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Big Book Weekend - Virtual Literary Festival While Self Isolating

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by Alison Brinkworth (subscribe)
Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
Event: -
Enjoy Book Festival At Home While In Coronavirus Lockdown
Famous literary festivals, including the Hay Festival, may have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus but book lovers in self isolation are to be treated to a three-day virtual book festival instead.

Kit De Waal, big book weekend, BBC arts
Author Kit De Waal is a co founder of the book festival


The Big Book Weekend is part of the Culture In Quarantine series from BBC Arts and set to be broadcast over various BBC platforms in May.

It will feature video interviews, panel discussions, performances and interactive sessions during Friday May 8, which is a bank holiday weekend in the UK.

The virtual book festival has been launched during the lockdown to protect against Covid-19 by authors Kit de Waal and Molly Flatt, with support from the BBC and publishing start-up MyVLF.

Archive interviews with authors and film adaptations of books will also be broadcast during The Big Book Weekend.

Jonty claypole, BBC Arts, culture in quarantine
Director of Arts at the BBC, Jonty Claypole


Jonty Claypole, Director BBC Arts, said: "The role of the BBC at this time is keep public access to art and culture as great as ever, and to do so in a way that supports artists and arts organisations. This is more essential than ever because of the proven positive impact that the arts and creativity have on our mental health."

He added: "As it became clear last week that all the major book festivals were likely to be cancelled, we went into discussions about how to continue their work in the current circumstances."

"The result is The Big Book Weekend. It is a three-day virtual festival that brings together the best of the cancelled British literary festivals."

Exact details of the line-up are to be revealed in April but will feature big-name authors alongside unknown debut writers and rising talents so keep updated on more details at the Culture In Quarantine website.

Hay festival, book festival, cancelled, coronavirus
This year's Hay Festival in Hay On Wye has been cancelled due to Coronavirus


The festival will be aimed at readers of all ages, many of whom may have previously been unable to attend a literary festival due to geography, access or cost.

The book festival is broadcast thanks to the Culture In Quarantine fund by BBC Arts with Arts Council England.
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Why? Enjoy a book festival from home during self isolation
When: May 8-10, 2020
Phone: Not applicable
Where: Online from your home
Cost: Free
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