FuturePlay Festival returns to Edinburgh in August

man wearing virtual reality headset at futurplay festival in edinburgh

FuturePlay Festival (formerly the Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival) returns to the city in August with programme packed with talks, virtual reality, an arcade party and much more.

Thanks to increased support from Assembly Festival and new funding from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund, the FuturePlay Festival (formerly the Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival) is returning in 2017 with a programme of talks and activities exploring cutting-edge creative content and new ideas at the intersection of art and technology.

FuturePlay runs from 3 – 26 August and includes: interactive games and tech installations, a virtual reality studio (a review of which was featured on FutureScot last year), an immersive art gallery, a late-night arcade party, a daily talks programme, and an industry-focused conference ‘FuturePlay Exchange’ on Mon 21 Aug at the University of Edinburgh.

Theatre and technology

Most of the interactives will take place on George Street inside two geodesic domes and a shipping container, however there are also a number of theatre shows which feature the innovative use of technology which come under the umbrella of the Festival.

These include: Wondr, about social media phenomenon @WondrWomanUK who is trying to live a normal life, Pixel Dust featuring a woman struggling to find her identity amid the digital jungle, Shame which explores the online vilification of female sexuality, Transmission which (alongside a companion podcast), wonders whether we really do want to know if life exists on other planets; and Jane Doe an interactive play from New Zealand which features audiences reading from trial transcripts and responding using text messaging.

“Arts and popular culture meet the digital age”

The Festival is produced by Riverside Studios, a multi-arts performance venue and production facility in London reopening in 2018.

virtual reality studio at futureplay festival

William Burdett-Coutts Director of Riverside Studios and Assembly Festival said: “We are delighted to be able to present Riverside Studios’ FuturePlay as part of Assembly’s Festival programme this year.”

“The technology and content showcased, and the conversations facilitated during this year’s Festival, relate closely to Riverside Studios’ ambitions to become a digital hub where national arts, tech and crossover organisations will come together and generate exciting new work as well as finding new ways of making the arts accessible.”

Morgan Petrie, Creative Industries Manager at Creative Scotland said: “We’re pleased to be able to support FuturePlay this year as an opportunity for audiences to engage in experiences at the intersection of art and technology.”

“We recognise that Riverside Studios and Assembly Festival took a bold step inaugurating a digitally orientated event last year and have developed this year’s festival with a commitment to make creative technology more accessible as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.”

“We also welcome the opportunity for artists in Scotland to show their work in a new environment and participate in an exploration of current practice.”


FuturePlay runs from 3-26 August 2017. For more information visit http://futureplayfest.com