About the festival

The Festival of Ideas is a programme of free, inclusive and accessible public events on a wide range of themes in and around Chester, co-created by the University of Chester and external stakeholders and city partners.

These events may include; speakers, discussion panels, theatre, pop-up exhibitions, interactive events, music, readings, guided walks and many more!

The Festival is founded on the University of Chester’s mission to create community and serve society through the transformative power of education, research and our Citizen Student Strategy.

It is based on our foundational values to recognise the pursuit of truth and freedom of enquiry, to find joy in discovery, to take pleasure in invention, and to celebrate human creativity. We seek to set out a programme of diverse, inclusive and accessible public events, to make an impact on the lives of communities, partners, students and staff that we work with.

The Festival aligns with the Partnership Agreement signed by the University and Cheshire West and Chester Council, which highlights our potential to deliver the ‘One City Plan’.

The Festival will provide a platform for residents to engage in ideas and discussions about our city’s history and it’s future. The events programme will seek to inspire residents to think about civic participation and it will encourage collaboration between private enterprise, public services, education providers and the community, voluntary and faith sectors in Chester, so that we can work together to ensure a healthier, greener and fairer future for all of Chester’s people.

Festival Themes

Sustainable Communities

Arts, Culture and Creativity

Health and Wellbeing

Investigating History

Scientific Futures

Showcasing Business and Entrepreneurship

Event Types and Event Ideas

We welcome public events of all types and the following might help inspire your event for the festival!

Fun for Families





Word of Mouth

Thought Leadership

Exploring Other Chester Festivals

Our Partners