The Festival is over for another year!
Thank you to all who came to events or supported us in other ways. Please make a note of next year’s dates (14th – 23rd October) and watch out for news of our speakers.
photos courtesy of Charles Glover
During October 2015 the tiny city of Wells played host to an extraordinary week of festivals ...
4000 people came to Wells Festival of Literature events in the Bishop’s Palace, blessed by gentle sun and very little rain in a beautiful marquee in a beautiful setting.
The week started with interest and controversy. The Swedish crime writer Arne Dahl told the audience that a country gets the crime it deserves. Jeffrey Archer followed with an entertaining description of his writing life.
The week unfurled with an extraordinary range of events. There really was something for everyone and, as festival organizers, we were delighted to attract an equally wide range of audiences.
Professor Jonathan Bate’s talk on Ted Hughes drew rows and rows of school students whilst the hilarious, sharp, adorable performance poet Hollie McNish drew a massive crowd of all ages. At perhaps the other end of the spectrum A.N. Wilson gave a fascinating explanation of the significance of the bible through history – and William Waldegrave gave a bold, honest talk about his childhood, his political career and its disappointments.
The biggest crowds were of course for Mary Berry who enchanted us all. In a perhaps more intimate events, local book groups dissected a wonderful novel by Emma Hooper; writers won prizes for their poems and stories, and we learnt about Kipling, the history of paper and gardening during the war. We heard about lizards and hi-jinks in Asquith’s Downing Street; the views of feminist campaigners and political commentators and foreign correspondents just back from Afghanistan and Africa.
We finished the week with a hilarious set from the journalist and stand-up comedian, Viv Groskop. It was all mind-blowing. And we’ve got a year to recover before Wells gets its next mass infusion of ideas and shows and interesting people from across the country and beyond, popping up on stage in front of us and talking and talking and talking!