Big Tent Festival Programme Unveiled

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A packed programme – including political debates, arts, a Speaker’s Corner, Community Fayre and a Dragon’s Den-style pitching competition – has been unveiled for the Big Tent Ideas Festival to take place on Saturday 11 June in Queen Square, Bristol.

Participants include Government ministers, members of the shadow cabinet and three former Cabinet members, as well the Head of the UN Refugee Programme in the UK, Twitter’s former most senior executive in Europe and the Chair of the No Place Left Behind Commission.

Ticketholders (view the whole programme and get tickets at will have the opportunity to challenge the leading politicians – including the Mayor of Bristol, local councillors and Bristol’s MPs – and shape the discussion.  In a constructive and non-partisan environment, more akin to a music festival than a political conference, you will be able to:

  • Tell the Science, Research and Innovation Minister, George Freeman MP, what businesses really need to thrive;
  • Ask Shadow Leader of the Commons, Thangam Debbonaire MP, how policy-making can be made more inclusive;
  • Talk about Ukraine with Lib Dem Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, Layla Moran MP, and Chief Executive UNHCR (UK), Emma Cherniavsky.
  • Hear local businesses pitch for real investment from Big Tent’s ‘angels’
  • Enjoy performances from some of Bristol’s best artists

These are amongst the many opportunities on the Big Tent Ideas Festival Programme, published today.

Sessions are themed around four key areas: net zero, achieving equality; better public services; and new media.

Other highlights include:

  • How can we deliver on the promises made at COP26? with Sir Ed Davey MP, Leader, Lib-Dems, Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader, Green Party and Cllr Asier Abaunza, Head of regeneration for the City of Bilbao, among the panel.
  • Where next for new media? including Bruce Daisley, former head of Twitter (Europe) and Giles Derrington, Public Policy Manager, TikTok.
  • Whose voices are and should be heard in the battle for equality and diversity? with Shadow Secretary of State for Equalities, Anneliese Dodds MP
  • Discussing Cancel Culture with Mayor Marvin Rees and journalist David Goodhart
  • How do we engage citizens in climate action? with a panel including Darren Jones MP, Chair of BEIS committee
  • Food poverty and malnutrition with speakers including Kerry McCarthy MP, former Shadow Minister, DEFRA and Zander Woollcombe from the Eleanor Crook Foundation.
  • Where have all the workers gone? with Stephen Kinnock MP, Shadow Minister for Immigration, Fuad Mahamed, Chief Executive ACH and Sunder Katwala, Chief Executive, British Future

“We are thrilled with the level of our speakers and the range of topics we will be covering this year,” said Ben Rich, CEO of Radix Big Tent.

“You can go from a discussion on how we could solve the housing crisis to whether climate change can be fixed by new technology or how the education system should be transformed. There really is something for everyone – and I urge all to check out the programme and start planning their day now!”

The programme can be found here  at

Tickets for the festival are available here and are priced at £15 (£10 conc, U18 free); 2 for 1 tickets available.

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