Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Literary festival partially online

Literary festival partially online

THIS year’s Henley Literary Festival will take place both in person and online.

It will run from October 2 to 10 at venues across the town, including a new space at Phyllis Court Club.

Tickets will go on sale on Monday July 19. 

Harriet Reed Ryan, the festival’s events and programme director, said: “We are all very excited about the festival coming back.

“We have been very fortunate that our headline sponsor Baillie Gifford have stayed with us. They have supported the festival since 2011 and their loyalty has been invaluable. We simply couldn’t have done it without them, especially over the past 12 months.”

Last year the festival went virtual with nearly 50 events including John Grisham, Nadiya Hussain, Graham Norton, Clare Balding and Tim Peake.

Mrs Reed Ryan said: “It was a real test but we received tremendous support from audiences, authors and interviewers.”

Michelle McLeod, sponsorship manager at Baillie Gifford, said: “Last year was challenging but the festival team embraced the digital environment and are using the experience to enhance this year’s programme.

“Our new venue will bring a different aspect to the festival and provide flexibility, with many events being filmed and live streamed.

“This is fantastic for both in-person and online audiences who will have the opportunity to hear from the brilliant and varied line-up that the festival always delivers.”   

Events will take place at Christ Church, the town hall and at a marquee in the grounds of Phyllis Court Club. The marquee will be the festival’s biggest venue yet with a capacity of 500 or 350 if social distancing rules are still in place.

Mrs Reed Ryan said: “We have been thinking about a marquee for a few years as we so frequently sell out and with the need to consider social distancing this seemed like the perfect time — and what a beautiful setting.

“After the success of the online festival, we are delighted to have a streaming element from at least one of our venues.”

Chris Hogan, chief and club secretary of Phyllis Court Club, said: “We’re looking forward to hosting one of the UK’s leading literary festivals.

“It is a highlight of the social calendar which we are proud to be a part of.”

Other venues will be announced later, as will the line-up. For more information, visit https://henleyliterary
festival.co.uk 

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