Unboxed: Brexit festival renamed ‘irresponsible use of public money’

According to MPs, a nationwide celebration dubbed ‘Brexit Festival’ is an irresponsible use of £120m of public money and shrouded in embarrassment even as it begins.

The controversial Unboxed festival is a “recipe for failure” and a “great example” of a large-scale project with “ambiguous and ripe for misinterpretation” goals. report by the House Committee on Culture, Media and Sports.

The beginning

The origin of the event dates back to 2018, when the prime minister Theresa May promised a national event to “show off what makes our country great” when Britain leaves the EU. The plan was to emulate it in the 1951 British Festival and the Great Exhibition of 1851.

The proposed event was quickly nicknamed the “Brexit Festival” but has since been “strongly rebranded” to “Unboxed: Creativity in UK”, it said. Guardians. Event organizers have explicitly rejected the Brexit label, saying The Independentand emphasizes that it is in fact “a groundbreaking UK-wide celebration of creativity taking place in 2022”.

The project’s creative director, Martin Green, told The Guardian earlier this month that widespread skepticism about the event was based on “a myth” about the nature of the project. He added: “We had a lot of appetite and obviously people wanted to get out again.”


The free festival kicks off March 1 with a light show in the Scottish town of Paisley celebrating connections between humanity and the universe, reports Time – and runs until October 2.

It includes ten major projects at sites across the UK, including a “tour de moon”, a “vegetable oasis” in Birmingham and an art installation on an unused oil rig. used offshore Weston-super-Mare.

The website describes them as “inspirational new ideas, shaped across the fields of science, technology, engineering, art and math by brilliant minds working in unexpected collaborations.” .


Henry Mance says in FT Magazinebut “British innovators didn’t want to celebrate Brexit” and so it became “something much more exotic”.
With a budget of £120m, more than the £80m allocated for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, the festival – “like Brexit itself” – has been “approved before it is passed”. .

In yesterday’s report, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee said it was “an irresponsible use of public money with the Government’s admission that it does not know what it is for”. “.

Committee chairman Julian Knight added: “The Unboxed Festival acts as a prime illustration of an event whose goals have been vague from the start. The fact that it took three years to come up with a rather silly name, which would mean nothing to the few people who even knew of its existence, does not bode well for the opportunity to bring it back. a real lasting legacy. “ Unboxed: Brexit festival renamed ‘irresponsible use of public money’

Fry Electronics Team

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