£13.50 – £45

The Big Tent Ideas Festival 2019

Event Information

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Mudchute Park and Farm

Pier Street


E14 3HP

United Kingdom

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Refund Policy

Refund Policy

No Refunds

Event description


The Big Tent Ideas Festival is a new way of doing politics: bringing together people from all backgrounds and political affiliations, for a day of political and cultural debate.

at the iconic Mudchute Park & Farm in Tower Hamlets, in the shadow of Canary Wharf, the day will look at some of society's most serious challenges and how we can tackle them.

At a time when disillusionment with traditional party politics has never been so low, the Big Tent Ideas Festival is a breath of fresh air. Three cheers for the Big Tent” - Stephen Fry

The 2019 Festival has partnered up with a long list of incredible organisations including: the WWF, the Jo Cox Foundation, the IPPR, Bright Blue, Radix, For Future's Sake, the Coalition for Global Prosperity, Coadec and many, many more.

Sessions will span across 9 tents and two connects fields: The Meadow and the Paddock

  • Arts & Culture
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Global
  • Innovation
  • Politics
  • Communities
  • Society


  • What should a 21st-century economy look like?
  • How do we make our economy work for the planet?
  • Is the Green New Deal the answer?
  • Why has our politics become so poisonous?
  • Is traditional party politics dead?
  • How do we tackle knife crime?
  • What is the future for our NHS?
  • How do we help people reintegrate into society?
  • Is there such thing as community anymore?
  • How do we bring Britain back together?
  • Are we fulfilling our climate obligations?
  • Are we on the brink of a climate emergency?
  • How do we stop people dying from air pollution?
  • How is technology changing the way we do government?
  • How do we deal with big tech?
  • How can Britain's start-up economy remain competitive and world-leading?
  • What is Britain's 'Global' future?


logo 2019

PROGRAMME - visit website for programme details

Gates open 08.00am

  • 8.00am -10am breakfast in the farmland setting amongst the buskers and comedy acts, add your messages to the street art wall, explore the tents and meet the festival team & partners
  • Expect queuing to enter from 10.30am onwards

Programme sessions begin at 10:30am.

Performance (to be announced) - 6.00-8.00pm

Festival closes 8.00pm


There will be a wide variety of food trucks available at the event, as well as several bars selling both soft drinks and alcohol:

  • El Loco Tex Mex (VE) (V) (GF Limited)
  • Crepes Galore (V)
  • Pizzas VE) (V) (GF)
  • The Big Pan Stand (VE) (V) (GF)
  • The Really Chilli Stand (VE) (V)
  • Tasty Thai Kitchen (VE) (V)
  • Fish n Chips
  • Sussex Burgers and Vegan Moving Mountains (VE) (V) (GF - Limited)



We are proud to annoounce a line up of top Speakers from across the British political spectrum, including..

  • The Rt. Hon Rory Stewart MP OBE

  • Lisa Nandy MP, former Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

  • Ayesha Hazarika MBE, political commentator and former advisor to the Rt. Hon Gordon Brown

  • Miatta Fahnbulleh, CEO of the New Economics Foundation

  • The Rt. Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

  • The Rt. Hon Jacqui Smith, first female Home Secretary of State

  • Lord Victor Adebowale CBE, Chief Executive of Turning Point

  • The Rt. Hon Penny Mordaunt MP

  • Isi Daley, Student Mobilisation Coordinator at FFS

  • Joy Lo Dico, Freelance Journalist

  • Dr David Halpern, Chief Executive of Behavioural Insights Team and What Works National Advisor

  • David Goodhart, Author

  • Wayne Miller, Director of EMEA Healthcare Practice and Zebra Technologies

  • Chi-Chi Nwanoku OBE, Founder of the Chineke! Foundation

  • Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive of Arts Council England

  • Sarah MacFayden, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at the British Lung Foundation

  • Liam Halligan, Economist

  • Nusrat Ghani MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Transport and Assistant Government Whip

  • Julia Hobsbawn, OBE

  • Judge Kameel Khan, Head of the Ex-Offenders Programme at the Prince's Trust Mosaic

  • Erica Ramos, Vice President of Business and Law at the National Union of Students

  • Rt. Hon Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Select Committee

  • Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson, Chair of the British Youth Council and Co-Founder of FFS

  • Chloe Smith MP, Member of Parliament for Norwich North

  • Asa Bennett, Brexit Commissioning Editor at the Telegraph

  • Dr Maha Aziz, Professor

  • Annie Lydford, Director of Communications at Creative Industries Federation

  • Eleanor Riley, Head of External Affairs at Catch-22

  • Tom Tugendhat CBE MP, Member of Parliament for Tonbridge and Malling

  • Damian Collins MP, Member of Parliament for Folkestone and Hythe

  • Theo Clarke, Chief Executive for Coalition for Global Prosperity

  • Shanker Singham, Director of the International Trade and Competition Unit at the Institute of Economic Affairs

  • Dominic McVey, Entrepreneur

  • Mark Garnier MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Inernational Trade

  • Helen Whately MP, Vice Chairwoman of the Conservative Party for Women

  • Alberto Costa MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Greece

  • Peter Kyle MP, Member of Parliament for Hove

  • Racheal Maclean MP, Member of Parliament for Redditch County

  • Anna Issac, Reporter for the Wall Street Journal and European Bureau

  • Zoe Hodge, Author

  • Nick Silver, Author

  • Ruth Porter, Head of UK Government Relations at London Stock Exchange Group

  • Bob Seely MP, Member of Parliament for the Isle of Wight

  • Ella Robertson, Managing Director at One Young World

  • Stephanie Boland, Digital Editor at Prospect Magazine

  • Andrew Copson, CEO at Humanists UK

  • Nora Mulready, Founder of Unfinished Revolution

  • Shabnam Nasimi, Coordinator at Prevent

  • Tom Kibasi, Director at IPPR

  • Layla Moran MP, Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon

  • The Rt. Hon Richard Benyon MP, Member of Parliament for Newbury

To get the latest updates on new speakers follow us on:

  1. Twitter
  2. Instagram
  3. Facebook
  4. Snapchat : bigtentfest


Ticket holders will be updated with any changes to FAQ's, The Programme and site map prior to August 31st

Does my Festival ticket grant access to all 8 tents throughout the day?

Yes - with the exception of the the lunchtime ticketed celebrity interview, for which we'll publicise details as soon as possible.

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

Anyone entering with a student or 30 and Under ticket may be asked for a valid ID/proof of status

There are no minimum age requirements

Can I volunteer to work at the festival on 31st August?

Yes, we are recruiting Festival Heroes: tent Managers and teams. Please email georgie@bigtent.org.uk with a covering email and attach your CV. Volunteers must be available all day from 8.00-20.00hrs and will be invited to pre-festival site tour late afternoon of 30th August . You will benefit from:

  • Free entry/engaging with the sessions and VIP panellists in one of the 8 tents, while being a vital part of the organisation of that tent
  • Food and beverage vouchers
  • Invitation to after party/tour of Parliament
  • Free Big Tent T-shirt
  • Invitation to post event party hosted by George Freeman MP

How do I book a slot at Speakers' Corner?

Email tiffany@bigtent.org.uk with your idea

What are my transport options for getting to Mudchute?

Walk, cycle or DLR to either Mudchute or Crossharbour

There are cycle racks at each entrance to Mudchute, as well as in the ASDA carpark nearby

No parking available

Taxi drop off Pier Street

Disabled access information

Wheelchair access is from Crossharbour DLR

Wheelchairs do not follow standard pedestrian one-way routes around the festival - see festival map

Pleae note event is held on grass fields

Will there be any variation to publicised panellists and speakers on the day?

The programme/panellists/speakers are inevitably subject to variation at the last minute. We will distribute the final published programme to all ticket holders prior to the festival, but we take no responsibility for last minute alterations

What can I bring into the event?

Dogs - registered guide & assistance dogs only

No Food or picnics

No liquids, bottles or glass

Do I need cash?


Is there a cash machine?


What's the refund policy?

We cannot issue refunds but festival tickets are transferrable, if you find you have a spare ticket.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?


Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn't match the person who attends?


Can I request a VAT receipt?

Of course

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Please email georgie@bigtent.org.uk.

T's and C's

· A booking is only confirmed when payment has been received.

· Payment for or the acceptance of tickets imply acceptance of our T&C’s

· Once payment has been made, refunds are not available

· All attendees must comply with all licensing, health and safety and other regulations relating to the premises. If in doubt please request a copy.

· Any attendees, on request must partake in bag searches

· No dangerous or hazardous items are permitted on the premises

· Any dangerous or hazardous items must be surrendered to the security on entry, alternatively, entry will be refused

· No liquids of any sort will be permitted in site

· No glass will be allowed on site

· No alcohol or illegal drugs or legal highs will be permitted on site.

· Anyone trying to enter with illegal drugs will be refused entry, drugs confiscated and handed over to the police

· No food or drink can be brought on to site.

· Any food or drink will be surrendered to security on entry and place in the bins

· The Big Tent Ideas Festival can be held responsible for attendees' personal belongings.

· The programme may be subject to change without notice to attendee

· Any person acting in any improper or disorderly manner will be asked to leave the premises promptly and quietly and comply with any reasonable request by the Company's employees.

· Big Tent Ideas Festival Ltd will be liable to the attendee and/or persons attending the function for injury to persons or loss or damage to property only where and to the extent that they have been negligent but otherwise will be under no liability to them whatsoever.

· Notwithstanding anything contained in these Terms, the Company will not be liable for any failure to perform its obligations to the attendees in whole or part as a result of any of the following circumstances:

o Strikes
o Other industrial action(s)
o Fire at or near the premises
o Flood at or near the premises
o Civil unrest, dispute or commotion
o Act of God
o Legal action against the Company, not resulting from its negligence, preventing the supply of services
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Date and Time


Mudchute Park and Farm

Pier Street


E14 3HP

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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