The Future of Storytelling – A Journey Through Time and Space

StoryTrails, part oUNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, is an immersive storytelling experience taking place in 15 towns and cities across the UK this summer. Town squares, libraries, streets and cinemas will be transformed into virtual portals through which to explore stories of historical change.

Harnessing the magic of immersive storytelling bringing to life untold stories from the past through the wonders of the 3D internet using augmented and virtual reality.Reanimating public spaces in towns and cities across the UK to create a FREE, entertaining and playful family-friendly experience. You can time travel by the wonder of new technology to explore untold local histories, where they happened. 

Each town or city is hosting a 2-day event featuring an augmented reality story trail; an immersive cinema experience; and multiple virtual reality experiences, brought to life by local performers and creatives.

This weekend 16-17 July, Blackpool’s AR trail explores the town’s LGBTQ+ history, from the 1930s and the notorious Colonel Barker’s under-the-pier ‘freak show’ through the dark days of the 1980s and 1990s to the present day. An immersive cinema experience, viewed on a cycloramic screen, reveals hidden stories of the people of Blackpool 3D animated maps of the city re-imagine the town’s iconic buildings, such as Blackpool Tower and the Regents Cinema.

Time travel continues inside the libraries across the two live event days, when visitors enter digitally created worlds from across the UK using a virtual reality (VR) headset. They can expect to find themselves in the shoes of a rebellious teenager as she discovers her mother’s punk past; and walk through artist Mike Hatjouillis’ lino-cut prints of Blackpool, in an experience created by his son Christos. All the stories featured on the VR headsets are available at every stop on the StoryTrails UK tour.

In London Borough of Lambeth from 10 – 12 September, meet child prodigy and ragtime superstar Winifred Atwell who became the first Black performer with a number one UK hit single; and in Lewisham from 17 to 18 September, hear about the Vietnamese community and Catford’s curious cat.


StoryTrails runs until 18 September 2022 and 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.

The app and immersive trail will be available online throughout 2022. and via Facebook and Instagram @StoryTrailsProject and Twitter @StoryFuturesA

There is glacially slow progress on augmented reality in public spaces…this article I wrote in November 2011

Is it the technology or the appetite? Perhaps it’s an age thing… well we are slow but making progress!