In the words of our Library Warden, Peter Francis, “GladFest was a twinkle in our eye just a few months ago.”
Gladstone’s Library, the UK’s finest residential library and its first Prime Ministerial, has added yet another proud first to its name. Our inaugural literary festival, GladFest, has passed with great success and we are all very sad to see it go (though we look forward to next year when we shall get to do it all over again).
In response to the overwhelming success that we have enjoyed with our various Writer-in-Residence events throughout the year, we thought we would try our hand at putting on an affordable literary festival. Over one thousand visitors graced our grounds over the space of three days to read, listen, talk and enjoy both the space and speakers that we had gathered.
Highlights included a joint reading from poets Wendy Cope OBE and Lachlan Mackinnon; Damian Barr reading from his memoir Maggie and Me, published to great acclaim this summer; a fascinating insight into the history of Brown’s of Chester from Deborah Wynne; taboo breaking from Emma Rees who read from her highly praised new book, The Vagina, and a Victorian murder mystery evening with renowned crime writer, Martin Edwards. There were also hugely popular sessions for young readers with Martin Dawson (Young People’s Laureate for Wales) and The Reader Organisation.
We would like to take a moment to thank those who sponsored us and helped us to make the day the success that it was. Many thanks to Worldspan Creative, Reades Residential, the New Welsh Review, Airbus and Fineline Printers. Without the help from these people GladFest simply could not have happened.
GladFest wasn’t just about books and discussions; we had craft stalls as well. We’d like to say a big thank you to Redbury Designs, The Design Studio, Christi’s Stitches, Loglike, I’ve No Idea, Blue Earthworm, Mij Moj, Seren D Jewellery, The Way to Blue, Strawberry Thief and Beaujangle. Without you, GladFest wouldn’t have been the same.
If you couldn’t make it to see us (what kept you away?) we will be hosting similar events throughout the year. For more information on our upcoming events why not have a look at our events page here.