Monday, 27 September 2021

Organisers aim to build on success of Reading's new festival

Organisers aim to build on success of Reading's new festival

THE organisers of this year’s new Reading-on-Thames Festival have appointed a festival director to build on its success.

Anna Doyle will take charge of planning and developing next September’s event.

She brings a wealth of experience to the role, with more than a decade’s experience of programming events for organisations including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the British Council and the British Film Institute.

Among the prestigious events Doyle has previously worked on are the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, the Nuit Blanche arts festival in Paris and the Sónar music festival in Barcelona.

She has also worked with artists such as the 2015 Turner prize-winning artists collective, Assemble, and the Bafta award-winning director Kieran Evans.

The Reading-on-Thames Festival was born out of the ideas, enthusiasm and momentum from Reading’s Year of Culture in 2016.

Managed by Reading UK with support from a range of partners, it showcases Reading’s waterways as the backdrop and inspiration for a high-quality arts programme from national and local cultural groups.

In September 2017, the first festival included Walk the Plank’s River Stories on the Thames at Caversham Court Gardens, Reading’s Royal Burial by the Reading Between the Lines Theatre Company at the Oracle Riverside, a mass Thames Swim, and the building of a Lego model of the Thames.

Nigel Horton Baker, executive director of Reading UK, said: “We are thrilled that Anna Doyle is bringing her global experience of working with eminent cultural organisations and prize-winning artists to Reading to help us maximise the Reading-on-Thames Festival’s potential and establish it as a major cultural fixture. Under her stewardship, the 2018 festival will bring new and exciting performances to Reading while continuing to work closely with our local arts community to showcase Reading as a major cultural destination with a hunger for great arts and culture, home to significant artistic talent and spectacular riverside locations.”

Anna Doyle said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as festival director for the 2018 Reading-on-Thames Festival and am looking forward to working with Reading’s arts community and cultural sector to showcase Reading’s dynamic cultural offer. With a focus on waterways, the festival will celebrate and respond to Reading’s rich unique environment and culture to present a journey of discovery inspired by its communities, landscapes and histories. The programme will be delivered in partnership with the local cultural sector to be a catalyst for the new spirit of collaboration and partnership that is emerging in Reading. Tapping into a wealth of local venues and unusual outdoor sites, the festival will create exhilarating audience experiences and unexpected encounters.”

The Reading-on-Thames Festival 2018 is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Reading Borough Council successfully bid for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund / Arts Council England Great Places Scheme for funding for a range of arts and cultural projects, which includes funding Reading UK to deliver the Reading-on-Thames Festival for the next three years.

The 2018 event will run from Friday, September 7, to Sunday, September 16. For more information, visit www.

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