On Friday 29 May a few lucky members of staff, myself included, took a trip to the Hay Literary Festival in Wales ahead of the Yeovil Literary Festival which begins on 29 October.
Our Theatre Manager Adam Burgan, who has been to the festival a number of times, suggested the trip as a great way to see a long-established literary festival in action.
Adam, our Deputy Theatre Manager Kate, Technical Manager Danny, Operations Manager Sean and myself drove up through the wind and the rain in search of inspiration and were not disappointed!
We all chose a selection of varied performances to attend throughout the day covering all manner of topics from Shakespeare to Climate Change. Being a total bookworm and keen Shakespeare fan it was safe to say that I was like a child in a sweet shop all day!
We split into teams to test out the different venues and Kate and I were lucky enough to see an incredible talk in the Tata Tent (Hay’s biggest venue) by linguist David Crystal and actor Ben Crystal – father and son – all about ‘The Shakespeare Dictionary’. Meanwhile Adam and Sean were taking in a Climate Change event and Danny was hearing all about the Battle of Waterloo! Feeling thoroughly inspired after our amazing talks we also managed to check out the incredible food tent and the bustling festival bookshop (my favourite place!).
Being an English graduate and avid reader I’ve been desperate to visit the Hay Festival for many years and so I was expecting big things from our trip. I am delighted to say that Hay definitely lived up to my expectations – the sun even came out to end the trip on a high! We all came away exhausted from running from tent to tent but newly excited for our very own Yeovil Literary Festival.
Travelling back to Yeovil I browsed the rest of the Hay programme to see the other artists who had taken part and was thrilled to see Michael Morpurgo in the listings – a fantastic author who is visiting Yeovil Literary Festival for the second year running this year!
As well as Michael Morpurgo we have announced the following artists for YLF 2015: Judith Kerr (best known for The Tiger Who Came To Tea and the Mog series), Adam Henson (of BBC’s Countryfile), Jaqueline Wilson (creator of Tracy Beaker and former Children’s Laureate) and a special music/spoken word concert with Tim McInnerney, Juliet Stevenson and Lucy Parham. We have also secured Amnesty International UK as our charitable partner.
This year’s Yeovil Literary Festival takes place from Thursday 29 October to Sunday 1 November across a number of venues including The Octagon Theatre, The Manor Hotel and Waterstones, Yeovil. The rest of the programme will be announced later in the year so be sure to keep an eye on the YLF Facebook page and Twitter profile @YeovilLitFest.
To book tickets (from Friday 5 June) and for more information visit: www.yeovilliteraryfestival.co.uk.
We have so much exciting stuff lined up for this year’s Festival you will not want to miss it. If I wasn’t working in one of our venues for the weekend I’d be getting along to loads of our events!
I look forward to seeing you at this year’s Yeovil Literary Festival.
Hannah (Marketing Officer)