StoryTrails in Lincoln

Residents invited to see Lincoln differently as free, ground-breaking UK-wide series of storytelling events arrive in the city


Download the "StoryTrails in Lincoln" press release (PDF)

This summer, StoryTrails, the UK’s largest immersive storytelling experience, invites residents of Lincoln and visitors to explore untold and local stories about the city through ground-breaking multimedia technologies. Stories include that of Lincoln’s famous Imp, the symbol of the city who, legend has it, was turned to stone by an angel.

StoryTrails, part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, comes to Lincoln with a free two-day live event taking place on 30 and 31 July as part of a tour of 15 locations around the UK this summer. Centred around Lincoln Central Library and on the streets of Lincoln itself, it features digital experiences that allow people to experience the city in a completely new way through the magic of augmented (AR), virtual reality (VR) and immersive cinema.

An augmented reality trail, created by Adam Dixon to be specific to Lincoln and accessed through mobile devices, invites visitors to meet Lincoln’s famous Imp, the symbol of the city who, legend has it, was turned to stone by an angel. Loved by some, but labelled grotesque by others, he needs help to find his way back to Lincoln Cathedral where his old gang of gargoyle friends can offer some clues about his identity. The journey leads visitors and our Imp to Stonemason Rachel Wragg, whose own story rocks his world. He discovers that it may not be the hand of an angel he has to thank, rather the hand of a stonemason.

The AR trail uses cine film and video home movie footage, and photography from the BBC and British Film Institute, as well as local archive materials to present a window into the past. Visitors can borrow devices from the library and follow a guided augmented reality trail. They can also download the StoryTrails app on their smart phone and follow the story trail route from outside the libraries. The trail can be experienced via the mobile app outside of the live event, with the app available to download until the end of the year. 

There will also be an immersive cinema experience unique to the city and viewed on a cycloramic cinema screen set up inside the library. Immersive virtual maps of the city have been created using 3D scans of the local buildings, people, objects and areas, telling stories of people and place. This 15-minute film will play on a loop throughout the day. An expanded version of the map can also be viewed on iPads inside the library. In Lincoln, the map was developed by local spatial StoryMapper Emma Osman from the stories of local people, and features iconic places and local favourites such as Lincoln Cathedral and Bluebird Art and Crafts shop.

Emma Osman and Adam Dixon were two of just 50 emerging creatives around the UK to be selected to take part in the development of StoryTrails and benefit from expert training and mentoring opportunities from StoryFutures Academy, the National Centre for Immersive Storytelling, the team behind StoryTrails. StoryFutures Academy is run by Royal Holloway, University of London and the National Film and Television School (NFTS).