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    Future Fest 2024 logo

    You’re invited to
    Future Fest…

    Saturday, 22 June 2024

    12 noon to 5pm

    Our FREE Harper Adams Future Fest is all about community. Whether local, national or global, we want to build connections through fun and learning that create a more sustainable future!

    Our festival will celebrate the incredible talent and produce we have in Shropshire, as well as feature some of the brightest minds fighting for a better planet. With a live demonstration kitchen, Pollution Pods, street food, music, live entertainment stages and our incredible Future ED Zone, you don’t want to miss out on your glimpse into the future.

    Keep scrolling to discover what awaits you at Future Fest…

    Join us at Future Fest  ❯

    View our Map & Programme  ❯

    What can you expect?

    Future Farm & LEAF Open Farm 

    As part of FF24, and in collaboration with LEAF's Open Farm Sunday, we're excited to welcome visitors to our renowned Future Farm.

    With a fascinating mix of animals, machinery, and cutting-edge technology, there's plenty to explore. Join us for a self-guided tour complete with treasure hunt for our younger festivalgoers, Play Paddock with interactive activities, grow-your-own-produce, machinery exhibits, talks, animal demonstrations and more.

    We extend our sincere thanks to LEAF for graciously inviting us to join their Open Farm Sunday event, albeit on a slightly modified date.

    Pollution Pods

    Uncover the startling future of the planet as you walk through Michael Pinsky’s Pollution Pods.

    These Pods offer an exhilarating journey through some of our world's most fascinating yet polluted cities. Picture yourself stepping into five interconnected domes, each a gateway to a different corner of the globe - from the quiet coasts of Norway to the bustling streets of São Paulo. Feel the atmosphere, smell the scents, and discover what it’s like to experience some of the most polluted places on Earth.

    Future Fest Stage & Harper Village

    Get set to immerse yourself in the heart of FF24! Introducing our main Future Fest Stage, a dynamic space full of incredible acts and speakers ready to inform, inspire and fascinate. You can also explore our Harper Village, which will be home to a range of treats and street food – some with a sustainable twist!

    There are also additional stages scattered around FF24: The Future Food Stage, Make the Difference Stage as well as our FutureED Zone – all with unique themes, activities and entertainment.

    Future ED Zone

    Welcome to the Future ED Zone, one of our FF24 Stages, tailored for our younger festival-goers. Dive into hands-on activities, immersive adventures, and captivating stories. Here you can also collect your Future Fest passport – with plenty of stamps to collect throughout Future Fest, will you manage to get them all? 

    Farmers Market  

    Welcome to the Farmers Market at Future Fest, a hub of local flavours and artisanal delights.

    Stroll through rows of vibrant stalls, each offering fresh produce straight from the farm, handmade crafts, and mouth-watering treats.

    Future Food Stage

    Presented in association with Harper Adams University and University College Birmingham, the Future Food Stage will explore topical food issues in an accessible, engaging and entertaining way.  Local chefs will take to our pop-up kitchen to create some of their favourite meals, whilst a university expert will discuss relevant themes in food supply and consumption.  Emulating the style of weekend television food shows, regular food festival presenter Zoe Dickens will be on stage to make sure that our chefs keep to time and that our most pressing food and drink issues are discussed.  The afternoon’s sessions will include eating well from food bank ingredients, whether convenience food can be healthy food, a fresh look at English wines, and why happy cows make happy humans. Each event will run for 30 minutes. 

    12:30 – 13:00

    Fine Dining from Food Waste: Making a tasty family meal from food bank ingredients. With Lewis Walker from UCB and local food waste social entrepreneur Daisy Lea Beven.


    Convenient Eating: Choosing prepared meals doesn’t mean that we compromise on nutrition. A chef from leading chilled food supplier Oscar Mayer will discuss how convenience food can be part of a healthy diet. 


    The Rise in Quality and Popularity of English Wines: Local winemaker Clive Vickers from Halfpenny Green Vineyard and Harper’s Frank Vriesekoop reflect on the impact of global warming on the local climate, enabling farmers in the Midlands to introduce us to a new generation of award-winning English wines.


    Happy Cows Make Happy Humans: Research shows that the physical and mental well-being of farm animals determines the quality and taste of the food we eat. With Dr Ed Harris from Harper Adams University.

    Make The Difference Stage

    Our world is changing before our eyes, presenting challenges and opportunities in abundance.  Join us on our Difference stage as speakers from across the university and beyond discuss ethical issues, explore possible solutions and share their personal stories. 

    The rise in the use of AI, the increasingly global world in which we live, overcoming difference ourselves and preparing ourselves for future challenges will all feature across five fascinating sessions, all involving audience participation. 

    11:15 – 12:00

    Leave no Talent off the Field: A panel of speakers from all walks of life discuss their personal journeys, how their experiences have shaped their work today - and what they see as significant issues for tomorrow.   

    12:15 – 13:00

    Field of Dreams or Nightmares? Exploring agri-tech futures: In this talk, Elizabeth Creak Chair in Sustainable Agri-Food Systems Professor David Rose will ask you to consider the role of everyday technology in our own lives. 

     How does it affect us and what are the opportunities it offers - and the risks it affords? We will apply this critical lens to interrogate the opportunities and risks of technology to agriculture, explore the fourth agricultural technology revolution and consider whether it will create fields of dreams - or nightmares. David will incorporate AI and a poll into his talk! 

    13:15 – 14:00

    Antibiotics Versus Bacteria - Will the Bugs win the Battle?:  It wasn’t many years after penicillin began being widely used in the 1940s to fight infections that resistance to the antibiotic was discovered in some patients. Resistance to antimicrobials is now recognised as a global health challenge, and this talk will consider what is being done to preserve antimicrobial efficacy and tackle this serious problem, focusing particularly on the agricultural sector.  Navigating you through this critical topic is Professor Philip Robinson, Deputy Head of the Harper and Keele Vet School and Professor of Public Health.  

    14:15 – 15:00

    Why Squirrels didn't Invent the Mobile Phone?: Dr John Reade explores why didn't squirrels invent mobile phones and  how getting food has changed for humans. He'll discuss agricultural revolutions, resistance and why we must all be brave to learn! 

    15:15 – 16:00

    A Peaty Panacea – is the road to ruin paved with good intentions?: In this fascinating talk, Reader in Soil Ecology Dr Simon Jeffery will share our groundbreaking research into farming peat. Lowland peat is some of our most productive soil, but can come with a large carbon cost when farmed.  Can we farm in a more environmentally way through paludiculture – the practice of farming on wet peat - or might that make the issue worse?  A major new research project at Harper Adams is aiming to find out. 

    Commonly asked questions

    General Festival FAQs

    Is there an entry fee for Future Fest? If so, how much is it?

    Admission to Future Fest is free of charge! However, you may need to cover the cost of parking – if you decide not to use the shuttle bus - as well as any food and drinks you enjoy during the event.

    Do I need a ticket to get in?

    Future Fest is open to the public and is not a ticketed event. Although we encourage everyone to pre-register so we can get in touch with important updates and announcements, it isn't essential and you are more than welcome to attend on June 22nd without signing up. 

    Can I bring my dog to Future Fest?

    While our campus is very animal-friendly, only assistance dogs are allowed at Future Fest due to our working farm with young calves and lambs.

    Do I need to bring anything to visit the farm?

    Our farm is open for Future Fest, and we would love for you to look around. We suggest wearing comfy, waterproof shoes (for biohazard dipping) that can handle a bit of mud. Please remember not to touch the animals and to wash your hands as soon as you enter and exit the farm.

    Is the festival site accessible for people with disabilities?

    We're excited to welcome everyone to our site, and most areas are easily accessible by wheelchair or mobility scooter. However, due to the uneven ground and plastic matting, the Pollution Pod exhibit isn't wheelchair-friendly. Our incredible 'crew' working near the Pollution Pods would be delighted to give a talk to those who can't access the pods to give a flavour of the exhibit. Additionally, we offer free parking for those with a blue badge.

    Is there a schedule of performances or activities?

    Most of our activities are open for drop-in visits, including the Future Farm, Pollution Pods, Music, and the Future ED zone. At the Future Food Stage and The Difference Stage, we've scheduled specific start and finish times for talks and demonstrations. You can easily find this information on the back of your map.

    Who can I contact for more information?

    If you have any extra questions that we haven’t quite answered here, please email

    Is there a social media page for updates and announcements?

    Yes! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.


    Are there restrooms available on site?

    Yes, there are plenty of restrooms available on-site, including some with disabled access and baby-changing facilities. You'll find most of the toilets in the main University buildings and in key areas of the festival grounds. Don't worry if you can't locate them on the map – just ask our friendly crew on the day, and they'll be more than happy to help you find the closest one.

    Are there baby-changing facilities and a space for breastfeeding?

    Yes, many of our toilets have baby-changing facilities, and you can find them marked on the map. If you need a quiet space for breastfeeding during the festival, you're welcome to use our Faccenda Support Centre. If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our crew members on the day.

    Will there be a quiet space during the festival?

    We'll have a peaceful area away from the festival for anyone who needs some respite from all the 'Future Festivities'. You can also visit our Peace Garden by the pond to unwind and enjoy watching the ducks.

    Is there a lost and found station?

    Yes, our lost and found will be in our Facenda Support Centre. For anyone bringing small children, we kindly encourage you to visit our support centre first to pick up a child’s wristband. This will help us quickly identify and assist anyone who may get separated from their group.

    Food and Drink

    Will there be food and drinks available?

    You'll find plenty of food and drinks at Future Fest from our amazing street food and farmers' market vendors. We've got options for various dietary needs, and allergens will be clearly labelled for your safety. While we'd prefer if you didn't bring your own food and drinks, if you have specific dietary requirements, feel free to bring something along. Please remember that bringing your own alcohol to Future Fest is not allowed.

    Do the vendors take cash and card?

    Yes, our vendors in the Farmers Market and Harper Village accept cash and card! Just keep in mind that not all vendors accept both forms of payment, so be sure to check before making a purchase.

    Parking and Transport

    Where can I park?

    Pre-paid parking is now closed, "On the Day Parking" is now available online and at the door for £10 per car. If you have a blue badge, disabled parking on campus is free. Parking opens at 11:30 am. 

    Alternatively, we offer free shuttle buses running regularly throughout the day from Newport Bus Interchange and Telford Central Railway Station. You can find the bus schedule attached.

    Find out how to get to us

    Never visited campus before? Visit our Travel Information page to find out how to get to us.

    How to get to Harper Adams  ❯


    Future Fest


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