Festival of Brexit rebrands as Unboxed and details 2022 event

The £120m project will feature such attractions as a sculpture trail of the solar system and a decommissioned offshore platform from the North Sea

The UK’s much-maligned Festival of Brexit has rebranded as Unboxed as it reveals details of its 2022 event.

The event, which was first touted under Theresa May’s government, is described as a showcase for “the UK’s unique strengths in creativity and innovation” after leaving the European Union – with comparisons being made to the 1951 Festival of Britain.

While critics have consistently questioned the estimated £120m cost of the festival, planning took a step forward last year when organisers called for “daring, new and popular” ideas that will unite the nation.

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Among the attractions at Unboxed, which will take place in March next year, include a sculpture trail of the solar system in Northern Ireland, an immersive 3D experience in south London, a decommissioned offshore platform from the North Sea in Weston-super-Mare and more.

The event’s Chief Creative Director Martin Green said: “Unboxed represents an unprecedented and timely opportunity for people to come together across the UK and beyond and take part in awe-inspiring projects that speak to who we are and explore the ideas that will define our futures.”

Students, Brexit
Students protesting Brexit in 2019 (Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Earlier this year the first attraction for the festival was revealed, promising a “celebration of the British weather”.

Organisers also claimed that the event is no longer about marking Brexit, with former Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden instead promising “ten showstopper projects that will wow audiences in towns and cities right across the country, and show off the UK and its creative genius to the world”.

This month, figures from the music industry spoke to NME about how new visa rules in Spain mean that many UK artists can no longer afford to play there, as anger and frustration at the post-Brexit touring situation continues.

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There have now been nine months of very loud criticism from across the music industry, after the government jeopardised the future of touring for UK artists when the Brexit deal secured with the EU failed to negotiate visa-free travel and Europe-wide work permits for musicians and crew.

This summer also saw the launch of the #LetTheMusicMove campaign, with the likes of Wolf AliceIDLESPoppy Ajudha and Radiohead among the 200 artists calling upon the UK government to urgently take action to resolve the ‘No Deal’ that has landed upon British music.

Figures from the UK’s live music industry also warned that a “massive” amount of jobs and taxable income will be lost to the EU under the current Brexit deal, due to it making touring “nigh on impossible” for road crew.

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