'Love Charing Cross Road' festival on 30th June

'Love Charing Cross Road' festival on 30th June

Foyles and Blackwell in Charing Cross Road are joining together with other local businesses to hold a day-long festival, Love Charing Cross Road, on 30th June, the start of Independent Booksellers Week and National Reading Group Day.

Events will be held with Simon Callow, Ben Aaronovitch and John Lanchester in Blackwell, and with young adult authors Sarwat Chadda and Sara Grant at Foyles, while there will be live jazz events in Ray's Jazz Café at Foyles, plus a "cross-road literary treasure hunt", reading group events, children's activities and food and drink from the area's cafés, pubs and restaurants.

Other events scheduled for the day include an evening of Soho stories at the café at Foyles, with Barry Miles, Clayton Littlewood, Radcliffe Royds and Tony Hickson; and boutique ice creams from The Icecreamists in the Foyles Gallery. A "literary pub quiz extraordinaire" will be held in Charing Cross Road's Phoenix Club in the evening. There are also plans for outdoor pavement events, currently awaiting permission from Westminster and Camden councils.

Blackwell Charing Cross Road manager Steve Orchard said: ‘We love Charing Cross Road. We want to honour its history and celebrate its future. We want you to come and talk to us, buy our books and music, support our street and its wealth of culture and
knowledge.  In return you get to regain the joy of years of expertise while you shop and make a real difference to keeping independent and individual areas of the city alive."

Foyles Charing Cross Road manager Sion Hamilton, added: "Our intention is for this to be the first of many events to celebrate the local community and its heritage, to bring together the retailers, venues and cafes of our road for on-going collaboration and creativity.’
 
Both bookshops have been affected by Crossrail roadworks which have seen the main access route from Oxford Street cut off to shoppers while a major new railway link is built, leading to a 10% drop-off in footfall and sales.

The Foyles Charing Cross Road branch opened in 1906 and Blackwell has had a bookshop on Charing Cross Road since 1995.