Wimbledon BookFest to run two in-person festivals

Wimbledon BookFest to run two in-person festivals

Wimbledon BookFest is holding two in-person five-day festivals this summer, with speakers including Caitlin Moran, Monique Roffey and Michael Morpurgo.

The first event, Sunrise, runs from 9th–13th June, with Sunset following from 15th–19th September. Each will take place in BookFest’s reduced-capacity, roof-only marquee with socially distanced allocated seating. Additional safety procedures will also be in place, such as an advance booking-only policy to enable track and trace.

A similar format was successfully used in October 2020 when Wimbledon BookFest presented The Last Days of Summer, one of the few in-person arts festivals to take place last year.

Sunrise comprises 40 talks, readings, discussions and workshops spanning fiction, poetry, politics, nature, art, fashion, music, lifestyle and spirituality, including events for young people and schools.

Among those appearing will be Alastair Campbell, Ed Miliband, Robert Webb, the Reverend Richard Coles, Frank Skinner and James O’Brien. Also on the bill, Costa Book of the Year 2021 winner and Wimbledon resident Roffey joins local writers Ingrid Persaud and Leone Ross for readings and discussion.

The full programme for Sunset will be announced in June 2021. The festivals are backed by the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund through Arts Council England, the University of Roehampton, lead sponsor Baillie Gifford and the support of community sponsors and benefactors. 

Fiona Razvi, festival director, said: “It’s so wonderful to be running live events this summer. Sunrise represents the first of two festivals this year with Sunset coming later in September. Running two festivals in open-air marquees when the weather is warmer enables us to welcome back our audiences in a safe, controlled way. We had an extremely positive experience of being one of the few festivals to deliver a live festival last year. Wimbledon BookFest is such an important part of the community’s cultural calendar for so many. We are incredibly grateful to Arts Council England and our sponsors and benefactors, who have made it possible for us to stage these festivals this summer. We will also be filming events to reach wider audiences, and to enable those unable to visit to still experience a sense of the ‘live’ environment once again. We’ve all missed it.” 

Wimbledon BookFest: Sunrise goes on sale to BookFest Friends on 10th May at 10 a.m., and will go on general sale on 17th May at 10 a.m. For further information, visit the website.