Arts Derbyshire


Just over two weeks to go! Have you booked tickets yet? – Derby Book Festival

Have you booked your tickets yet?



Final preparations are now being made to all our Festival events and we are really pleased that ticket sales are so strong.  We’ve already sold more tickets than we did for last year’s Festival and we look forward to welcoming so many book lovers to our venues.

We spoke to a lot of people at Monday’s Belper Children’s Festival, which was a very busy and exciting day.  Many people said they hadn’t yet booked their tickets, so please don’t leave it too late!  Nothing has sold out just yet, but both Jacqueline Riding’s event about Hogarth and poet Brian Bilston are getting very close now.



Books you didn’t know you needed to know about


We always plan our Festival programme to include a broad range of writers and genres – some very well known to our audiences.  But we also like to embrace the unknown, which encourage people to broaden their horizons and take them out of their comfort zone.




So do try something new this year: the history of cross-dressing in performance, the wonders of flight through 14 species, the meticulous work of a watchmaker as well some of the most exciting new novelists in the country: Caleb Azumah Nelson, whose latest book, Small Worlds, received extensive coverage in broadsheets over the weekend, Tom Crewe, who is one of The Observer 10 Best New Novelists for 2023.    They will all be fascinating events that will open your eyes!



Exciting news about our Shared Reading project


We received some very exciting news on Friday – we have secured funding from the National Lottery for a further five years for our Shared Reading project, which supports health and well-being through sharing poetry, short stories, letters, diary entries and lyrics.  It has been a difficult time over the past few months and we are very grateful to our wonderful Shared Reading volunteers for their resilience and commitment to the project.

Now we have secured the funding we can go ahead with recruiting for the management roles which will be advertised over the next few weeks.  We have a lot of exciting plans for the project and hope to expand it more widely to support even more people in the city and county.



Festival Book Fair, Saturday 13 May 10.30am – 4pm


Join us at the wonderful Museum of Making for our Book Fair, which will be held on Saturday 13 May, one week before the Festival starts.  We decided to move it outside the Festival as we felt it was a good way to have a chance to talk to more visitors about the Festival before it starts and to meet the stall holders including local authors.



Takeover Day Pass


Our Takeover Day Pass is proving popular and we look forward to welcoming Pass holders and individual ticket holders to our mini-Festival within the Festival on Sunday 21 May at Derby College.

Several people have asked about parking at Derby College and have assumed there isn’t any in this out of town venue.  But there is free parking for everyone attending Festival events at Derby College.  You access the car park from the roundabout outside the train station (Pride Park exit).  There is a security barrier which will be lifted to give you access – security staff are working all day on the Sunday.

The Takeover Day Pass costs £35 and enables you to attend all eight events on the day – offering great value for money!  The only exclusions are the four Writing Workshops and the Festival Book Quiz, which need to be booked separately.



Festival Book Quiz


The Festival Book Quiz is back once more!  It’s always great fun and you’ll be given a warm welcome.  Join us on Sunday 21 May at Derby College at 6.30pm.  Tickets cost £40 for a table of 6 which includes meat or veggie platters and there is also a licensed bar.  There’s even a trophy for the winning team!

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