This year Bath is saying hello to its new 10-day multi-arts festival from 19th-28th May 2017...
The festival will see music and literary events taking centre stage and will welcome the biggest and brightest names in these fields to venues across the city of Bath. Over 130 different events have been planned and bookings are already being taken via Bath Box Office, both in person, online, and by telephone on 01225 463362.
At Dukes we’ve been having a read through the programme, and while we were going to base this week’s blog post to the festival, there’s so much going on that we’ve decided to split our top festival picks into a few different parts. This week we’re focusing on the top events taking place over the first weekend of the festival: Friday 19th May – Sunday 21st May.
On the Friday will be the big opening event – Party in the City, and this is one incredibly big event! Multiple venues all across Bath will be filled with everything from electro-swing to cheerleading to Chinese shadow-puppetry. No matter what your music taste there’s bound to be bands playing that you’ll enjoy as all the major genres are covered. There’ll be folk, rock, classical, DJ booths, jazz, acoustic, swing and soul. There’ll even be drumming and samba dancing on the dedicated Carnival Street. The party begins at 6pm, continues late into the night and, best of all, is entirely free!
On Saturday these are our top picks.
From 11am-12pm top baker and Great British Bake Off judge Mary Berry will be speaking at the Forum about her life in cookery. Included with a ticket to this event is a copy of Mary’s new book, Mary Berry Everyday, and the first 300 people to book tickets will receive a pre-signed copy, so booking early is a must for Mary fans!
Shortly afterwards from 1pm – 2pm, also at The Forum, top authors Tessa Hadley, Adam O’Riordan and Petina Gappah will be discussing what makes short stories so exciting to write and so rewarding to read. This is a great event for any aspiring authors out there.
As for Saturday evening…we couldn’t choose. What will be your must-see event will really depend on whether you’re a jazz, classical, or Bob Dylan fan.
On Sunday our top pick is the Writing Crime workshop at The Igloo. Starting at 12pm, the three-hour workshop with crime writers Mel McGrath and Erin Kelly will “show you how to create believable characters, start your story with a bang and keep it burning. Expect taught segments and exercises.”
A special mention also has to go to the event taking place at the Assembly Rooms from 3pm-4pm however. Author Ali Smith whose novel How to be both won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Costa Novel Award. At this event she’ll be talking about her latest best-seller, Autumn, written last summer as global and national events unfolded. It has been described as “unbearably moving, shrewd and dreamy, playful, strange” and an “assessment of what it means to be alive” by the New York Times.
If you’re planning on coming to any of these events then we encourage early booking though, as we know from experience how fast Bath Festival events book up!