Deer Shed Festival reveals its Generation XYZ-themed tenth anniversary science programme


26th-28th July 2019 Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire’s Deer Shed Festival has announced its Generation XYZ-themed science programme – previously dubbed a “phantasmagoria of dorky delights” by The Guardian – for the family friendly event’s tenth anniversary edition. Regardless of your generation, the 2019 science tent promises to sneak some very old or very new scientific principles into your head without you even realising, with an emphasis on fun!

The star of this year’s Deer Shed science tent is set to be Generation Y YouTube star Sam Battle, aka Look Mum No Computer. Sam is essentially a musical Dr. Frankenstein, with countless mind-boggling musical inventions to his name, like the Furby Organ and the flame-throwing Henry Hoover, as well as a vast collection of homemade modular synth racks. After Look Mum No Computer’s performance on the Sunday morning’s In The Dock stage line-up, Sam will rub shoulders with Deer Shedders in the science tent to demonstrate and chat about his incredible engineering skills.

For the past six months, the Deer Shed team have been hoarding ancient games consoles for the retro video game arcade in this year’s science tent. Get-Well Gamers, a charity dedicated to providing thousands of children and young people in hospitals across the country with donated games consoles, will run the arcade, lending expert advice where needed.

Consoles available to play in the arcade so far include: Atari 2600, ZX Spectrum, Nintendo NES, Sega Megadrive, Nintendo N64 and a Sony Playstation 1. SuperTux Cart – a modern version of that other popular karting game – will also be available to play on the festival’s multi-screen, multi-player Raspberry Pi network.

If you’re looking for a less virtual Generation X nostalgia trip, Deer Shed will also offer Rubik’s cube masterclasses for those who never quite mastered the art. Bring your own cube for the weekend, or pick up one of the festival’s custom-made, collectible cubes to take home.

While the kids are being introduced to consoles from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, the grown-ups – and strictly only the grown-ups – will be offered first-person shoot ‘em up tutoring. We are all worried about kids spending too much time on Fortnite. But, Deer Shed figures, what better way to understand Generation Z’s current obsession than to get up to speed and join in? Nothing makes games less addictive to the kids than getting constantly owned by Mum and Dad in an online party with all their friends!


Each year, Deer Shed’s popular forensics workshops follow the theme of the festival-at-large. 2019’s Forensics at the Disco narrative features Time Vortex, the most happening nightclub in North Yorkshire (not a high bar, admittedly), which has recently been hit by a very serious crime wave.

As well as your dad dancing in his favourite flares, a mysterious group of boogie men have been pinching flashy medallions from revellers, killing the groove and causing sheer panic at the disco. It’s up to the Deer Shed detectives to patrol the beat and ensure these super freaks are apprehended – they simply cannot afford a murder on the dance floor.

2019 will also see the welcome return of Deer Shed’s popular short lecture series, SHED Talks (Ideas worth stealing)! As well as running music production workshops with Ableton & Push, Liina Turtonen will speak about The Human Connection in Recording and Music Production, concentrating on the way innovations in digital production have changed the way we listen to, interact with, record and create music.

Other SHED Talks will feature: Alex McLean, an experienced algoraver (algorithmic rave) who will talk about writing code to generate live music; Mylar Melodies, Deer Shed’s resident master of modular synthesis; and Luba Elliot, an expert in the new creative field of A.I. art (images developed by robots through machine learning).

Johnny White, Deer Shed Festival’s artist-in-residence has in previous years created a fire and ice machine, various kinetic sculptures and, last year, an amazing marble run. This year, Johnny has been tasked with creating a pinball machine! The festival team have absolutely no idea what he will come up with, but you can be sure it’ll beat any of those garish machines from the ’70s that’ll now set you back about £10k. It’s sure to be as out there as ever, though!

Over the generations, the tools available to DJs have changed beyond all recognition. From vinyl on the 1s and 2s, through CDJs and, bringing us up to date, flicking through your old lorry-load of singles on flashy touch screens and a memory drive no bigger than your pinkie finger! Whatever your generation or experience, we invite you to develop your DJ skills and knowledge on a range of tech through the ages, with our own Leeds-based superstar DJ duo, Baba&Ganoush.

Founding CEO of Reach Robotics, Silas Adekunle, alongside co-founders John Rees and Chris Beck, has developed MekaMon, the world’s first gaming robot. MekaMon is a real-life video game character, with fluid, expressive movement and an integrated modular design. Giving you the opportunity to dabble in robot-augmented reality and also win a MekaMon bot over the weekend, this is going to be an intriguing spectacle!

Deer Shedders will also get the chance to learn about and draw some isometric art, the art form that inspired Deer Shed’s Generation XYZ line-up artwork, with a tip of the hat to art organisation eBoy and the Monument Valley video game.

Old favourites in the Deer Shed science tent have not been forgotten: wrekshop (where kids are allowed to literally wreck a load of old tech to examine their inner workings), slime-making, virtual reality, Ableton + Push music production, soldering with MadLab, coding with Dan Aldred & Pimoroni, whacky inventions with Paul Granjon, modular synthesis with DivKid and Dave Whitfield’s weather forecasts will all be on offer once again.

Deer Shed Festival director Oliver Jones said:

Some science festivals can be a bit stiff. Not us we hope! What’s the point in introducing your kids to the wonderful world of STEM if it doesn’t spark joy?
Our science tent is all about lighting the spark that sets the younger folk up to embark on their own epic journey through the scientific world. Enthral them early and they’ll soon find their way on their own. Oh, and we will, of course, have many shiny toys for the grown-ups too!

In addition to the science programme, Deer Shed recently revealed its music line-up, featuring headliners Ezra Furman, Anna Calvi & Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, and its comedy line-up, featuring Reginald D. Hunter, Nina Conti, Milton Jones, Rachel Parris and Kiri Pritchard McLean.

Deer Shed 10, which was shortlisted for ‘Best Family Festival’ at the 2018 UK Festival Awards, has already sold over 75% of its 10,000 ticket allocation for 2019.

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