Press release

UK’s GREAT Festival of Creativity programme announced

Unique international festival set to celebrate British business creativity and innovation in Shanghai 2-4 March 2015

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

GREAT Festival of Creativity

In a drive to demonstrate that Britain is a world leader in commercial creativity, the GREAT Festival of Creativity will land in Shanghai in March. The best of British talent and expertise will inspire, stimulate and fascinate a high-level business audience from the UK, China and beyond.

The Festival, based at Shanghai’s Long Museum, West Bund, will be led by HRH The Duke of Cambridge. It will show UK innovation at its very best in sectors such as fashion, luxury retail, health, technology and entertainment, demonstrating the UK’s track record in bringing competitive advantage through commercial creativity and will create opportunities for UK companies to break into one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

A unique partnership between the British Government and major private sector organisations, the Festival is part of the GREAT Britain campaign which promotes the UK as a world-class destination for trade, tourism, investment and education to generate jobs and growth.

Highlights include:

  • State of the art virtual reality experience from Framestore, creators of the seven-time Oscar-winning film Gravity, and the recently released Paddington

Mike McGee from Framestore commented:

We’ve always tried to do things differently, and at the GREAT Festival we’ll be showing how taking risks has resulted in some of our most innovative projects - from films such as Gravity, to emerging formats like virtual reality.

  • The National Theatre’s life-size puppet horse Joey, from the internationally-acclaimed theatrical production War Horse, to highlight the partnership between the National Theatres of Great Britain and China

Nicholas Hytner, Director of the National Theatre, remarked:

We are excited to be working with the National Theatre of China on the next chapter of the extraordinary journey that War Horse has taken around the world; we very much look forward to sharing it with Chinese audiences in Beijing, Shanghai and all over China.

  • Two fully immersive fusions of industrial robotics and virtual reality from UK company INDE Appshaker.

Alex Poulson, CEO, INDE Appshaker:

Immersive and interactive is the thread that connects all of our work together, so to bring two of our newest and most exciting systems to Shanghai is incredibly exciting for us.

The unique partnership with the private sector will provide a platform for original thinking and the best in British business creativity from Festival sponsors including:


a dedicated zone to support human ambition and business creativity, featuring Business Surgeries for those looking to take their business further and an ‘Ideas Exchange’ that pairs influential players from the world of business (including Sir Martin Sorrell) to reveal their personal experiences, commercial insights and what creativity means to them and their brands.

Jaguar Land Rover:

demonstrating how computer-aided design technology sits alongside traditional clay-modelling skills to fashion the iconic style of its premium vehicle brands


on how digital technology transforms what organisations do and how they do it, through digital masterclasses and session to test the ‘digital fitness’ of their own organisation.

De Montfort University:

bringing its range of courses to life through interactive live footwear and clothes design demonstrations, a virtual walk-through of Medieval London and insight into its revolutionary research in the health sector

BBC Worldwide:

taking visitors behind the UK technology and creativity used to make award-winning wildlife documentaries and showing how UK technology and creativity come together in the BBC Earth hit series such as ‘Penguins – Spy in the Huddle’ and ‘Dolphins – Spy in the Pod’

BFI (British Film Institute):

presenting rare and beautiful archive film footage of life in China in the early 20th century.

British Airways and VisitBritain:

hosting a ‘best of British’ garden party, inspired by the mix of rich heritage and modern innovation to bring a truly British experience to life.

The festival will also host the first viewing of ‘GREAT Creations’: a unique exhibition bringing the variety of UK creativity to life. Items on display for the first time together include:

  • previously unseen collection of 4 iconic portrait photographs by David Bailey of Her Majesty the Queen
  • an anthemic ballad called ‘Home’, sung by Katherine Jenkins and produced in Abbey Road studios
  • Paddington Bear ‘Film is GREAT’ model, designed by Stephen Fry
  • an interactive model of the No.10 front door, designed and built by installation artist Jason Bruges
  • a handcrafted couture dress designed exclusively for GREAT by British designer Nicholas Oakwell
  • unique GREAT Mulberry handbag designed by leading British model Cara Delavigne
  • an objet d’art decorative bowl designed and handcrafted by Cleave, Court Jewellers and Medallists
  • a bespoke ‘GREAT Britain’ engraved handcrafted watch by Roger W Smith, Independent Watchmaker

Further examples of British creativity at the festival will include:

  • Home-grown brand The Cambridge Satchel Company will exhibit a range of handmade, UK produced classic and new style satchels, bags and trunks and will deliver a practical demonstration of the manual embossing process.

  • A live showcase of bespoke tailoring, with Gieves & Hawkes’ head bespoke cutter from No. 1 Savile Row demonstrating the finer points of his sartorial artistry.

  • An exhibition of images collected from families in Britain with historical connections to China curated by The Arts and Humanities Research Council

  • Creative Studio Based Upon will premiere a specially-made maquette of their first major public sculpture, with a simultaneous unveiling of further works in Hong Kong and London.

Images are available on request.

For further information please contact:

Tom Nutt/Beth Thoms/Jennifer Ball

The Communication Group

+44 (0) 20 7630 1411

Notes to Editors

The GREAT Festival is being delivered in partnership with private sector organisations including HSBC, BBC Worldwide, Jaguar Land Rover, PWC, IHG, British Airways and De Montfort University. It will run in the Long Museum, Shanghai from 2-4 March 2015.

The GREAT Britain campaign is the Government’s most ambitious international marketing campaign ever and showcases the very best of what Britain has to offer in order to encourage the world to visit, study and do business with the UK.

The GREAT Britain campaign has delivered a direct return to the economy of over £1bn since its launch and is now active in 144 countries. Unifying the international growth promotion efforts of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), VisitBritain, British Council, FCO and a number of other departments, GREAT aims to deliver significant and long-term increases in trade, tourism, education and inward investment in support of HMG’s prosperity and growth agenda.

Twitter: @GREATFestivals and use #GREATFestivals

For more information on The GREAT Festival of Creativity visit:

For more information on the GREAT Britain Campaign visit:

UK Trade & Investment is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit

Published 13 January 2015