This Summer’s Unmissable Free Immersive Experience In Lincoln

People in Lincoln and beyond will be invited to travel through place and time to uncover untold stories from the local area.

Lincoln will host StoryTrails for a two-day live event from 30-31 July at Lincoln Central Library. This unmissable experience will offer fun for all the family, featuring a bespoke augmented reality (AR) story trail and a unique, immersive virtual map of the town created using the stories of local people, and showcasing 3D scans of Lincoln’s beloved buildings and iconic places in each location, such as Lincoln Cathedral.

Emma Osman and Adam Dixon, the local creatives working on the project, have been uncovering a myriad of stories and personalities across Lincoln, highlighting the town’s diverse and unique community, many of which will feature in the final experience. These include Wendy who shared how her love story blossomed at traditional pub (the family-like bond with this establishment led to the pub surprising her with a wedding dress just in time for her registry office wedding last year), Matt who retells the stories of his dad, iconic football player and manager Keith Alexander, and Barney an artist that has managed to showcase his work in his local favourite art shop, Bluebird Art and Crafts.

Visitors will also be given the chance to enter digitally created worlds by putting on a virtual reality (VR) headset. Highlights include ‘Get Punked!’, which puts users in the shoes of a rebellious teenager finding out about her mother’s punk past; in ‘Off the Record’, they will take part in the daytime South Asian raves of the 2000s, while in ‘Museum of Imagined Futures’ they will dive into the past to find out what our ancestors thought life would be like today and beyond! The creative companies producing the VR experiences have worked with academics from Royal Holloway, University of London, to create rich virtual worlds across a variety of themes.

Further ‘time travel’ will be guided by historian and television presenter David Olusoga, in an AR experience that will let visitors travel back in time by turning a dial on a virtual giant radio. As they turn the dial, their virtual neighbours’ stories and fashion will change with the era, from Beatle-mania and the flares and haircuts of the swinging sixties to dancing to the end of the millennium and Y2k in crop-tops from the 1990s.

Emma Osman said: “The stories we are uncovering of the people in Lincoln are truly incredible. I don’t think I realised how much history there is hidden away not only in film and photography, but also in people’s memories. It’s been magical finding some of those hidden stories. Local history month is so important, but our ambition is that, by using new technologies, we can inject a passion for history into people all year round. This project is about encouraging people to reassess what they know and develop new perspectives. It’s also about having fun, and I have no doubt that people in Lincoln will love the footage, pictures and stories we’ve unearthed.”

Professor James Bennett, Director of StoryFutures and StoryTrails, said: “We can’t wait to immerse the people of Lincoln in the untold stories of their own communities and beyond. This about living and breathing local history and connecting with it in new ways. Get set for a summer of discovering the past and the future and some genuine surprises, all while having a fun day out!

Martin Green CBE, Chief Creative Officer UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK said: “StoryTrails invites audiences to discover hidden histories in communities across the UK using immersive technology as a window onto the past. StoryTrails is one of ten ground-breaking UNBOXED projects taking place in 2022 that demonstrate the power of creative collaboration across science, technology and the arts to create extraordinary and never-seen-before public experiences.”

Led by StoryFutures Academy, the national centre for immersive storytelling, StoryTrails has been developing the best and brightest creative talent from across the UK to create unique experiences as part of Britain’s largest ever immersive storytelling project.

StoryTrails is one of 10 projects commissioned for UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, a ground-breaking UK-wide celebration of creativity in 2022 that will bring people together and reach millions through free, large-scale immersive installations and globally accessible digital experiences in the UK’s most ambitious showcase of creative collaboration.

UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK is funded and supported by the four governments of the UK and is commissioned and delivered in partnership with Belfast City Council, Creative Wales and EventScotland.

StoryTrails will also be sharing the unique immersive storytelling experience across 14 other UK towns from 1 July – 18 September 2022 and it will culminate in a new film presented by David Olusoga which will screen in cinemas across the UK and be made available to audiences on BBC iPlayer. For further details visit story-trails.com and via Facebook and Instagram @StoryTrailsProject and Twitter @StoryFuturesA