Tour de Moon

A nationwide festival celebrating nightlife, new beginnings and youth countercultures while prompting radical imagination

From 2020 to 2023 -Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios founded and directed a new nationwide LGBTQ+ STEAM festival- Tour de moon- for youths touring all around the UK- celebrating youth countercultures and nightlife and working to redistribute wealth and public funds through commissioned projects with thousands of youths involved, which led to the creation of both digital and physical assets. For this project, Nelly and her team brought together thousands of contributors across the globe and they won one of the largest public grant from the four governments of the UK as a part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK- this was the UK’s most ambitious showcase of creative STEAM collaboration including free large-scale events, installations and globally accessible digital experiences.

Tour de Moon was a direct response to the current world we live in - where history is unfortunately repeating itself. Tour De Moon invited collaborators and members of the public to ask: WHY can’t we imagine a new way of thinking/dreaming/doing? We need to use radical imagination to create alternative futures.

Tour De Moon provided a platform for plurality, fresh thinking and new ideas. A unique, immersive 3 city 4 day festival of free public events - Leicester 13–16 May, Newcastle 27–30 May and Southampton 10–13 June - all linked by a touring sustainable Convoy (11 May-16 June) and celebrating nightlife and youth countercultures from across the UK and beyond.

Tour de Moon was composed of more than 90 individuals as a part of its team, as well as the Youth Reporter Board and Advisory Board and further collaborative organisations, all working together to build a festival committed to plurality, decolonial practices, social and racial justice, solidarity and equity.

Welcome to Moon Experiences

Moon Experiences repurposed disused buildings within cities, to create surreal and unusual theatrical spaces. The overall experience was built over 3 stages of non linear narrative format, with each area's narrative based on a different theme: Celebrations, Communication and Arrival.

In Celebrations we explored human and non-human celebrations set speculatively on the moon. Using the concept of mise en abyme, the physical set will offer windows through scenes tying together each celebration — emphasising the idea of history and moments repeating itself.

In Communication we considered talking to the universe through sound, and intercommunication with other species and the body. We investigated how communication between each other, earth and the moon might reflect issues within our society but also develop radical new forms of communications, like making use of white noise for example. 

In Arrival we considered how we go from one atmosphere to another, transitioning from one biological form to other immaterial and non living forms. How has arrival and transitioning been undertaken by humanity, and what societal issues does that unearth?

“Tour de Moon provided a platform for plurality, experimentation, fresh thinking and new ideas. A unique, immersive 3 city, 4 day festival of free public events all linked by a touring sustainable Convoy that celebrated nightlife and youth countercultures from across the planet.  Moon Experiences was a cosmic night time adventure in which the moon was both character and landscape for radical imagination. Built like an after party imagined outside of the traditional confines of daylight hours, and developed with youth and night-time workers; where films, music, theatre and science innovation collide and are in flux. With Tour de Moon and Moon Experiences, we hoped to inspire and encourage transformations, to support decolonial practices and new beginnings so that history doesn't repeat itself on and beyond earth, to celebrate and to embrace the creativity of youths.”  Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian, director Tour de Moon and Moon Experiences.

Project website: tourdemoon.com

May- June 22

Tour de Moon is one of 10 major creative projects commissioned as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK.

UK’s most ambitious showcase of creative STEAM collaboration including free large-scale events, installations and globally accessible digital experiences.

Moon Experiences is presented by Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios for Tour de Moon

Full team