On 20 July 1969, the Apollo 11 spacecraft made history by becoming the first crewed mission to land on the Moon. To honour this giant leap for mankind, a whole host of amazing events will be happening around England. See below for our pick of the celestial offerings:
Get your hands on a piece of the moon at Jodrell Bank
Visit the giant telescope at Jodrell Bank. There’s plenty to entertain budding astronauts, large and small, from walking tours beneath the Lovell Telescope, picnics, live science shows and hands-on exploration of the Solar System, no wonder UNESCO is considering listing Jodrell Bank as a World Heritage Site, a decision due to be announced in July. Their exhibition Moon Rock and Meteorites (19 July-30 August) includes pieces of the Moon brought back to Earth by the Apollo astronauts. You can party like it’s 1969 at the bluedot festival (18 to 21 July) which will see a stellar line-up from the worlds of music, science and cosmic culture gather on the plain beneath the great white dish of the Lovell Telescope including Kraftwerk, Hot Chip and the Radio Science Orchestra. Astronaut Helen Sharman and theoretical physicist Prof Jim Al-Khalili will give talks and meanwhile you can also enjoy stargazing, science shows, experiments, and galactic games. Day tickets are available from £27.50. As well as a bonanza of events and attractions to mark 50 years since man first walked on the moon, the 100th birthday of the Forestry Commission will also be celebrated in Cheshire, in the home of Jodrell Bank and Delamere Forest. Find out more about events by visiting the campaign page: Cheshire: Where Science Meets Nature
Yoga under the moon at the Natural History Museum, London
Museum of the Moon is a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram which you can visit for free until 1 January 2020. Since 2016 the Moon has been circling the globe, lighting up spaces from Bilbao to Beijing including abbeys and swimming pools. This six-metre model features meticulously detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface, ambient moonlight and an evolving soundscape. During its residency at the NHM, there will be an exciting programme of events for space enthusiasts of all ages including family yoga classes under the moon (£14 per person, 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 August) cheese and wine evenings (£43.88-£48.75, various dates) as well as concerts and film screenings. For more information visit: http://nhm.ac.uk/moon
Space sleep-over at the National Space Centre, Leicester
20th July, and various dates in the year
The National Space centre has a wealth of events and exhibitions chiming with the Anniversary of the Moon Landings including an Apollo 11 Space Lates and Sleep-over package (20 July, £40 adults, £30 children or £15 for Lates event) where you can enjoy an evening of guest speakers, planetarium shows, crafts and stargazing with astronomers from Leicester Astronomical Society, then an optional sleepover in the galleries including exclusive access to the Centre after hours and special lunar mission workshops. Celebrations will also include Pink Floyd performing in the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium for their Darkside of the Moon (11-12 July). The Centre will host One Giant Leap (12 July to September) an immersive celebration of the 50th anniversary, including a brand new show in the site’s planetarium, the UK’s largest; drop in sessions where you can make your own “Mission Patch”, just like the astronauts wore on their suits and much more. For more information on events throughout the year visit their website.
Summer in Southside, Birmingham
The streets of Southside around Birmingham’s Hippodrome theatre, the Bullring Grand Central and Rotunda Square will all be part of an intergalactic take-over as they play host to a whole weekend of free performances, installations and extra-terrestrial antics from a list of ‘out of this world’ acts. Pop in to the Hippodrome Foyers 12-4pm on Sunday 14 July and make your own alien accessories; head to a silent disco and enjoy some amazing street dancing and installations. This FREE family festival goes intergalactic and explores the spectacle and wonders of outer space.
Celebrate Moon Festival in London
Various dates (19-26 July)
Concerts, quizzes, talks and art exhibitions – just some of the events happening around the capital to celebrate people’s relationship with the Moon across cultures, time and disciplines. Open your mind by going to an evening of talks at Greenwich University, which will include speakers like Hand Maid’s Tale writer, Margaret Atwood (£40, 20th July). Head out on a Moonlight Run, feast at a night food market or go to a street party. Take a look at the events and buy tickets online from the website below.
Head to Apollo 50, Cornwall
Apollo 50 is a new one-day science, music and arts festival, at Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall, designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic moon landing. Headline acts include dance legends Orbital and art-rock band Public Service Broadcasting who’re bringing their full audio-visual show to the Goonhilly satellite dishes. Plus there will be performances from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, who created the soundtrack for Doctor Who and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, amongst others. There is a full creative programme of talks, screenings and workshops for all ages from experts, authors and scientists. Weekend tickets are available from £59. Camping is available (off site) or you stay in a Shire Hut (sleeping either 2 or 4).
Exhibitions and Installations
Visit The Moon Exhibition, National Maritime Museum
19 July – 5 January 2020
Featuring over 180 objects from national and international museums and private collections, the National Maritime Museum exhibition, The Moon, is the UK’s biggest exhibition dedicated to Earth’s nearest celestial neighbour. Exploring the cultural and scientific story of our relationship with the Moon over time and across civilisations through artefacts, artworks and interactive moments, some highlights include the “Snoopy Cap” Communications Carrier, worn by astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and the Hasselblad camera equipment that captured some of the most recognisable and iconic images of the 20th century. Tickets cost £10.00 for adults; £6.50 for children and concessions are £6.65.
In the Steps of Apollo 11 at We the Curious, Bristol
20 July- 30 Aug
Head to the UK’s first 3D planetarium, We The Curious, to see their new music show In the Steps of Apollo 11 which explores the legacy of the lunar landing in five musical journeys, each featuring specially commissioned contemporary classical works by leading composers. The premiere show on 20th July will be preceded by a talk from Debbie Ireland, Curator of the Royal Photographic Society exhibition Space Steps:The Moon and Beyond, which explores how photographs taken on the Moon surface in 1969 have become the most published images in the world.
The Story of Apollo 11, Royal Photographic Society
The Royal Photographic Society will also be holding a set of talks on 20 July including The Story of Apollo 11 (£2.50 for non-members) which explores what the astronauts saw as they experienced the Moon. Events will include an evening talk by Keith M. Wright, fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, who was involved with Apollo missions: Keith Wright Apollo Science, a personal retrospective £4.00 for non-members.
Experience The Dorset Moon, locations in Dorset
28 June –14 July
If you can’t get to London, luckily there are several moons as part of Luke Jerram’s installation Museum of the Moon and they will appear in various locations throughout the country including three in Dorset: Central Gardens in Bournemouth (28-30 June); Sherborne Abbey (5-7 July); and Nothe Fort in Weymouth (12-14 July). To mark the occasion, each of these Dorset venues will host range of art installations which will be presented ‘Under the Moon’ and will celebrate all things lunar, from the first moon landings to the moon’s effect on the landscape, wildlife, and our health and well-being. Admissions are free. To see other locations where you can view Museum of the Moon see below:
Watch a movie on the Moon, Lichfield Cathedral in Staffordshire
Selected dates in August 2019
How about watching a movie while sitting on the Moon in the UK’s only medieval three-spired Cathedral. Come August, Lichfield Cathedral will host a film festival where you can watch the likes of First Man, Back to the Future and Apollo 13 – all, courtesy of its resident art installation, whilst sitting on the moon. Walk on the Moon is an installation artwork created by the Cathedral’s Artist in Residence, Peter Walker, which include a map of the moon on Lichfield Cathedral’s magnificent tiled floor. The installation is part of ‘The Great Exhibition 2019; Space, God the Universe and Everything’, which is on selected evenings in August and will use light and sound projections inspired by space and the planets. The Great Exhibition has advance tickets priced at £5 adults, £4 children. Advance tickets for film festival screenings are £5, or £7.50 on the door (subject to availability)
Watch the silver screen under the stars, Cheshire
Enjoy the silver screen by the light of the silvery moon at events in Cheshire. Chester’s Moonlight Flicks (5 July to 26 Aug), is a popular summertime open-air cinema, set amid the crumbling columns, bathhouse mosaics and cypress trees in the Roman Gardens. Films on show will include the likes of Stanley Kubrick’s Oscar-winning classic 2001: A Space Odyssey in this lunar-tastic year. Meanwhile, at nearby Tatton Park, you can watch the likes of A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody at their Luna Cinema which runs from 23 - 25 August. This stunning estate boasts over 1000 acres, and comprises of a mansion, medieval old hall, lavish gardens, a farm and even a deer park. Gourmet food and delicious beverages will also be on offer at the Luna bar.
Keep your eyes on the stars
The UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC) is working in partnership with The UK Space Agency to bring together and share the huge range of Moon events, festivals, activities and resources created as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing. To keep an eye out on events, head to their website.
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Louise Ferrall / Eve Commander / Evelina Andrews
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