It’s here! The opening weekend of The Bath Festival 2022

Message your friends, gather up your family, galvanise your partner, fill your diary with some me-time – The Bath Festival 2022 is officially open for a full-on programme of live events, kicking off tomorrow night at 5pm with Party in the City and you are ALL invited!

The evening of FREE live music in more than 30 different city centre venues is just the start of an exciting first weekend. Pick up a Party in the City paper guide to find out who is playing when and where, or download the easy to use Pixie app so you have all the info on your phone. Over the two days of the weekend, drop in at the Festival Hub in Queen Square for free entertainment, relax with a coffee and enjoy music from the stage,

Over our opening weekend The Bath Festival continues its long-standing tradition of providing some superb classical music concerts.  Take a seat at St Swithin’s Church, Walcot, for the Carducci Quartet on Saturday and  the extraordinary talented guitarist Sean Shibe on Sunday. Get tickets if you can for what promises to be a truly memorable concert by the young Bath Festival Orchestra playing beside the waters of the Roman Baths.

One of the leading lights on the contemporary British folk scene Scottish singer-songwriter, Karine Polwart, will be playing in Bath for the first time, with her musical companion pianist Dave Milligan. Karine has such a beautiful, pure, singing voice. You’ll find them at Komedia, another great city centre venue, on Saturday evening.

Even if you know Bath well you may not have visited The Bath Festival Literature Lounge on Alfred Street. This intimate little pop-up, which is just in situ for this weekend, allows the audience gets up close and personal with visiting writers. There will be a series of fascinating talks going on inside this beautifully decorated marquee. One of the Literature Lounge events sees award-winning journalist and novelist Daisy Buchanan (author of the hilarious and sexy novel Insatiable) as she talks about her new book Careering with fellow author Charlotte Mendelson, whose novel The Exhibitionist also focuses on the hot mess we experience just below the surface of our lives. Or watch as the Tarot cards guide an intriguing interview technique, hosted by the duo Litwitchure.

Marian Keyes, the Irish author of bestsellers including Rachel’s Holiday and Rachel, Again, speaks as eloquently and with as much wit and warmth as she writes. She’ll be sharing a stage with a pair of wise and funny writers Nine Stibbe (One Day I Shall Astonish The World) and Lucy Mangan (Are We Having Fun Yet?)

Two literary giants come together for a unique conversation. Writer Abdulrazak Gurnah, who holds the Nobel prize in Literature, will be talking to Turkish-British writer and activist Elif Shafak about their body of work as well as big themes of the sense of home, of colonialism and Britishness.

Perhaps you’d like to get your teeth into one of the big issues of our age. Should we be eating meat? Rob Percival, author of The Meat Paradox, will be exploring mankind’s complicated relationship with animals [Sat 14 May, 11am, The Forum Ballroom). Is sending little boys away to boarding school the best social model for forging the leaders of our nation? Hear broadcasters Justin Webb and Mark Lawson talking to Richard Beard (Sad Little Men) about male power and privilege.

Have a laugh over the Sunday papers as comedian Marcus Brigstocke turns his sharp-eyed wit on the matters of the day and maybe go back to Komedia an hour or so later to hear the equally quick-witted, observant comedian Rachel Parris in conversation with Viv Groskop, herself no slouch in the field of quickfire observation and humour.

Remember, you don’t have to have read any of the authors’ books to enjoy listening to their view of the world. And if you do want to buy one of their titles, the festival’s official bookseller, Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, will be on hand throughout the weekend, to help you add to your growing TBR (To Be Read) pile of books.

There’s still time to buy tickets visit on our website – grab them quick! We look forward to seeing you sometime over the weekend!

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