Organisers of Cheltenham Literature Festival have announced a line-up of partners for the first hybrid edition of the event, which will run 2 – 11 October.
Alongside existing partners such as The Times, Waterstones and Baillie Gifford, new partners for this year include the Bupa Foundation, Times Radio, Audible and Marquee TV.
The hybrid version of the long-running festival will include in-person events, with socially-distanced audiences, at Cheltenham’s Town Hall and the Everyman Theatre. The events will be live-streamed by Marquee TV.
Marquee TV has collaborated with the event’s programming team to present a series of filmed interviews with international writers about life in lockdown called The World is Waiting. Featured writers will include Marilynne Robinson, Kawai Strong Washburn and Sayaka Murata. Marquee TV will also produce a ‘best of the fest’ selection including Andrew Marr, DBC Pierre and Victoria Hislop.
Marquee TV director of partnerships Susannah Simons said, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the world’s oldest literature festival on their pioneering hybrid model, helping them transition from a live only, to a live and digital future.”
The Bupa Foundation will run Beyond Words for Mental Health Day; a creative writing project designed to support young people’s mental wellbeing.
Cheltenham Festivals director Ian George said the hybrid format is a bold move: “It could change the landscape of literary festivals for the future.
“We are thrilled to have the continued confidence of our longstanding partners and also to welcome dynamic new additions to our festival family. Together, we are set to reach a new, virtual audience and ensure that our exceptional offering is more accessible than ever before.”
Longstanding title partners of the Festival – The Times and The Sunday Times are set to sponsor 15 events on this year’s programme, with 24 journalists and columnists from the two papers will take part. Times Radio, the new station presented by The Times, The Sunday Times and Wireless Group will broadcast behind-the-scenes content, while highlights from the festival will be broadcast on Sky Arts.