Last month’s Guernsey Literary Festival was even more successful than 2017’s event, with ticket sales up 34%, and a record attendance of 5,064 at ticketed events.
The Festival attracted 40 speakers, from well-known media figures to political and social commentators, novelists and poets, scientists and endurance athletes, journalists and musicians. In total, 65 talks, workshops and events took place during the course of the festival, which ran from 10-13 May.
The Festival’s education programme also featured 14 talks in 11 local schools, reaching 2,000 children. Community outreach initiatives included a talk in the prison with Gary Younge, a shared reading with the Cheshire Homes, a talk for teachers and educators and a workshop on climate change with Why Comics to name a few.
The Guernsey Literary Festival is planned and run by a voluntary Steering Committee, backed by a Festival Board, and this year no fewer than 71 volunteers were involved. It was based in St Peter Port, with venues including the Festival Hub in Market Street, St James, the Guille-Alles Library and Les Cotils. Sponsorship plays a very important part in supporting the Festival with a record 15 sponsors signed up to this year’s festival.
This year’s festival sponsors included PraxisIFM, Browns Advocates, Moonpig, Butterfield, Odey Wealth, Guernsey Post, Rothschild, The Guernsey Arts Commission, Specsavers, Julius Baer, Changing Faces, Healthspan, Dorey Financial Modelling, Randalls of Guernsey and The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture.
The speakers’ line-up included plenty of big names this year including BBC Newsnight presenter and economist Evan Davis, inspiring speaker Katie Piper and best-selling novelists Ruth Hogan and Rachel Joyce. The Festival also attracted Jenni Murray and Coronation Street actor and writer Denise Welch, TV presenter and author June Sarpong and BBC’s Doctor in the House, Rangan Chatterjee.
Planning has already started on next year’s event, which will be held from 2-5 May 2019.