What is Sex & Bugs & Rock 'n Roll?

Sex & Bugs & Rock ‘n Roll is a public engagement initiative that started in 2013 to celebrate the centenary of the British EcologicalSociety (BES). 

A team of young, enthusiastic researchers, who enjoy communicating science in a fun and accessible way, wanted to share their passion for ecology and demonstrate that science is fascinating and fun.

To get a good idea of what we're about, take a look at our YouTube video from Wychwood Festival 2013.

Although planned as a one-off celebration, Sex & Bugs & Rock 'n Roll has been such a huge success that we are now planning new activities and will continue to travel to music festivals with our wildflower-meadow-themed stall, so festival-goers can explore ecology in a relaxed and entertaining manner.
We have lots of fun, hands-on activities for all ages; here are some examples:

We have guided bug-hunts but also encourage festival-goers to bring insects or plants they have found around the festival site. One of the team identifies the organism or helps budding naturalists to identify it themselves.

How gross is your festival kit?
Festival-goers are invited to take a swab of their boots, feet, rucksack, etc. This is applied to a petri dish with nutrient agar to grow microbial cultures so the participant can see how 'gross' their festival kit really is. Visitors can also download a photo of their very own festival bacteria from our Hall of Shame - take a look at some of the cultures here.

Wildflower meadows have recently become very popular in the UK our stall has a wildflower-meadow theme, complete with a live colony of bumblebees! More photos of the tent and festival activities can be found here.

We also do science busking outside the stall. The busks are short, interactive performances and games designed by students. Topics in 2013 included the unseen world of mushroom scents, identifying mammals from what they leave behind, and finding out about foodwebs. We’ve learned our busking skills from the very best: David Price of science made simple
You can watch a video of David performing a busk about peatlands here.

We want to inspire visitors and share our love for the natural world. Anyone can drop by to chat, ask questions, and share stories about ecology or just have some fun with our activities.

So keep an eye on our blog and watch out for us at a festival near you!