Madeline Toy has joined Bath Festivals as head of literature programming.
In the new role Toy will look after the literature programme for The Bath Festival in May and oversee Bath Children’s Literature Festival, which is programmed by artistic directors John and Gill McLay and takes place in September.
She replaces Judith Robinson, who left Bath Festivals last month.
Toy joins the organisation from Cheltenham Festivals, which she joined in January 2014 as a freelance programmer. She was later promoted to programme manager and then senior programme and project manager, working predominantly on fiction, celebrity and lifestyle.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Cheltenham Festivals. I loved working with the team there and learned so much. I’ve admired The Bath Festival for a while now, especially since they combined their music and literature festivals a couple of years ago which I thought was a really interesting move, and I’m really excited to get going on the programme for 2019,” she said.
Kate Abbey, who previously had a freelance programming and artist liaison role, is also joining the company in the position of literature producer. She said: “I’ve been an avid supporter of Bath Festivals and Bath Children’s Literature Festival for over ten years as an attendee and for the past five working alongside the team who make it all happen. I’m thrilled to be on board in my new role.”
Ian Stockley, chief executive, of Bath Festivals, said: “I am delighted to welcome Madeline and Kate to our team. Madeline’s experience and commercial knowledge is a great asset to Bath Festivals and Kate’s permanent appointment is testament to her important contribution so far, and also signifies our move towards growing our business and developing the already strong literary programming that we offer during both festivals.”
Alex Clark, who has completed her two year tenure as artistic director for the The Bath Festival, will return as a guest curator for a special series of fiction events in 2019 and will chair events.