Organisers of The Bath Festival have said they are delighted it will be one of the first arts festivals in the country to open its doors from Monday for live events, following the national lockdown.
This year’s programme features more than forty music and book events and runs until Monday 24th May in some of Bath’s most popular venues.
Social distancing guidelines will be in place across the festival.
Highlights will include an appearance by Richard Osman, whose debut crime novel The Thursday Murder Club has been one of the biggest hits during lockdown.
Other big names visiting in person include Telegraph columnist and author Bryony Gordon (No Such Thing as Normal), comedian and TV presenter Mel Giedroyc, columnist Polly Toynbee, BBC correspondent turned thriller writer Frank Gardner and bestselling author Kate Mosse.
There will also be appearances too from debut writers, including comedian Tez Ilyas talking about his just-published memoir The Secret Diary of a British Muslim aged 13 ¾ and two fresh voices in fiction, Caleb Azumah Nelson and Daisy Buchanan.
Topics under discussion in Bath this year will include working from home, the NHS during the pandemic, the peri-menopause and mental wellbeing.
Kate Abbey, interim head of literature programming at the festival, said: “The Bath Festival team is thrilled to be able to welcome authors back to Bath.
“It’s been a long and uncertain journey to get to this point and we are grateful for the support, patience and enthusiasm shown by writers, chairs and publishers, as well as our fantastic sponsors, partners, our festival bookseller Mr B’s and the local community who are getting ready for an exciting week of book talks.”
Accompanying the festival is the Bath Reads project, which focuses on five titles all by writers who live in or near Bath.
Video interviews with the Bath Reads authors will be available to watch for free during The Bath Festival at Home from Friday 28th May to 11th June.
The Bath Festival was established more than 70 years ago. The charity, Bath Festivals, is also responsible for the Bath Children’s Literature Festival in the autumn as well as a year-round creative learning programme of music and literature projects for young people.
For tickets, visit bathfestivals.org.uk or call 01225 463362.