Past festivals

Being Human past programmes

Here is a look back at some of the amazing events that have made up previous Being Human programmes.


Being Human festival 2017

Being Human 2017 was based on the theme ‘lost and found’ and included over 300 fantastic events across the UK. Highlights included an event on the revival of British wrestling (complete with wrestling matches) by De Montfort University and an exploration of black British music heritage by the University of Westminster. In 2017 Being Human also went international with a series of preview events taking place in Melbourne, Singapore and Rome, as well as a special Paris event during the festival itself.

Festival programme

Festival film


Being Human festival 2016

For Being Human 2016, 71 universities organised over 250 events which responded to the festival theme ‘hope and fear’. These events took place across 45 cities and towns and were run in partnership with 221 cultural and community groups. There were also Being Human hubs in London, Dundee, Swansea, Leeds, Liverpool, Nottingham and Exeter. Hub activities included a ‘Martian autopsy’ at Dundee and an exploration of ‘dreams, demons and discovery’ at Swansea.

Festival programme


Being Human festival 2015

There were over 250 free events during the 11 days of Being Human 2015. Highlights included University of Nottingham’s comedy event exploring the life of modern day chickens, which was reported by the New York Times, and a zombie walk to remember Mary Shelley led by the the University of Dundee, which was reported by The Times with the headline ‘Academics walk with zombies to prove the worth of humanities‘.

Festival programme

Festival film


Being Human festival 2014

2014 was the first national festival of the humanities and included over 160 events. Activities took place all around the country from the Orkney Islands to Truro, and Belfast to East Anglia. Highlights included a project called ‘Rethinking the senses’ that held taste experiments at the Science Museum, London, and a Victorian lantern slide performance with musical accompaniment at the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Oxford.

Festival film