The Festival of the Mind is a collaboration between the academic expertise of The University of Sheffield and the creative and cultural talent of Sheffield.

The programme features music, art, lectures, heritage, local history, international stories, performance and dance, and all events are open to the public and free of charge.

The project

For the inaugural event in September 2012 I developed the website to promote the festival and the individual events it comprises of.

With the event being the first of its kind, it was uncertain how successful the project would be. Whilst a sizeable budget was allocated for the events, we were conscious of keeping the development and maintenance of the website low.

Human developed the festival's branding as well as designs for the website which I translated into a fully-responsive, working Wordpress website. Wordpress was chosen because of the website editor's familiarity with the application, and suitability for the project. It being free software also helped.

To create an atmosphere around the festival, we integrated a realtime Twitter feed into the homepage of the website. Whilst this was a risky move, as at the time it was difficult to filter words from feeds, there was a strong level of awareness and engagement through Twitter.

Results

Accurate data wasn't recorded for the first Festival of the Mind, but attendance for the second festival attracted an audience of 27,000 as well as national and international media coverage. Since then it has grown stronger securing funding from the Arts Council England and Royal Society.

Visit the website