The Lit Fest Newsletter
We took a break over the summer but we are back.
One of the positives of the last couple of years has been the way that the festival season now extends up until Xmas. Stratford’s Winter Festival, that has just finished, had a line-up as strong as any of the summer festivals. The same is also true of Cambridge Winter Literary Festival that starts tomorrow. It is also great to see oth festival returning. Stoke-on-Trent’s Festival in a Factory closed in 2019 but author events are returning to Emma Bridgewater’s famous factory.
Above is a photo of the wonderful Claire Malcolm at the start of the recent Durham Book Festival. So much has happened to us all since we last stood up on a stage in front of an audience - i can only wonder of the million and one thoughts that must have been going through her head.
The Big Picture
Lee Randall has written an amazing report that was funded by Creative Scotland. Exploring The Post-Pandemic Landscape Of Scottish Literary Festivals: Where Do We Go From Here? Everyone should read it - incredibly thorough, well researched and packed full of insights - Lee has done a fantastic job. Surely she should be commissioned to do the same for the rest of the UK? This is, by some distance, the best overview of the literary festival sector ever produced.
I loved the new visual identity for Edinburgh created by the Glasgow design studio Tangent. Great to see no stacks of books or other cliches. Tangent director David Whyte explains: "This year's festival was focused on sharing ideas and stories about how we can all best adapt to a rapidly changing world and recover from the pandemic. We wanted to create something joyful and optimistic that embraced the best parts of the last year and a half: community, optimism, a chance to rebuild." The illustrator of their Onwards and Upwards campaign was Linn Fritz.
In the basement of Jack White’s new Third Man Records store in London is this wonderful vending machine the Literarium that delivers a surprise book to every customer. It was designed by a Canadian artist Craig Small. You can read more about it here
Charleston came up with a wonderful solution to putting on events earlier this summer. They commissioned this beautiful outdoor stage from Pup Architects who said, ‘The structure is imagined as half of a barn roof opening up to the audience, whilst the colours of the roof are inspired by the painted interiors of Charleston house itself,’ say the architects. ‘Like the house, the stage reflects a sense of exuberance and vibrancy, intended to welcome people back from the winter’s lockdown.’
Visitors were encouraged to bring umbrellas with them if rain was forecast - with a promise that whatever the weather the show would go on. I went to a couple of events there this year and can confirm the stage looked as dramatic in real life as it does in these photos.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs . . .
Further Reading . . .
This is an article for musuems about how they should be auditing their websites but i think most of the lessons are also super relevent to lit fest websites.
In case you missed it . . .
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