Saturday 31st August 2019


Renewing the grassroots of mainstream politics


What To Expect

At this year's Big Tent Ideas Festival

The Big Tent Ideas Festival brings together the popular literary festival format with the big challenges of contemporary politics. Following the success of our launch event in 2017 and Big Tent Ideas Festival 2018 in Cambridge, our non-partisan festival this year will be even bigger.

We hope the Big Tent will launch a movement of change, reform, opportunity, empowerment, responsibility and a renewed sense of active citizenship. We do not claim to have all the answers, but we hope to at least ask the right questions. Of the right people. In the right forum. In the right spirit.

This makes what we’re trying to achieve at the Big Tent incredibly important: to create opportunities for people to come people together and discuss big, difficult issues in an atmosphere that is optimistic, passionate and respectful. Issues like:

  • Ensuring that the benefits and opportunities created by the UK’s economic success are fairly shared

  • Ensuring that young people feel they have a growing stake in our society

  • Creating excellent education and training for everyone in our fast-changing world

  • Getting the best out of Artificial Intelligence

  • Making sure our public services deliver for everyone in the 21st century

No single political party has all of the answers. Nor can one individual, or local business, or city mayor bring about lasting change on their own. Renewing our communities requires all of us to work together.

That’s why we’re so excited to tell you about our 2019 Big Tent Festival which will take place at London’s Mudchute City Farm on the Isle of Dogs, London.




31st August 2019

Mudchute, Isle of Dogs, London

We are delighted to announce that this year’s Festival will be hosted in Mudchute, a community farm positioned next to the skyline of Canary Wharf. The beautiful view of both the surroundings and the skyline present a stark contrast that raises endless fascinating questions about the importance of what place, community, capitalism, and much more means to all of us. Big questions we will be discussing at the festival.

At Mudchute we’ll be bringing together politicians from all the main parties as well as leaders, thinkers and do’ers from business, civil society, academia, the media and from all corners of the UK to share ideas, debate and work together towards practical solutions. We really hope you will be able to come along and join the discussion. Please hold the date and we’ll be back in touch shortly with a great early bird ticket offer. 

In the meantime, you can follow us on @BigTentIdeas to keep in touch with our plans.

At a time when so many of us are in despair, frankly, at the state of our politics... it’s a joy to see some serious political thinkers and reformers from all parties and from none coming together to explore the real causes of the disillusionment that is sweeping our society
— Stephen Fry


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Congratulations to all taking part in this Big Tent Ideas Festival and specific congratulations to George Freeman for conceiving it
— Rabbi Sacks
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