The Milky Way

The Big Bang Collective

About the Collective

The Big Bang Collective is a group of people who work to bring physics and particularly particle physics to music and cultural festivals. We aim to raise awareness of science amongst the general public, promote engagement and a more positive view of science. The target audience is broad but is characterised by those not pro-actively seeking out science events but intellectually curious. In July 2019 alone, we had a meaningful engagement with 20,000 people across Europe.

The core team is involved in all events. Like an arts collective, people come in and out of the collective for specific events. We seek local groups to work within the events and hope that they can carry on the activities with decreasing support from the core team as time goes one.

We welcome approaches from new events and partners.

The Big Bang Collective logo

The Core Team

Chris Thomas

Chris is the overall logistics and stage manager for our events and takes a particular charge of workshop activities. He is also invaluable in construction for activities.

Key Events

Physics at the WOMAD Festival


WOMAD (World of Music, Art and Dance) has been the catalyst for the Big Bang Collective.

Starting with a Physics Pavilion in 2016, we have brought physics to the main WOMAD Festival in Wiltshire, UK. The activity has grown and has now become the World of Physics, alongside Worlds of Music, Words, Food, Children, etc., and an integral part of the festival. It includes the Pavilion, which is a space for talks, panels and arts events; the Lab, a workshop space; the Discovery Zone, which is an open gazebo for passer-by interactions; a portable planetarium; and the Accelerator in the Sky, a light installation inspired by particle accelerators.

The audience ranges from very young to the very old, with a drop in numbers between mid-teens and approximately 30. We have had meaningful engagement (upwards of 15 minutes) rising from 4500 to 8000 people a year. WOMAD itself has between 30,000 and 40,000 people per year attending.

The Institute of Physics South West Region has given outstanding support to these events, as have Devoxx4Kids.

Physics at the Roskilde Festival


With the Neils Bohr Institute, we helped establish the Science Pavilion at the Roskilde Festival Flokkr area. This involves a mix of talks, workshops and the Accelerator in the Sky.

Physics at the Pohoda Festival


The Pohoda Festival in Slovakia a festival of art, science, and services. With our partners from Comenius University, Bratislava, we brought many activities as Magical Science to the Sporka Science and magic stage.

Physics at the Colours of Ostrava Festival

Colours of Ostrava

The Melting Pot is a festival of ideas that forms part of the Colours of Ostrava Festival in the Czech Republic. With our colleagues from Charles University, Prague, we brought the Big Bang Stage to the Melting Pot and were pleased to be supported by our friends from Badminton Girls School Outreach team.

Physics at the Waterfire Festival


In 2018, we helped our colleagues from Brown University to bring the Big Bang Science Fair to Waterfire in Rhode Island, USA. Each year, three rivers in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, are lit by a series of blazing bonfires. The fiery installation is the centrepiece for an annual arts festival known as WaterFire Providence. The Big Bang Science Fair, an event filled with presentations, workshops and hands-on activities covering a wide range of scientific disciplines.