Science and music festival Starmus VII is about to rock Bratislava with a stellar lineup

full-disc view of earth against the blackness of space
"The future of our home planet" is the theme of the 2024 Starmus music and science festival, which will be held May 12 to May 17 in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. (Image credit: NASA)

The biannual Starmus festival kicks off May 12 with a stellar lineup of guest speakers and performers, including Queen rock legend and festival co-founder Brian May and French composer and performance artist Jean-Michel Jarre. 

The festival combines art, music and science to enhance science communication and "engage humanity in the biggest questions of our time," according to Starmus. Each festival edition has a specific theme and includes talks, debates, panel discussions, exhibitions, concerts and film screenings, plus a variety of other events.

The theme of this year's Starmus festival is "The future of our home planet," which brings over 50 leading experts in climate change, environmental science, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity to the Slovak capital Bratislava for an ambitious multi-day event from May 12 to May 17, 2024. The star-packed lineup includes Nobel Prize winners Michel Mayor, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Kip Thorne, astronauts Charlie Duke, Chris Hadfield, Kathryn Thornton and Garrett Reisman and legendary primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall.

Related: Beavers are helping fight climate change, satellite data shows

During Starmus, the prestigious Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication winners will be announced across four categories: Music & Arts, Science Writing, Films & Entertainment, and Lifetime Achievement. 

The award was created by Stephen Hawking and Alexei Leonov, together with Brian May (who's also an astrophysicist) and Garik Israelian in 2015. It is awarded to individuals and teams who have made significant contributions to science communication. Previous Stephen Hawking Medal winners include Jane Goodall, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk, Jean-Michel Jarre, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Eno, Hans Zimmer, and the Apollo 11 documentary.

In addition to the main festival, the Starmus Camp and City Program will take science to the streets with a morning agenda of talks, presentations and screenings in the heart of Bratislava, the city's main square, Hlavné námestie. Twelve booths of science exhibitions as well as presentations, panel discussions and a music program are all available for free to the general public. 

Starmus' seventh edition promises a week of inspiring and educational lectures, music, and hands-on science activities to "educate the next generation of explorers and regenerate the spirit of discovery" according to Starmus. Tickets are available via ticketportal, and you can view the entire program on the official website

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Daisy Dobrijevic
Reference Editor

Daisy Dobrijevic joined in February 2022 having previously worked for our sister publication All About Space magazine as a staff writer. Before joining us, Daisy completed an editorial internship with the BBC Sky at Night Magazine and worked at the National Space Centre in Leicester, U.K., where she enjoyed communicating space science to the public. In 2021, Daisy completed a PhD in plant physiology and also holds a Master's in Environmental Science, she is currently based in Nottingham, U.K. Daisy is passionate about all things space, with a penchant for solar activity and space weather. She has a strong interest in astrotourism and loves nothing more than a good northern lights chase!