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Cheltenham Literature Festival, 2020

October 2, 2020 - October 11, 2020

Cheltenham Literature Festival

Could there be a more appropriate setting for The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival than the historic Regency spa town of Cheltenham?

Originally held in the town hall, the festival was the world’s first literary festival. It forms a key part of the Cheltenham Festivals season.

In 2020, the Festival will present 100 live-streamed events all featuring a live audience, conforming to UK Government social-distancing rules, in Cheltenham Town Hall and the Everyman Theatre. Virtual visitors should surf at Cheltenham’s Festival webiste

The festival will also partner Sky with Arts to screen free to view Cheltenham highlights.

The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2020 Highlights

New for this year’s Festival, ‘The Citizen’s Manifesto, will bring young activists, thinkers and politicians to share ideas with festivalgoers in on how the tear of coronavirus has affected our cultural, social, political and economic outlook. You can suggest ideas that should be up for discussion on the digital Pledge Wall.

Cheltenham Literature Festival
Elif Shafak, photo by Zeynel Abidin

Guest curators are award-winning British-Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, author of Forty Rules of Love and How to Stay Sane in An Age of Division, and  Shamil Thakrar, author of the Dishoom cookbook.

Authors who will feature at this year’s festival include Sebastian Faulks, Nick Hornby, Edna O’Brien, Richard Osman, Anthony Horowitz, Matthew Syed, Dolly Alderton, Ashley ‘Dotty’ Charles and C Pam Zhang.

Ian Hislop, Andrew Marr, Claudia Winkleman and Rupert Everett are just three of the many famous faces from current affairs, TV and Screen who will discuss their latest projects.

Shamil © John Carey Cheltenham Literature Festival
Shamil Thakrar © John Carey

Foodie Events

This year the festival will include a seires of foodie events featuring Shamil Thakrar, the co-founder of Dishoom, and Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage the duo behind Ottolenghi.

Cheltenham: The Perfect Setting

Since therapeutic mineral waters were discovered there in the early 18th Century, Cheltenham has been a magnet for visitors.

On the edge of the Cotswolds with its gentle, quintessentially English scenery, Cheltenham is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with The River Chelt flowing through the town on its way to the River Severn. Unsurprisingly, with this scenic location, the town is home to several festivals throughout the year, as the Cheltenham Festivals, including this world famous Literary Festival, which is held every October.

Key societal changes will be explored through novels of the past seventy years, especially for those interested in the development of societal literary norms over the past seven decades.

Cheltenham Literature Festival 2020 Line-Up

The full programme of what’s on at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, can be found here.

Helena Bonham-Carter at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival
Helena Bonham-Carter at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Literature Festival 2020 Dates

2 to 12 October, 2020.

Cheltenham Literature Festival Tickets

Information about tickets can be found from the box office on 01242 850270 or [email protected]

More information on Cheltenham Festivals.

For more information on both the Cheltenham Literature Festival and other Cheltenham Festivals, including the Cheltenham Music Festival and the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, click here. Main image Ashley Dotty Charles, BBC Productions.



October 2, 2020
October 11, 2020
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109-111 Bath Road
Cheltenham,GL53 7LSUnited Kingdom
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