Tickets on sale for 70th Anniversary The Bath Festival

The full programme of events for The Bath Festival is now on sale. Bath’s flagship multi-arts festival will take place from 11 to 27 May and will offer more than 180 events over an extended period of 17 days, bringing some of the world’s leading writers, musicians and cultural figures into the iconic buildings and onto the streets of Bath. Well known rock and pop bands as well as classical, jazz and folk music will be heard alongside contemporary fiction, intelligent debate, science, history, politics and poetry, with concerts, discussions and collaborations and many free events across the city.

Artistic directors Alex Clark, David Jones and James Waters have created a programme to provoke and delight, inviting audiences to enjoy performances, exchange ideas, enable discussions and stop the world for a moment to listen to one another.

The full programme can be viewed online here and highlights include:

Literature: David Olusoga; Professor Green; Maggie O’ Farrell; Chris Bonington; Andrew Adonis; Margaret Drabble; Kate Mosse; Ruby Tandoh; Robert Webb; Afua Hirsch and Nikesh Shukla

 Music: Amanda Palmer; Ben Folds; Kathryn Tickell; Ladysmith Black Mambazo; Mary Chapin Carpenter; Stephen Hough; Roderick Williams; Lars Vogt and the Royal Northern Sinfonia; Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Catriona Morrison.

 Words and Music: Claire Tomalin; Richard Stokes, James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook; Living Literature- Frankenstein; Roddy Doyle and Hugh Buckley; Rose Tremain.

 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of Bath Festivals.  To celebrate this important milestone, the festival finale weekend (26 and 27 May) will see the likes of Tears for Fears, Robert Plant, Imelda May, Alison Moyet, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Midge Ure and Seth Lakeman play on Bath Recreation Ground, along with a whole host of other festival entertainers including poets, roaming performers, children’s activities and more.

Bath’s biggest night of free music, Party in the City, will break from tradition by taking place on the festival’s second weekend on Friday 18 May. This year sees the launch of SparkFest, a partnership with Bath Spa University, an innovative programme of theatre, music and dance, curated and created by the stars of tomorrow. The festival has also teamed up with Twerton Park, the home of Bath City FC, for a day of football fun for all the family; FilmBath to celebrate the centenary of women’s suffrage with film, literature, politics, music and comedy; and the School of Advanced Study at the University of London who created the concept of a dazzling multisensory evening of Living Literature which now comes to Bath and promises to immerse the audience in the world of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

The festival will also showcase creative work done by young people as part of Bath Festivals’ Creative Learning programme and their ongoing partnership with Paper Nations, with the display of stories and poems by children across the city.  Every year, Party in the City is launched with a school commission in the Abbey and this year is no exception.  ‘Festival Spirits’ will commence with a song recital by soprano Elizabeth Karani, who will then be disrupted by some mischievous children performing their own song and representing characters from past and future festivals. Composer, Richard Barnard and artist Edwina Bridgeman will guide them through the project, helping to create a brand-new performance and installation piece celebrating 70 years of the festival. Working in partnership with Wiltshire Music Centre, a remarkable set of forces has been assembled for a concert performance of one of the greatest of all musicals, West Side Story, in Leonard Bernstein’s anniversary year. The performance builds on a visionary large scale schools’ project designed around the timeless themes of the musical.  The Family Arts Day will, once again, take place on the last day of the festival in Parade Gardens (Sunday 20 May) for all to enjoy.



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