Once upon a time, we lived through lockdown. Bleak news filled our lives globally and personally; shops and establishments closed their doors and plans were cancelled; we were denied seeing our family and our friends. In the face of blank calendars and scribbled-out diaries, there was very little to look forward to… until a variety of innovative people decided to take matters into their own hands.
Up and down the UK, museums, galleries and festivals moved their work online for all to view, including our very own Felixstowe Book Festival.
As our festival director Meg worked hard to figure out this brave new world of cultural events, many questions filled our heads…
“Would it work?”
“Will anyone watch?”
“Would it still be interesting?”
“Will people still enjoy it?”
The answer to all of our ponderings seems to be… a resounding yes! This weekend we held virtual host to a wonderful line up of authors and speakers.
We went live through entertaining interviews with Paul French, Liz Trenow, Nick Cottam, Carol Drinkwater, George Alagiah and Harriet Tyce. A fascinating evening was spent with Brontë expert Nick Holland on Friday evening and we heard Martin Bell’s musings on his life and career on Saturday evening. The weekend was peppered with video insights into the days in the lockdown lives of some of our favourite authors. Our younger festival fans enjoyed story readings and drawalongs to keep them busy. All in all, our packed programme provided some much needed literary sustenance to you all during one of the strangest and most stressful years of our lives.
We are delighted with the supportive response we have received from you all, dear festival fans, and are quite overwhelmed to see that we have managed to raise over £1000 thanks to your kind donations, which you can check out through our fundraising page. We thank you from the bottom of our bookish hearts – we couldn’t do this without you.
So, that is it for 2020! We did not start the new decade expecting our festival weekend to turn out quite as it did, but we are so glad you enjoyed it in its virtual form. As a final cherry on the cake, all our festival videos are still available to watch on our website and on our Facebook page.
Without further ado, here’s to 2021!
Take care everyone.
The Felixstowe Book Festival Team x