A Look Back On 2023!

What a year we have had! We celebrated a whopping 75 years of delivering a programme of exceptional events, something we could not have done without YOU, our wonderful audiences, supporters, partners, and friends.

We have welcomed authors, rising classical music stars, performers, and our favourite children’s characters for two incredible festivals and extra special events throughout the year.

Let’s take a look at this fantastic year:


Talking Friendships with Elizabeth Day

In March, we welcomed Elizabeth Day and Andi Oliver who had us in fits of laughter as we listened to such an open conversation about friendships and celebrated Elizabeth’s book ‘Friendaholic’.


Bath Was Alive With Music

Once again Bath’s biggest free night of music: Party in the City, took over the city as well as Queen Square and Parade Gardens. Up-and-coming artists played the night away and we danced and sang the night away. The Abbey was filled with choirs and orchestras, churches also welcomed local groups to play, and bars and clubs had a full lineup of singer-songwriters, local bands and DJ’s.


Schools’ Voices Wowed Again

In May our Schools’ Voices programme wowed audiences with four original songs written and performed by young people from Bath secondary schools. It was an incredibly special time for families and the public alike to witness these students achieve something incredible.


The Bath Festival

Over ten days, we welcomed countless authors, rising classical music stars and performers who all helped us celebrate books and music. We welcomed Max Porter for an exceptional night at Komedia where Max performed an excerpt from his new book ‘Shy’, then we danced the night away with a set of EDM.

Fern Brady brought her hilarious energy to the Guildhall and opened up a very real conversation about her recent autism diagnosis.

Manni and Reuben Coe shared stories with Sally Phillips and we got sewing tips from the one and only Esme Young. We heard talks about menopause, healthy habits, climate change and grief. Our writing workshops saw aspiring authors learn techniques from poets, comedy and short fiction writers.


Bath Children’s Literature Festival

One of our festival favourites Rob Biddulph wowed us again with his draw-along event that kicked off the Bath Children’s Literature Festival.

Over the first weekend, The Egg was transformed into a worry-free space with crafts, coloring, and free fun for the family. The Happiness Hub was a hit with children and parents alike and we can’t wait to bring it back in 2024.

Over the week local schools flooded the Guildhall to meet some fantastic authors. Schools also received special visits from top authors delivering talks to encourage and inspire.

We were on the edge of our seats listening to authors like Dermot O’Leary, Lenny Henry and Stephen and Anita Mangan as they all brought their stories to life.


Reading is Magic

Once again we reached children across the globe with our online and on-demand festival with events streamed straight into classrooms and homes. We heard from Joseph Coelho, Steven Lenton, David Almond and more. Events are still available until the end of the year.


Michael Palin

In October we heard the moving story of Great-Uncle Harry from Michael Palin. The Forum was packed with fans as we were swept up in the family history of war, love, loss, and legacy.


We can’t wait to do it all again in 2024! Keep your eyes peeled in the new year for our exciting plans. If you can’t wait you can peer through all our festival memories on our Flickr HERE. 

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