2018 Highlights

2018 is over and 2019 is here! Last year was an incredible year for Bath Festivals and here are just a few highlights from our 70th anniversary year:

The Bath Festival

In May, The Bath Festival once again brought together some of the world’s leading writers, musicians and cultural figures, for an extended 17 days of incredible events in the city. The literature programme brought stimulating, thought-provoking and diverse content. Professor Green, David Olusoga, Ladysmith Black MambazoKate Mosse and Maggie O’Farrell were just a few of the incredible names who brought debate, discussion and enticing entertainment to the festival.

Roman Rabinovich, Roderick Williams and Sheku Kanneh-Mason all featured in the spectacular music programme, providing stunning performances in the city centre venues. Amanda Palmer opened the festival with a powerful performance in the Forum and Spira Mirabilis took to the streets, playing on Milsom Street, Abbey Churchyard and Southgate to delighted passers by. Click here to read the full round up for The Bath Festival 2018.

The Finale Weekend

2018 was also the inaugural year of the new Finale Weekend on the Rec celebrating Bath Festivals’ 70thanniversary year. Paloma Faith headlined Saturday, whilst Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters headlined Sunday, providing phenomenal performances to close the milestone festival. The weekend was a huge success, full to the brim of tasty food, incredible music and fun for the whole family.

Bath Children’s Literature Festival

Europe’s largest dedicated children’s literature festival once again brought some of the most acclaimed authors and illustrators to the city of Bath for 10 days of world-class entertainment. Waterstones Children’s Laureate Lauren Child opened the festival, with Harry Hill, Tom Fletcher, Cressida Cowell and Jess French amongst the talented authors and illustrators all coming to entertain and inspire our young audiences.

A particular highlight was David Walliams and chair, Ade Adepitan, entertaining a sold out Forum on the first full day of the festival with animated storytelling, bags of humour and intriguing questions. This was followed by renowned author Terry Deary and talented illustrator Martin Brown celebrating the 25th anniversary of Horrible Histories, with live drawing and music for the whole family to enjoy. Click here to read the full round up for Bath Children’s Literature Festival 2018.

Creative Learning

2018 was a huge year for our Creative Learning Programme. During The Bath Festival the 70th Anniversary year was celebrated through the Schools Commission, where 110 Year 5 pupils from local schools worked with Richard Barnard and Edwina Bridgeman to write songs and produce the set and costumes for a sparkling performance in the Abbey. You can watch it here. Over 1200 people attended our Family Arts Day in Parade Gardens, enjoying a range of arts activities. During the festival we also celebrate the work created during the Paper Nations programme by creating a trail of children and young people’s writing around the city.

2018 saw the culmination of the 3 year long Paper Nations project, where we delivered creative writing projects with over 1500 young people across the 3 years. As part of this we worked with Little Things Magazine in Frome on a year long partnership delivering events and workshops in Frome schools to support literacy development which ended with the WordUp! Festival of Words. There was storytelling, writing workshops and much more for families to get involved with.

During Bath Children’s Literature Festival, the Schools Programme was a huge success, with the most sold out events to date. 2018 was also the year of our first ever Poetry Slam, which saw pupils from various local schools battle it out in the Guildhall.

The Young Writers Lab continued to meet each week and write together and the year finished on a high with the start of our Young Producers project, working in collaboration with Mentoring Plus. We are looking forward to working more with these young people to create work for 2019’s The Bath Festival.

A message from our CEO, Ian Stockley

“2018 year was a wonderful year for the festival and the city as we celebrated our 70th Anniversary year.  We listened and learnt from our audiences and we move into 2019 building on our mission of connecting our community through the power of the arts.  Thank you for your support.”

Thank You

We want to say a big thank you too all that supported us during 2018, with special thanks going to our incredible sponsors, patrons and volunteers. We couldn’t do it without you!

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