Pop-up events push museum visits to record high

Concentrating on our strengths leads to a record number of visitors this year.

The Science Museum Group achieved record visitor figures this year by doing what we do best – making sense of the culture of science and our industrial heritage.

A series of pop-up festivals succeeded in boosting footfall as events across the Group’s museums all proved popular with family crowds.

Robotville at the Science Museum brought 23 of Europe’s most advanced experimental robots to London. Away from their creators’ laboratories, the robots demonstrated cutting edge technology: some talked, some emoted, and one even offered a friendly handshake in an impressive human fashion.

The event challenged the popular assumption that robots are Transformers in disguise. Heather Mayfield, Deputy Director of the Science Museum, said "In Robotville it was all too evident that robots are not as sophisticated as people believe, that executing even the simplest task, such as gripping an egg without breaking it, is a massive engineering accomplishment. Their interactions with visitors provided an unexpected insight into the scientific method, which often seems to be pretty dull."

Wizards next to a locomotive during Wizard Week at the National Railway Museum

Other events across the Group’s museums attracted enthusiastic family audiences and high-profile coverage. Wizard Week at the National Railway Museum, with its visits by guest locomotives, proved popular, and Moshi Monster Week – a festival aimed at keeping children safe online – at the National Media Museum and the Spend Your Summer In Space campaign all delighted family crowds – all in the name of a free day out.