The UK’s First VR-only Public Arts Festival

The UK’s First VR-only Public Arts Festival

VR producer, Focal Point panellist and regular speaker at XR events, Catherine Allen, has launched a new start-up focused on bringing ‘artistic’ VR to the general public. Limina has teamed up with Bristol’s Watershed cinema to bring high quality VR content to people who wouldn’t consider themselves early adopters.

The Limina VR Weekender is weekend of VR sessions running from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd December. The festival’s goal is to broaden the audience for VR, making it accessible to a more diverse group of people.


Curated And Rated

The weekender will feature a range of world-class, artistic VR experiences, including the VR work of Aardman, The Guardian, BDH and natural history VR studio, Biome Productions. The selection has been curated by BAFTA-winning founder of Limina, Catherine Allen, who led the production of two of the BBC’s first VR experiences and is now an advocate for diversity in the VR industry.

Amidst the highlights of the weekend, festival audiences will be able to:

  • Virtually go on a wildlife safari in South Africa
  • Stand amidst a world-class orchestra performing Mozart’s Requiem in a French cathedral
  • Fly through the work of surrealist artist, René Magritte.
  • Experience a fantastical, mythology-inspired journey through Dakar in Senegal


Programme Of Events

The festival starts on Friday evening with How to Read VR, a session that demonstrates to the public how to unpack a VR experience critically to discover its layers of meaning. This is followed by Wonderful You, created by Bristol-based VR pioneers BDH Immersive, that invites audiences to meet their unborn self and learn about how foetus’ develop their five senses.

On Saturday and Sunday the festival presents different VR Sessions that each last approximately one hour long and include a selection of VR experiences followed by a post-show discussion. The team have tested and refined a live VR experience format for groups of six people at once that give audience members a comfortable, relaxed and fully contextualised experience.

Event partners include ITR Events, ImmerseUK, Wide VR and UWE’s Digital Cultures Research Centre.


Challenging Assumptions

Catherine Allen said, “VR is an incredible emerging art form in its own right, and deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. There are a lot of people who have notions of VR being techy, macho, futuristic and sci fi, so they assume that it is not for them. I hope to challenge these assumptions and open our audiences’ senses to an emerging new world of creative potential. I also want to share these learnings on creating an optimum audience experience format with the industry– sharing the expertise we are developing is a key part of Limina.”

Verity Mcintosh from Watershed said, “There has been a lot of hype around VR in recent years, and yet the opportunities for audiences to experience high quality storytelling in virtual worlds remains markedly low. Artists around the world are making incredible, immersive experiences, but without the established routes to audiences enjoyed by cinema, television and games, creators can struggle to get their work in front of audiences. We are delighted to be working with our friends at Limina Immersive to bridge that gap and bring an eclectic, world-class programme of Virtual Reality to Bristol.”


Tickets are £12.00 full / £10.00 concessions per session and include a range of VR experiences and a post-show discussion. Bookings can be made here


Steve is an award-winning editor and copywriter with 20 years’ experience specialising in consumer technology and video games. He was part of a BAFTA nominated developer studio as project manager for the UK’s first fully interactive digital TV channel. In addition to editing, Steve contributes to, and, as well as creating marketing content for a range of SMEs and agencies.


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