Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival to go digital for the first time ever

Some of the world's greatest writers, politicians, historians and broadcasters are set to come together for the first-ever digital Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival shortly.

Friday, 25th September 2020, 3:12 pm
A star of the forthcoming Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival - Broadcaster and author Jeremy Vine.

Book lovers may not be able to join in the excitement physically at this year's Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival which will run from Friday, October 23 to Sunday, October 25 but the star-studded event is still happening and it remains one of Britain's hottest literary tickets in this Covid year.

The renowned literature festival, which is now in its 12th year, has gone online in 2020 due to the current social distancing measures and restrictions in place on live festival events.

This year’s Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival is free to attend and will be streamed through the Harrogate International Festivals website.

With an incredible 20,000 viewers for the digital HIF Weekender festival in the summer, organisers feel sure it will be a bumper weekend of conversation, knowledge and laughter.

Harper’s Bazaar magazine previously picked the event as one of the UK’s "best literary festivals" and this year will be no different as Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival maintains its reputation for offering a programme to delight and inspire.

But compressing what would have been a full festival weekend, down to 17 digital events has been no easy task, but Harrogate International Festivals have ensured that each event is a programme highlight.

Events include conversations with great novelists: The worldwide acclaimed creator of Sharpe, Bernard Cornwell; The Reacher Guy, Lee Child; one of the world’s best-loved authors, Ken Follett; the passionate classicist exploring the heart of the ancient Greek myths, Natalie Haynes and the remarkable writer, academic and activist Elif Sharak.

Sharon Canavar, Chief Executive of Harrogate International Festivals, added: “2020 has been a journey of discovery and adventure, a theme that trails through our programme.

"For Harrogate International Festivals, reinvention has come out of necessity to ensure survival of our arts charity and to continue in our mission to bring the very best of our events to audiences.

“Whilst there is no denying that this is a hugely challenging time for the festival, and for artists, through our exciting digital weekend of events, bottling a taste of our usual festival, we support authors, creators and suppliers and bring them together with audiences as community in a celebration of literature.

"For we have never needed stories that explore what it means to be human, more than we do now.

"We can’t wait to invite audiences to this incredibly stimulating, exciting and inspiring festival.”

Next month's digital line-up for Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival 2020 also includes:

Stars of non-fiction: Hugo Vickers brings to life the jaw-dropping tale of Gladys Deacon - Duchess of Marlborough, whilst Ex Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman and New York Times bestselling author Ariana Neumann share their memoirs.

Broadcasters and screen icons turned authors will also feature with the likes of Simon Mayo, Jeremy Vine, Loyd Grossman and Rory Bremner appearing on the programme with entertaining and inspiring tales of their careers.

Zoe Robinson, Raworths Managing Partner, said: “The content and delivery may have gone digital, but the inspiration that literature brings will continue to shine through.

“We are once again delighted to be partnering with Harrogate International Festivals and sponsoring the Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival - established as one of the leading literature festivals in the United Kingdom.”

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