Bath Festivals have announced that the 2020 Bath Children’s Literature Festival will not go ahead this autumn. The decision has been taken because of the continuing concern and uncertainty about the spread of the Coronavirus and what this means for social distancing and best hygiene practices. There had been hopes to work with the venue partners to safely open in the autumn but the uncertainty combined with the advanced logistical planning required has led to this decision.
The festival are now working in collaboration with new and existing partners on developing a festival experience that is virtual and interactive. Plans are at an early stage, but the aim is to bring a small programme of carefully curated content that is original, inspiring and engaging for schools and families, who may still be at home, to run close to the usual Bath Children’s Literature Festival dates. It will be accessible and inclusive and will be fronted by the guest curator, Cressida Cowell and themed around her Waterstones Children’s Laureate Charter.
In early spring 2021 the festival are also hoping to run a programme of public events making greater use of the iconic venues in our world heritage city. The usual 10-day festival format will return in autumn with the Bath Children’s Literature Festival running from Friday 24 September – Sunday 3 October 2021.
The festival will be working closely with their bookselling partner, community bookshop Mr B’s Emporium, and their aim is to collaborate with a network of independent bookshops to ensure sales opportunities for participating authors and illustrators.
Bath Festivals are grateful to all the publishers, authors, illustrators, interviewers, venue hosts, partners, volunteers and audiences who have supported the Bath Children’s Literature Festival programming up to this point.
Both of Bath Festivals’ 2020 festivals can no longer take place as planned due to the COVID-19 crisis. The impact of reduced ticket sales, sponsorship and public funding means that they need your help now to ensure that they will be here to share a love of books and music with future generations. Whatever you can spare will make a big difference, please donate to back Bath Festivals here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/back-bath-festivals
Image: Cressida Cowell at the 2019 Children’s Literature Festival