Normal? Festival of the Brain

A co-curated yearly arts & science/brain & wellbeing festival in Folkestone

This isn’t about not learning

Or that knowledge isn’t important

But sometimes we hold on to thinking we need to know –

which stops us connecting to each other, growing towards each other, and learning to know in new ways


Normal? Festival of the Brain brings science and art together over four days to explore the world of the brain; its territories, its influence, its consequences. Exhibitions, workshops, gigs, discussions and performances spark debate and give a helping hand to all of us in sharing our stories and coming together to share other peoples’. Each year we build on the relationship between the arts and science, and dementia representation – always making sure the voices of people with lived experience are front and centre.

We are proud to work along side Folkestone Quarterhouse and Folkestone Fringe to bring this festival to Kent. There have been 4 festivals so far, each held at the Quarterhouse in May 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018.




In 2020’s festival we will be exploring around the concept ‘the growing versus the knowing’ brain. As we move into a future where so many processes will be operated by machines, we may explore human qualities that can’t be emulated. Things hidden within our brains and our beings.

 And connected to this we might be exploring touch, and hysteria in connection to the overall theme… there’s always a bit of hysteria…

 Come and join us – Creative Folkestone, Folkestone Fringe & Living Words – at our community meetings to become part of Normal? Festival of the Brain 2020. Let us know what you think – and feel… First meeting Oct 2nd 6pm, Quarterhouse bar ‘The Clearing’



 This idea has been inspired by the world we are all living in right now, local conversations, and by Living Words’ new partners East Side Institute, in New York and it’s founder Lois Holzman’s book ‘The Overweight Brain’.

The festival has been supported by Arts Council England; the Wellcome Trust; RDHCT; KCC; Shepway District Council; Folkestone Town Council; and the Big Lottery. We are currently looking for funding for 2020’s festival. 2021? Let us know if you can help.

 Stay in the loop with what’s happening with Normal? from following our Facebook Page. 

Normal? Festival of the Brain 2017

Normal? Festival of the Brain 2016

Normal? Festival of the Brain 2015

Our Beach Brain film!


About us

Arts and literature charity working with people experiencing dementia and isolated people.

Call us: +44 (0)7967 502 506
Call us: +44 (0)7967 502 506