Cheltenham Literature Festival
5-14 October 2018
The Literature Festival can be as heavyweight or flippant as you want it to be. 'Star' events (J.K Rowling and Hilary Clinton, for example, have appeared in the last few years) sit alongside the esoteric. The range this year is as impressive as ever, from a session on Klimt and Schiele to, um, Ben Fogle and so it would be a dull person who couldn’t find inspiration or entertainment from what is a quite remarkable line up of speakers and events.
This year there’s an East-West theme and the current crisis in liberal democracy is also shining through, as the subject of the moment amongst the non-fiction participants.
Events within the Festival tend to last for an hour or so, perhaps just as well, given the notoriously uncomfortable chairs on offer.
The best speakers tend to be those who are self-propelled (Worthy interviewers can be a bit toe-curling) and there are usually Q&A sessions at the end to ensure spontaneity. Expect to pay £8-£15 per speaker/event (prices tend to vary according to how often he/she has been on the telly). There are, by the way, always some good children’s events at Cheltenham Literature Festival.
It’s a good idea to book ahead. Detail of the programme are on the website, but probably the best way to get to grips with the scale of the event) and calculate how feasible it is to get from A to B) is to get hold of the Literature Festival programme and an old-school highlighter. Often, on the first pass, you’ll highlight about £300 worth of events and then have to cut back a little.
Props to The Times for sponsoring the event.