The final event in our 2021 festival took place on Friday evening with festival committee chairman, Charlie Bell, hosting his “Lockdown Selfie” before a sell-out audience. As well as showcasing Charlie’s poetry and his personal reflections on the world events that have thrown all our lives into turmoil over the past eighteen months, the evening included music from The Gastric Band and further readings from guest poet Natalie Thomas. Raising over £500 in ticket sales and donations for McMillan Nurses, “Lockdown Selfie” proved a fitting end to our festival fortnight, which achieved everything we had hoped for and more.
Our goal when organising the festival was to provide a series of events that would offer “poetry for all, big or small”. This goal was certainly accomplished, most notably within our Wordplay Fun Day takeover of the Tunbridge Wells Forum, which catered for children of pre-school and school age at all skill levels with a series of writing workshops and art activities in the garden area. Adults were equally well catered for inside the building, with open mics and panel discussions, and an evening staged event celebrating humorous verse in popular culture throughout the ages. We were also delighted to offer a platform to Arts Without Boundaries, who shared their community poem, “Food”, to a highly entertained and appreciative audience.
It would be foolish to attempt to do justice to all of the events within the festival fortnight in this summary: our headline act, Luke Wright, the workshops and reading events, the open mics… If you found us too late for 2021 take a look at what you missed HERE, and make sure to book your seats early next year, when, Covid and other disasters – natural and unnatural – willing, we’ll be offering an even bigger and better bill of fare.
Finally, thank you to all who contributed to the festival fortnight, and to those who bought tickets, reserved places, or just dropped in on any of the events that took place. See you next year!