The Charing Cross Road Festival—Love Charing Cross Road—will return to the famous London street on 22nd-23rd June, this time spanning two days instead of one.
The partnership was struck up between businesses on the street, including Foyles and Blackwell’s, last summer, to attract customers back to Charing Cross Road after rail construction works lead to a 10% decrease in footfall.
This year will see Horrible Histories author Terry Deary, ukulele and felt-monster making workshops, a David Bowie quiz and booksellers dressed as detectives to find crime fiction for customers in Blackwell’s.
Visitors will also enjoy talks from well-known authors, live music in the Foyles Café, reading group events, Soho walking tours, children’s activities and culinary delights from cafes, pubs and restaurants. Booksellers will be on hand championing their favourite books and offering expert recommendations.
Steve Orchard, manager of Blackwell's on Charing Cross Road, said: “Last year’s festival was a great success, creating an exciting buzz both in the shops and on the street. Footfall on Charing Cross Road remains a challenge this year as the road closure is confusing and dissuades shoppers from coming down the street. Last year the drop in footfall was around 10% and while this has slowed, there is still a steady erosion as customers look elsewhere.”
He added that the street saw an uplift of 10% in footfall during the weekend of the festival last year and said the street hoped to achieve the same again, and keep customers coming back for the rest of the year.
Sion Hamilton, general manager of Foyles on Charing Cross Road added: “We're very pleased to be working with Blackwell's again for what is now an annual event. Last year's day-long festival had an incredible atmosphere up and down the road, and we hope not just to emulate that success but surpass it this year.”