Starmus returns to the Canary Islands for ‘Starmus La Palma’ in April 2025

By | Published: June 19, 2024 | Last updated on June 20, 2024
  • Starmus, already recognized as the most ambitious science and music festival in the world returns to the Canary Islands in April 2025 as one of the big bets for the recovery of the island of La Palma.
  • In collaboration with the Starlight Foundation and with the support of the IAC, “Starmus La Palma” will be the most informative edition in the history of Starmus, as it will be completely open to the public and all the events of the festival will be free of charge.
  • Starmus has just celebrated its seventh edition in Slovakia, where more than 100,000 people attended the different events of the festival that paid tribute to Planet Earth

Tenerife/La Palma – June 18, 2024 — STARMUS, the most ambitious science and music festival — founded by Garik Israelian, PhD in astrophysics and the Queen guitarist Brian May, also a PhD in astrophysics — announced today its next edition to be held on the island of La Palma next April 2025.

At a press conference together with the President of the Government of the Canary Islands — Fernando Clavijo, the Special Commissioner for the Reconstruction of the Island of La Palma — Héctor F. Izquierdo — the President of the Island Council of La Palma — Sergio Rodríguez Fernández and the most popular Spanish science communicator Javier Santaolalla, “Starmus La Palma” is presented as an historic edition, both for the festival and for the island.

After four editions held in different countries, Starmus returns to the Canary Islands — in partnership with the Starlight Foundation — as part of the recovery program for the island of La Palma after the disaster caused by the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja Volcano in 2021. Thus, the festival will serve as a platform for the international promotion of the island known as the “isla bonita” and its positioning as one of the most privileged territories in the world for stargazing.

After the success of its last editions abroad — in Norway, Switzerland, Armenia and Slovakia — Starmus ‘returns home’ to contribute to the recovery of La Palma.  Within the framework of the ‘Starlight Declaration or Declaration of La Palma’ in defense of the night sky and the right to starlight — promoted by the IAC and drafted and signed by international institutions such as UNESCO, UNWTO and IAU among others, whose responsible body is the Starlight Foundation, this special edition of Starmus will be a special event in defense of the night sky and the right to starlight.

This special edition of Starmus will be a tribute to the island and will focus on the great challenges of light and space pollution and will bring back to the Canary Islands the great heroes and visionaries of the space race together with a great cast of scientific and artistic personalities.

The festival will offer a 4-day program of first-class lectures, an unrivaled musical agenda that will bring world-renowned speakers and artists to La Palma and its popular STARMUS Camp, with which science will take center stage all over the island.

The organizers are already working on the program and further details of the event are expected to be announced in September.

We are very excited about the return of STARMUS to the Canary Islands. This is going to be such a special edition, as returning to the islands after so many years means a lot to us and also to the Canary Islands and La Palma in particular. We are returning ‘home’ because La Palma is the origin of Starmus, it is the place that inspired Brian May and me to create Starmus. In this edition we are going to do something different, something very special, a festival of the stars in every sense of the word, because as well as being a privileged place for stargazing, La Palma also has the ‘Walk of Stars’, so the level of both speakers and artists must also be ‘stellar’. We have less than a year to organize such a special edition but we are going to make STARMUS La Palma an historic edition of what is already considered for many the most inspiring festival in the world“, said Garik Israelian, co-founder and creative director of the festival.

According to Fernando Clavijo, President of the Canary Islands Government, “it is a great satisfaction that Starmus returns to the Canary Islands, and specifically to La Palma, to offer us a symbiosis of the best of human capacity in the fields of science, knowledge, art and creativity, in a more sustainable world, and thus become a true light, like that of the stars, that motivates and inspires our companies, institutions and our young people and projects to the rest of the planet what we are and what we do in the Canary Islands.”

Starmus is a magnificent opportunity to promote scientific tourism, to deepen education and awareness of our environment, to promote innovation and economic development, creating imaginative synergies with culture and the arts, and to reinforce our international projection, based on the example of recovery and resilience given to us by the palmeros and palmeras after the Tajogaite eruption,” he added.

According to Héctor F. Izquierdo, representative of the Special Commission for the Reconstruction of the Island of La Palma, “Rich countries do not invest in science because they are rich; they are rich because they have previously invested in science, and in this sense, La Palma has great scientific and informative potential due to its own natural heritage. Geology, volcanology, geothermics, biology, oceanography and especially, astronomy. La Palma is sky, land and sea and their synergies. It is an island of science and, therefore, a natural setting for STARMUS, which will also have the invaluable collaboration of such an important driving force for the island as the IAC.”

The President of the Cabildo La Palma, Sergio Rodríguez Fernández, emphasized that “the festival is coming back to the island to stay, with activities that will take place every year, making it possible to the essence of the island and of this event. In addition, it does so at an important time to contribute to the recovery of the island.”

For her part, the director of the Starlight Foundation, Antonia Varela, added that “it is an honor and also a great responsibility to be part of the organization of a festival of these characteristics that will bring so many internationally renowned scientists and artists to La Palma. This festival will help us to promote the environmental, cultural and scientific values of the protection of our skies, as we do at the Starlight Foundation.” Varela also recalled that it was precisely on this island where the Declaration of La Palma was signed and where the Sky Law has been definitively promoted, being a world example of the protection of this heritage.”

STARMUS has the great support of the IAC — Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias — as a collaborating entity. Thus, its director, Rafael Rebolo, is pleased that the STARMUS Festival will be held on the island of La Palma in 2025, coinciding with two important anniversaries: the 40th anniversary of the inauguration of the Canary Island Observatories and the 50th anniversary of the institute itself. In this sense, he remarked that “La Palma can be happy that a world-class event of these characteristics that unites science and art will be held on this island that has contributed so much to the advancement of international astrophysics thanks to its generosity in the application of the Law of the Sky and in hosting high-level facilities such as the largest optical and infrared telescope in the world: the Grantecan.”

In addition, the great physicist, engineer and science popularizer Javier Santaolalla, who will be one of the main collaborators of this edition, remarked that “the Canary Islands have the ideal conditions to become a world reference in astronomy: great human talent, infrastructure and the best night sky in Europe. But we need people to know about it, the Canary Islanders to know about it and defend it, and the rest of the world to admire it. Starmus is going to put the name of the Canary Islands in every corner of the world.”

As for public support for this unique celebration of La Palma, science, music and the stars, STARMUS La Palma will be held thanks to the European funds for the Reconstruction of the island of La Palma from the Ministry of Industry and Tourism of Spain, promoted by the Special Commission for the Reconstruction of the Island of La Palma and managed with the support of the Canary Islands Government through the Regional Ministry of Universities, Science and Innovation and Culture.

Undoubtedly, a unique event that will put the ‘Isla Bonita’ in the international spotlight for a whole week and consolidate it as an international point of reference for the scientific community and for astro-tourism as “the island of the stars.”