We’re passionate about people discovering new stuff over festival weekend. Some of the best feedback we hear is along the lines of ‘A friend made me go to see some author I’d never heard of and it was amazing!’
With nothing on the festival programme over £10, loads of stuff for the price of a pint and masses of free events, we’re a recession-busting way of spending the weekend anyway, but here are some picks for Skint Londoners to guarantee that whatever your budget, you can put together your own festival experience that won’t break the bank:
Top of our list is Alex Clark’s Rising Stars event at 2pm on Saturday. Alex used to edit Granta magazine and has been instrumental in launching the careers of many well-known authors. She has gathered together some BRILLIANT writers that we promise you’ll love. We’ve read all their books and are now insisting all our friends read them too. Gabriel Roth (who’s over from New York and VERY funny), Kerry Hudson (who’s over from Clapton and VERY funny too), Lottie Moggach (we don’t know where she lives but her book is BRILLIANT and she’s very probably funny), Evie Wyld (we’re getting into trouble on the location / humour thing here but we’re sure she’s got an anecdote or two) and Stuart Evers who’s a great friend of the festival and has been known to crack a smile over a drink. May have been wind. Seriously, GO TO THIS EVENT. You will be able to boast about it to your friends and sound like a complete literary genius. It may help you have sex. That’s how good it is. And it’s FREE.
Even better than going to a free event is going to a free event and being inspired to help change the world. We’ve been very impressed with new magazine Stir to Action which features articles and interviews on the international co-operative movement, the emergence of the commons and collaborative networks, and other community-orientated alternatives in technology, agriculture, food, sports, energy, education and other important aspects of our lives. Film-maker Leah Borromeo shows an excerpt from her stunning documentary Dirty White Gold which draws a direct line between clothes you buy on the high street with the truly horrifying conditions of workers in India. Council Chambers, Town Hall, Sun 12:30pm. FREE
If you’re seriously skint and want to learn how to become an international best-selling author, in order to afford to do more AND buy a yacht, we probably can’t help. But we can gently help you on your way with three events designed to encourage new writers and explore new ways of getting published: Tim Wells is running a FREE business workshop at Mascara Bar where he’ll give away tips on getting out there, Literary Platform (a small £4 investment, Babble Jar, 2pm Sun) will explore how to get published in a digital world, with great anecdotes and ‘how to’ stories from Emily Benet (who went from blog to book to sitcom), Niven Govinden and others, and then Influx Press will inspire you with a host of amazing writers and small, independent presses (Mascara Bar, 5:30pm, Sun FREE).
Morning Star will be running their brilliant Capitalism Kills Love poetry events each night at Mascara Bar (FREE, 8:30pm).
LAST BUT DEFINITELY NOT LEAST, we have the most ridiculously brilliant completely FREE new venue: our Budvar Tent outside the Town Hall (Sat & Sun, 11am-8pmish). Check the blackboard outside for the latest line-up, but expect Phill Jupitus & Tim Wells playing some tunes and doing some dad dancing, Owen Jones interviewing Joe Glenton about why he left the Army and became a conscientious objector after returning from Afghanistan, The Barking Blondes (Sat 1pm) Jo Goode & Anna Webb who are HILARIOUS and will be BRINGING THEIR DOGS.
If you’ve got a bit of spare change, profits from drinks in our festival bars (Town Hall, Library Gallery, Budvar Tent, Abney Hall, Council Chambers) all goes directly to supporting literacy initiatives in Hackney, so with every drink you buy, you’re being AMAZING!
Right, we’ve got a festival to wrangle so check out our amazing programme online or download a PDF here.
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