We’re delighted to be launching a new programme of talks and discussions, bringing international speakers to our Festival of Ideas audiences during the Covid-19 crisis. Here’s all the information you need to join us for our live events from the comfort of your own home. 


Live events

Our live video events will be available to watch via Crowdcast. The Crowdcast platform will enable you to watch, chat, send questions and participate in polls. You will need to register on Crowdcast in order to watch events – this is free and only takes a minute to complete.

Booking your ticket for Festival of Ideas Online

Find the event you want to attend on our What’s On pages, then click the Book Ticket link to go to Crowdcast to register.

Click the ‘Save my spot’ button to register

You will be prompted to enter your email address or social media login

An email will be sent to confirm your registration, along with the option to add the event to your calendar

Joining an event

Once you register you will have instant access to the event page, including the polls, chat, and Q&A. To return to the event page at any time you simply click the link in your confirmation or reminder email, the event will start automatically at the time advertised, and all you have to do is sit back and relax.

Crowdcast allows you to use one login for all of your events. In your profile you can access all of your upcoming events. You can personalise your profile with a picture and brief bio.

Interacting during the event

Polls are located in a tab just below the video feed. Some events may add a poll prior to the event or during a live session, so be sure to check this area periodically.

Questions & Answers are also in a tab just below the video feed. This is where you can submit any questions or leave a comment on a question. Once the host has answered the question, you will be able to view it in the answered tab. You can also vote for questions that others have submitted.

Chat is located on the righthand side of the video feed. This is a great place to say hello and introduce yourself before the event goes live. Chat lets you directly communicate with the host and other attendees before, during, and after an event.

Buying the books

We will be linking with our bookshop partners during events. Sadly, book personalisations are understandably difficult at the moment, but we are exploring ways in which we can arrange for signed copies to be sent out to you.


For the deaf and hard of hearing we are subtitling some of our live events, please see the programme for full details and wherever you see the TEXT logo, you will be able to register for this event with captions. Full instructions on accessing subtitles will be given where available. We will also be providing transcripts of conversations for our pre-recorded events.

We are also happy to make bookings on your behalf, simply email us if you require further help.

Global timings

All our events take place BST as advertised.

Catch up and pre-recorded events

Our Crowdcast events will be available to replay.

We will also be pre-recording some of our events. These will be broadcast on Crowdcast and uploaded to our YouTube channel.

Internet tips

All our events are streamed in HD so require a good internet connection. If you’re having streaming issues you can try a few things.

If the video or audio is lagging, click Get audio/video help in the bottom left hand corner of the screen and enable Compatibility mode.

If you’re still having trouble perhaps ask other users in your home to stop using the internet while you watch the stream.

We recommend using Google Chrome browser if possible.

Mobile device

Crowdcast works in the browser on Android devices and there is an ios Crowdcast app for Apple devices.

Big Screen

Although our events run through an internet browser it may enhance your experience if you plug your computer into a larger television screen with an HDMI cable or wirelessly with a suitable device.

Image ref: Christin Hume from Unsplash