Creative Coalition Virtual Festival | November 9-11


Full Line-Up Released

11:00 Thursday 22nd Oct

Steve McQueen added to outstanding line-up for three-day festival for the UK’s creative industries. 

McQueen will join over 200 leading creative practitioners, including Ruby Wax, Dan Gillespie Sells, George the Poet, Dr. Mya-Rose Craig, Jefferson Hack, Bruce Daisley, Liv Little, Konnie Huq, June Sarpong, Sophie Morgan and Tim Davie CBE, alongside speakers from Netflix, Lionsgate, Banijay UK, English National Ballet, Sky Arts, Tortoise Media, Channel 4 and more.   

Creative England and the Creative Industries Federation are delighted to confirm Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen as the fourth headliner for their inaugural joint event, Creative Coalition 2020.  Streaming live from venues across the country, this three-day online festival will feature six stages and virtual spaces.  McQueen will be joining a stellar line-up of some of the UK’s leading creators, including comedian, writer and performer Ruby Wax, spoken word artist George the Poet and lead singer of The Feeling, Dan Gillespie Sells, who also co-wrote the hit West End musical, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. The four will be providing a unique insight into their creative process, in discussion with best-loved writer and presenter, Konnie Huq.  

With more than 60 different events, ranging from world-class performances to inspiring discussions, practical workshops and real cross-sector networking events, facilitated by innovative virtual venue software, Hopin, Creative Coalition 2020 is a festival for everyone with a passion for creativity; for those working in the creative industries; those supporting those who do; those keen to hear from some of the creative sector’s leading figures; and those with an interest in how the creative industries can bounce back from Covid to be placed at the heart of our social and economic regeneration.  

Monday 9th NovemberReimagine 

The first day of the festival will kick off with an opening from Creative Industries Federation and Creative England CEO, Caroline Norbury MBE, who will be throwing the doors open to three days of inspirational forward thinking. She will then be joined on The Summit stage by broadcaster June Sarpong, gal-dem founder Liv Little and singer-songwriter Tawiah to reimagine the creative landscape; exploring how we can reset the narrative around the creative sector. Following a performance from Tawiah, founder of Dazed Media and creative industry czar Jefferson Hack will discuss how to start a movement alongside 18-year-old ornithologist and equal rights campaigner, Dr. Mya-Rose Craig aka Birdgirl.  Our lunchtime slot will feature a much-anticipated performance from critically acclaimed spoken-word artist, poet, rapper and social commentator, George the Poet. Bringing the first day together as host will be award-winning disability advocate and social entrepreneur, Sophie Morgan. 

The afternoon’s events will begin with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen, kicking off the first in our four-part ‘Pigeonholed’ interview series, in discussion with best loved writer and broadcaster, Konnie Huq. This will be followed by performances from groundbreaking cellist Abel Selaocoe and writer-actor Emma Dennis-Edwards, who will be performing a monologue from her award-winning play, Funeral Flowers. There will then be a lively debate around The Case for Creativity; exploring how we can ensure creativity is placed at the heart of everything we do. At 5pm, we will round off The Summit stage with the daily Sky Arts Hour, an interactive hour of workshops, masterclasses and talks with leading creative practitioners.  At 6pm, The Social District will open for an evening of speed networking, facilitated by innovative venue software Hopin, which allows attendees to be matched for 8-minute chats.  As the day comes to a close, there will be a chance to join Swamp Motel’s critically acclaimed immersive detective game, Plymouth Point, which will transport attendees into a world of conspiracy, cults, and corporate deceit. 

Tuesday 10th November: Redefine 

On day 2, we will delve into the detail to discuss the foundations for our future. We will be engaging speakers at the forefront of creative progress and innovation, asking what practical steps we need to take to move forward.  

Opening The Summit stage will be a State of the Nation address from BBC Director General, Tim Davie. Rosie Millard (Chair, Hull City of Culture) and Gerwyn Evans (Creative Wales,) will be joining others to discuss what’s next for the Culture Recovery Fund, while Matthew D’Ancona (Editor, Tortoise Media) will join Sarah Sands (Chair, Bright Blue think tank),  Alexandra Ampofo (Live Nation) and Scottish Ballet’s Steven Roth to discuss how we can keep thinking internationally, beyond Brexit. Meme Breakers or Rule Breakers? will be a lively debate between rightsholders and those at the vanguard of novel content creation. This will be followed by the second in our Pigeonholed interview series, which will see George the Poet return for an ‘in conversation’ lunchtime event with broadcaster, Konnie Huq. 

Kicking off the afternoon programme will be bestselling business author and podcast host Bruce Daisley, who will be exploring The Magic of Creative Teams, whilst Tamara Rojo (English National Ballet) will join theatre producer Nick Allott, Director of Sky Arts, Philip Edgar Jones and award-winning producer Tobi Kyeremateng to discuss whether access to culture should be free. Following the daily Sky Arts Hour, Konnie Huq will return for the third instalment of our Pigeonholed interview series, which will this time see her in discussion with lead singer of The Feeling, Dan Gillespie Sells Wrapping up day two will be cross-dimensional collaborators, Keiken. 

Throughout the day, The Factory stage will present an interactive space where audience members can share their voice with other creators to help further their projects, careers, companies and innovations Highlights from day 2 include workshops and discussions, covering themes including sustainability, the challenges of generating investment, and how to redefine your freelance career when the world is being turned upside down.  

Wednesday 11th November: Reignite 

Our final day is all about fuelling our creative passion. With a schedule packed full of inspirational speakers, we will be discussing how to empower new talent and turn creative dreams into reality. 

Highlights from the day include The Leading Women, a discussion with female leaders including Nicola Pearcey (Lionsgate), Lucinda Hicks (Banijay UK), Kate O’Donnell (TransCreative) and Dawn Butler MPDecolonising Creative Industries will see Jude Kelly CBE (WOW Festival) discussing how we can break down outdated institutional narratives alongside critic and writer Zarina Muhammad, radio presenter Swarzy and Channel 4’s Babita Bahal. In collaboration with the Royal Society we are excited to host a conversation around how creativity is integral to innovation, featuring Imran Khan (Wellcome Trust), Molly Case (NHS nurse and spoken word artist) and Toby Heys (School of Digital Arts, MMU) whilst TV Critic Boyd Hilton (Heat magazine) will interview Netflix’s Anne Mensah around the culture of content creation. Our final instalment Pigeonholed interview will see comedian and writer Ruby Wax in discussion with Konnie Huq.  Bringing The Summit to a melodic close is unique, deep listening experience, Pitchblack Playback. So dim the lights, close your eyes, and get fully immersed 

Throughout the day, there will be discussions on key themes such as creative education, mental health and immersive technology over at The Factory stage, along with a reverse mentoring session, in which young creative practitioners age 18-24 talk about what they want the future of the creative industries to look like.