Big Tent Ideas Festival 2021

Healthier, Cleaner, Creative Growth to Build Back Better

Co-Produced by The Big Tent Festival, RADIX UK and Coventry City of Culture Trust

Assembly Festival Gardens, Coventry City Centre
Friday 9th and Saturday 10th July


Following a year of online digital activities focused on our core themes of recovery, regeneration and renewal, the Big Tent Foundation is pleased to be hosting an in-person summit and festival once again and delighted this year to be partnering with Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 for what promises to be innovative and inspirational events. 

The Big Tent Ideas Festival will take place on Saturday 10th July from 9am – 6pm at the Assembly Festival Gardens in the heart of Coventry following a Leaders’ Summit on the Friday afternoon.

The line-up boasts the likes of Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Jess Phillips MP, Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding, Layla Moran MP, Liberal Democrats Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs & International Development, Nadhim Zahawi MP, Minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment, Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and many more. 

The overarching theme of Big Tent Ideas Festival 2021 in Coventry is “Healthier, Cleaner and Creative Growth – how to ensure the City of Culture is a catalyst for lasting cultural and economic regeneration of the region. The Festival will showcase the innovation, enterprise and opportunities going on in Coventry and the wider West Midlands region.

George Freeman MP, Big Tent Foundation Founder said, 

“As Whitehall debates the best policies to drive post-Covid recovery and economic regeneration of places left behind by globalisation, the Big Tent 2021 comes to Coventry: iconic city of post-war regeneration and now home to the technologies of both the 4th industrial Revolution and a vibrant new cluster of creative digital media start-ups.  Big Tent 2021 will be showcasing Coventry UK City of Culture as a leading hub of the New Economy: come and join us for what will be a genuine Festival of Regeneration – and the first Festival after Covid lockdown. Don’t miss it.”

Through the theme of “Healthier, Cleaner and Creative Growth”, the festival will highlight innovation and transformation in Coventry and the wider West Midlands region. This will include:

  • showcase the groundbreaking new technologies and innovations set to transform the West Midlands economy in the next 10 years
  • explore with local leaders the possibilities for putting Coventry and the wider West Midlands area back on the map as a crucible of the New Economy: in CleanTech, HealthTech and the Cultural economy 
  • convene national and local leaders to help show how cities like Coventry can lead the 4th Industrial Revolution

Baroness Sally Morgan, Big Tent Foundation Board Advisor said,

“This is an important event at such a pivotal moment; an opportunity for open and constructive conversations for people of all political persuasions, and none. The festival will be a forum for public debate, developing the ideas and giving a platform to the people who have the most potential to help shape bold, local renewal.”

About the Big Tent Festival Foundation

The Big Tent is a not-for-profit organisation committed to promoting innovative, local and community-based approaches to economic regeneration.  Founded by us as former Ministers in Labour, Conservative and Coalition Governments, we are strictly non-partisan and committed to bringing policy makers out of the Westminster bubble to come together with local leaders to think through innovative solutions to the biggest public policy challenges we all face. 

After successful festivals in 2017, 2018 and 2019 attended by leading representatives from across the major UK political parties, Coventry is the first of a series of Big Tent summits, festivals and events around the country over the next 3 years: to help convene long term Recovery, Regeneration and Renewal partnerships of local civic, business and community leaders to shape bold LOCAL regeneration.

Key points

  • The Big Tent Ideas Festival is non-partisan and aims to engage with multiple actors – left and right, political and non-political.
  • The Big Tent Ideas Festival is participative, involving festival goers to ensure their voice is heard.
  • The Big Tent Ideas Festival is committed to ensuring the line up is representative of the country’s rich diversity
  • The Big Tent Ideas Festival has been put together by a politically unaligned, not-for-profit Foundation created to promote innovation in public policymaking and solutions, while pursuing the appropriate solutions to the underlying causes of this political crisis.
  • The Foundation was set up in 2017 by a group of founding patrons, spanning the world of business, politics, science, public services and the arts. The Foundation support the growth of the Big Tent Ideas Festival as a new forum for public debate, developing the ideas and backing the people who have the most potential to help shape bold local renewal.
  • The Festival is funded by income from sponsors and support from the Foundation. The Foundation is funded by its founding Patrons, charitable donations from both companies and individuals and from membership subscriptions.


Media Contacts

Finn Partners, on behalf of Big Tent 

E: bigtentfest@finnpartners.com  

T: 020 7017 8436

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