the Year, An OBSERVER Book of the Year and A TIMES Book of the Year, and because of all of this love and because it’s such an accessible way of approaching ‘the Russians’, we've made it our 2018 in festival non fiction Book Club choice.
Viv Groskop knows from personal experience that everything that has ever happened in life has already happened in Russian Literature. She’ll be at ALSO to explain how the lives and works of the great Russian writers can help us work out how to live - the subject of her literary self-help memoir, The Anna Karenina Fix.
Australian concert pianist Chris Lian Lloyd plays and explains how the avant-garde classical musicians at the beginning of the century influenced each other and how they imagined a future for music.
Flâneur and irrepressible commentator Rick Edwards, and Editor-at-Large of the New Scientist, Dr. Michael Brooks delve into the science behind popular culture. Looking at our favourite and most iconic films and explaining the science within.
For those of us who are wondering what type of country we really live in – author John Higgs will be taking us on a psychogeographic journey along one of Britain's oldest roads, from Dover to Anglesey, in search of the hidden history that makes us who we are today.
More and more academics are using entertaining ways to get ideas out to audiences. While over in the world of comedy - comics are writing cleverer and cleverer shows that explore the cutting edge of ideas and science. Academic, Sophie Scott, comic actor and writer, Robin Ince and broadcaster/classicist Natalie Haynes have been at the forefront of this trend from the beginning. Join them and friends to understand why and how.
To give you just that little bit more, more, more - we'll be running a Double Talk session in our lakeside bookshop a little while after Jamie’s talk. Double Talk gives you time to get your thoughts together post-talk, and to explore the speakers’ ideas in more depth, in a smaller group, and in a more relaxed session.
Dubbed “the youthquake”, young people are said to have turned out in great numbers during the 2017 General Elections. But did they actually? What caused it and what awaits this new politically-charged generation? WebRoots Democracy’s Areeq Chowdhury explains all and urges fellow millennials to engage and help bring about a kinder, gentler politics.
We are so pleased to have at ALSO the renowned psychologist, broadcaster and author, Philippa Perry (How to Be a Surrealist, How to Stay Sane) to explain how to survive your family, how we humans operate in groups and will be leading us on a guided meditation in the most beautiful setting.
Hy Brasil is a mythical island that appears only one day in every seven years, somewhere off the coast of Ireland. Composed of compelling wildlife sounds - humpback whales, orca pods, the haunting song of seals and the awe-inspiring shrieks of thousands of Manx shearwaters, Chris Watson's beautiful soundscape draws us deep into the strange and magical world of Hy Brasil.
Join Catrin Nye, the BBC's award-winning investigative reporter, documentary maker and host of the monthly national debate show The Hour on BBC One Wales, and a panel of speakers as we ask, are the metropolitan liberal elite totally clueless?
Award-winning historian and author of The Darkening Age, Catherine Nixey is at ALSO to tell the terrifying story of the growth of early Christianity. Find out exactly what happened last time we turned away from knowledge, fact and evidence for a simpler, more spiritual time. Yikes.
One to one sessions with renowned psychologist and Philippa Perry is at Also Festival. Got a question you really want to ask? This is a chance to have a chat with Philippa on your own about (more or less) anything as she is 'in residence' floating on our lake in the wonderful Capability Brown setting.
If you want understand the creative process of some of the UK's most successful songwriters, musician-turned-award winning author, Daniel Rachel will be at ALSO to discuss his exclusive and enlightening conversations with some of the UK’s greatest living musicians - the subject of his book Isle of Noises – Great British Songwriting.
Join sound artist Chris Watson as he creates a dangerous nocturnal soundscape of the Maasai Mara desert at night. There will be predators; lions, hyenas... We'll be introduced to an environment where no humans would ever dare to be or be safe to be - a highly carnivorous atmosphere.
To give you just that little bit more, more, more - we'll be running a Double Talk session in our lakeside bookshop a little while after Rick and Michael’s talk. Double Talk gives you time to get your thoughts together post-talk, and to explore the speakers’ ideas in more depth, in a smaller group, and in a more relaxed session.
As we begin to drink ‘less but better’ we wanted to take an intelligent look at the things we drink for pleasure. BBC Radio 4's The Kitchen Cabinet broadcaster and author of Chasing The Dram: Finding the Spirit of Whisky, Rachel McCormack will introduce us to the magical, fascinating, much-misunderstood world of whisky.
Sunday morning at The Also Festival grab yourselves a cup of coffee and join Sky Broadcaster and journalist, Nichi Hodgson and her festival friends will be bringing the broadsheets to life in our great fun, fast-paced morning session. Featuring guest speakers from the day's programming at the festival.
While sitting in a lecture about a series of Chuck Jones cartoons, Ben’s thoughts drift off in various directions. Pronoun Trouble combines a fact-adjacent lecture about three great films with a ton of other topics that sometimes come to mind. Moor’s previous show, 'Each of Us', was "A moving satire, rivaling the best of Douglas Adams. (Guardian)
How did we find ourselves in a "post-truth" world of "alternative facts"? And can we get out of it? Renowned philosopher, Julian Baggini will be at ALSO to explore the complex history of truth and falsehood, and to provide us with all we need to restore faith in the value and possibility of truth as a social enterprise.