Tuesday, 10 May 2016

A Curious Arts Festival

by Maryom

Regular readers of the blog will know we're lovers of any form of book festival - from those, such as Edinburgh and Hay, held in purpose built tented 'book villages', to those using bookshops, libraries, theatres, even churches as venues for events (Derby, Lowdham, Chipping Norton) - but the Curious Arts Festival has another approach.

Running over the weekend 22-24 July, in the grounds of Pylewell Park, Hampshire, a single ticket admits you to the festival, then you choose who you'd like to see ( a small number of 'workshop' style events do still require pre-booking because of limited numbers) Tickets can be bought for a single day or evening, or if you choose to visit for the full weekend you can bring your tent and camp for no extra cost (or check out alternative 'ready-pitched' options).

Carol Ann Duffy
Now, when I go along to a book festival, I tend to pick out just the events involving authors I enjoy;  what I like about the fixed price entrance is that I feel it would encourage me to take a chance on unknown authors too. This year's line up ranges from Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, with events for both adults and children, to thriller writers SJ Watson, Stella Rimington and Renee Knight, from household names such as Deborah Moggach to debut authors Jo Cannon, Max Porter and Harry Parker. You can either just sit back and listen to authors talk about books and life, or sign up for one of the writing workshops. Celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, there'll be both a Sonnetathon running the whole weekend, and a Shakespeare Not Stirred master-class in cocktails inspired by the bard!!
Deborah Moggach

The Curious Arts Festival is about more than just books though. There are wine-tasting, yoga and landscape painting activities, a pop-up bookshop, and a programme of music and comedy, with events continuing into the night.
Alice in Wonderland tea-party from 2015
For children there are events running all day - starting with early morning cartoons and films, then puppet-making, a Jabberwocky hunt, their own stand-up comedian, and bug hunts, rounding off each evening with bedtime stories. 

Check out the full list of authors here and more general info, ticket and camping options, here

1 comment:

  1. Interesting, I haven't heard of this one. Will check it out.