The Big Festival Weekend

Big Festival Weekend key events

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Everyone welcome! (11:00-late) - free entry

There won’t be many events in the South West this year where you can combine a fun day out for all the family with the best in world entertainment and the opportunity to see world-leading scientific research in action. 

But Plymouth University’s Big Festival Weekend, incorporating the Plymouth Respect Festival, will do that and much more. Taking place on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June, it will showcase the University’s campus and facilities while celebrating and educating about diversity and culture. Here’s just a glimpse of the amazing array of events on offer…

Respect Festival parade

Departs Plymouth Guildhall at 10:30, arriving at Plymouth University at 11:00.

Music and performances 

Respect stage 

  • Saturday performances confirmed so far – Kouatchou, Fanfara, Reggasjas, Haunt the Woods, Yaaba Funk.
  • Sunday performances confirmed so far – Beat Breakers, Co Op Big Band, AQ Flying Orchestra, RSVP, Blue Spots, The Turbans.

Visit the Plymouth Respect Festival website to view some of the artists' performances.

Unity stage: to include Refugee Week entertainment, International Fashion Show and Sam Kallon Award Presentation, Thai dancing from Plymouth Thai Association, Indian dance, Greek School of Dance, Salsa lessons, Zumba lessons, Ricky Romaine sitar, reggae, Spanish guitar.

Acoustic café: performances throughout the day from local singer-songwriters.

Ten Tors Orchestra (TTO): Shockwaves: premiere of music especially commissioned for TTO's first concert in The House (20 June, 19:30). 

Refugee Week finale (20 June)

Fun for families (11:00-17:00) 

  • Craft activities – including fish decorating competition, pirates and princesses, jewellery making, Father’s Day card making.
  • Map where your clothes come from and dress up in your future career.
  • Dartmoor Zoo – creepy crawlies and petting zoo / Tamar Valley Donkey Park / Jack’s  Zoo – selection of animals.
  • Face painting / soft play area / infinity tower / climbing wall.
  • Junk Band workshop / storytelling / segways / stands and stalls.
  • Mascot Olympics (Saturday - times TBC).
  • Westcountry Hawks showcase (14:00-16:00 Saturday).
  • Robotics showcase (Sunday) / Titan the Robot (Sunday).

Live Well Health Zone – Portland Square

  • Free health checks.
  • Reflexology/ Indian head massage / shiatsu massage / kinesiology / Thai foot massage / reiki / yoga.
  • Showcase of University courses / stands and stalls.

Discover the University

  • Curious Campus tour for children.
  • Marine Building tours (13:00, 14:00 and 15:00 each day) - see below to book.
  • Immersive Vision Theatre - see below for details.
  • Showcase activities – dentistry, LABplus, digital security, robotics (Sunday only 12:00-16:00), Babylab, mathematics. 
  • Library / learn about our courses.
  • Peninsula Arts / Arts Degree Showcase – HOT’15.

Relax in the historic Drake’s Place Gardens and Reservoir

  • Trading spaces on the promenade.
  • Writing Café (12:00-15:00 Saturday only).
  • Giant ships made by schoolchildren in the reservoir.
  • BBQ at the Reservoir Café.
  • Storytelling (12:00-17:00) Saturday and Sunday.
  • Ping! in the Park (table tennis).

World food

  • World cookery theatre (see below for details) / world food market.
  • Respect Café / Reservoir Café BBQ.


  • Plymouth Respect Film Programme - a screening of short films celebrating diversity, challenging stereotypes and exploring cultures (12:00-16:00, both days, Jill Craigie Cinema, Roland Levinsky Building).
  • 'We Bought a Zoo' with Q&A.

Stands and stalls (Big Festival Weekend marquee and Live Well Health Zone)

  • Respect Festival stalls, stands and workshops.
  • Plymouth University partners stands. 

For alumni

  • Alumni networking event – Saturday from 15:00.
  • Students' Union Old School Reunion – Saturday from 20:00.
  • Harbour cruise boat trip – Sunday from 11:00. 

We do hope that you will join us! You can pick up the full programme booklet on the day.

Got a question? Email 

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Today's events

Booking for Marine Building tours

Please register your details for a guided tour via the SurveyMonkey booking form.


Please note that this event is available to book online through SurveyMonkey. SurveyMonkey is a third-party data capture tool which is not owned or managed by Plymouth University. Information about how your data is treated can be found on SurveyMonkey’s Privacy Policy webpage. If you wish to attend this event but do not wish to use SurveyMonkey to book your place, please contact the organiser directly. 

Immersive Vision Theatre film screenings

Limited seating available on a first-come-first-served basis.


  • 11:30-12:00 / 15:30-16:00 - Journey through the Galaxy
  • 12:30-13:00 / 14:30-15:00 - Dentistry
  • 13:30-14:00 - Plymouth University Showcase


  • 11:00-11.30 / 13:30-14:00 - Journey through the Galaxy
  • 12:00-12:30 / 14:30-15:00 - Dentistry
  • 15:30-16:00 - Plymouth University Showcase

World cookery theatre programme


  • 12:00 / 13:00 - SWFish
  • 14:00 - Thai cookery demonstration
  • 15:15 - Peter Gorton
  • 16:30 - Stephen Barrett: wine tasting from around the world


  • 11:30 - Thai cookery demonstration
  • 13:00 - SWFish
  • 14:15 - TBC
  • 15:30 - Copthorne Hotel

There are events happening all over the campus this weekend. 

Check out the map to see where everything is taking place!

Research questionnaire

Did you attend the Big Festival Weekend at Plymouth University? This event has been selected to take part in a PhD research project, to identify if your experience at the event has changed your perceptions of Plymouth University. We would really appreciate if you could take the time to complete our questionnaire.

Event photography and video
Please be aware that some of the University of Plymouth's public events may be attended by University photographers and videographers, for capturing content to be used in University online and offline marketing and promotional materials, for example webpages, brochures or leaflets. If for whatever reason, you or a member of your group, do not wish to be photographed, please make yourself known to staff working at the event on arrival or to the photographer.