Rototom Sunsplash and CERN seal the first collaboration

Credit: Charlotte Potter-Landua

The new space in the festival’s venue will offer, August 16 to 21, three hours a day dedicated to the exploration of science and human knowledge through workshops, conferences and shows

Benicàssim I Friday, 31 May 2024.- Discovery Lab. This is the name given to the first collaboration between CERN. One of the most prestigious international research centres in the world. Their headquarters are in Switzerland, and a Spanish festival: Rototom Sunsplash, held in Benicàssim (Castelló, Spain).

Installed in the heart of the festival, Discovery Lab premieres at the 29th edition of the international reggae event -16 to 21 August 2024- ‘it offer to take festival-goers on journey: an exploration of human knowledge, from the Big Bang in the distant past to the future that artificial intelligence presents us with’, CERN explains. The proposal, with which Rototom Sunsplash boosts its agenda of daytime activities, open to a diverse range of audiences, will be based on ‘emotion, intrigue and surprise, three essential elements in science that we want to share with those who want to immerse themselves in this journey’, say the same sources.

CERN has been promoting this initiative in other European countries for six years with its ‘Festival Programme’, a collaboration between the research centre, a festival and collaborating institutes in the host country, to reach new non-scientific audiences at music and cultural events. This group of collaborators, which also includes other partners already producing science pavilions at music festivals in other European countries, is known as The Big Bang Collective. 

In 2024, this scientific and informative project crosses the Pyrenees for the first time to visit Spain as part of the Rototom Sunsplash.

A crossing made possible thanks to the commitment of CERN and the coordinator of its Festival Programme, Connie Potter, and the involvement, from Spain, of the Institute of Corpuscular Physics (IFIC) of the CSIC and the University of Valencia – with Alberto Aparici, its head of dissemination and popularisation at the helm; the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (IMB-CNM) of the CSIC, through its spokesperson and researcher Iván López; and the University of La Rioja, where the professor, mathematician and presenter of programmes such as, Spanish national television, TVE’s Órbita Laika, Eduardo Sáenz de Cabezón, is a partner. The four entities are key to the development and implementation of Discovery Lab, according to the reggae festival.

Credit: Charlotte Potter-Landua

Credit: Charlotte Potter-Landua

“Art in general, and music in particular, enables us to share the wonder of science. We are looking forward to sharing our passion for fundamental research with the Spanish audience. As CERN celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, this partnership highlights the importance of cooperation cross borders and public engagement. Two core-values that we share with Rototom Sunsplash”, argues Charlotte Warakaulle, CERN’s Director for International Relations.

Discovery Lab’s activities will take place each day -August 16 to 21- in the second half of the afternoon, between 17:00 and 20:00, so as not to coincide with the start of the concerts. Three hours a day of dialogue and connection with science. Developed with activities in different formats, from workshops with full public interaction to conferences and shows. All with a scientific theme at their core and an agile dynamic, each proposal lasting 45 minutes.

Credit: Charlotte Potter-Landua