Monday, 02 August 2021

3,500 literary festival tickets sold in a day

FANS of the Henley Literary Festival bought 3,500 tickets in the first 12 hours of sales

FANS of the Henley Literary Festival bought 3,500 tickets in the first 12 hours of sales.

Tickets for Friends’ of the Festival went on sale on Monday at noon were also sold at a launch event that evening at Hotel du Vin in Hart Street.

There are more than 150 events for all ages at the 10th literary festival, which runs across various venues in Henley from September 26 to October 2. There were about 300 guests at the event including the Mayor Julian Brookes and DJ Mike Read.

Programming director Tom Ryan said: “It was really nice, we were definitely helped by the weather. There’s no where nicer in Henley on a sunny day than that courtyard.

“Originally, I wasn’t going to be selling tickets myself but I jumped on the laptop! We were very pleased with the amount of tickets sold. Each year we seem to get more people coming both locally and from around the country. Our programme caters for everyone aged one to 100. For our 10th anniversary there was pressure to do something a bit special.”

The full programme for this year has now been confirmed and names appearing include singer and West End actor David Essex, the Archbishop of York John Sentamu and former England cricketer Jonathan Trott. Novelist Fay Weldon will makes a return visit after her 2009 sell-out and food critic Tom Parker-Bowles will be making his festival debut with the Fortnum & Mason cookbook.

Other speakers include politician Margaret Hodge and broadcaster Jeremy Paxman, who lives in Stonor, while Henley historian Elizabeth Hazeldine returns with a true-life tale of murder from the 1800s.

Tickets go on general sale at 10am on Monday. For the full programme, visit

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