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 alongside Creative Folkestone 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. The festival has been supported by Arts Council England; the Wellcome Trust; RDHCT; KCC; Shepway District Council; Folkestone Town Council; and the Big Lottery.


Normal? Festival of the Brain brings science and art together to explore, question and connect around the festival themes.

Running since 2015 in Folkestone, Normal? Festival of the Brain has always been across 4 days. However, in response to these ever changing and uncertain times, rather than wait until we can run our festival in the usual way, we have decided to have events & activities to take us through the coming bumpy winter.

This year the themes are The Growing versus Knowing Brain, Power and Touch.

“We are excited and curious to see how our festival develops over the coming months. And in turn, to see who we might all be when we emerge next Spring. Our hope is that the festival gives us something to be connected to, to get involved in, and to grow from and through over the six months between October 2020 and end of March 2021.

These are tough times and we are all vulnerable right now. Maybe this festival is something for us all to hold on to? Whether first time attendee, participating artist, volunteer, organiser, or avid community player. All we know is that we need each other, now perhaps more than ever. We need community.

This festival belongs to all of us.”

Cheryl, Diane & Susanna - Festival curators & organisers

Normal? Festival of the Brain 2017

Normal? Festival of the Brain 2016

Normal? Festival of the Brain 2015

Our Beach Brain film!


About us

Living Words is an Arts and Literature charity transforming lives and relationships since 2007.

Call us: +44 (0)7967 502 506
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