I love this time of year in the UK, when sunshine bursts through the clouds drawing us all outside to make the most of the glorious weather.
Summertime hosts a variety of well known music festivals like Glastonbury, V and Party in the Park, all of which are packed with both famous and up and coming artists – a wide variety of tunes to delight the senses, plus a plethora of stalls and workshops on the periphery to keep you busy during breaks in the acts. There are also a lot of local events too.
Last weekend we attended MerryTom, a local folk festival in Northamptonshire. I’m the first to admit that folk isn’t my favourite music, I probably wouldn’t listen to it at home. But there is something special about languishing in the sunshine with your nearest and dearest, surrounded by people of all ages, suppinglocal cider and watching talented people perform, not to mention the dancers at the front of the stage that threw caution to wind and flung themselves around – very amusing viewing! Set amidst the beautiful backdrop of Pitsford Reservoir, the edge of the field was packed with copious stalls offering bohemian artefacts, local food and even a jewellery making workshop.
Over the years, literary festivals have grown in number and diversity as well. Last year we attended a ‘Crime and Curry’ evening with bestselling crime writer, Sophie Hannah. Just last month, we visited BeaconLit, a new festival organised by my dear friend Dave Sivers, and set in a marquee on the beautiful Lawn of Ivinghoe village.
BeaconLit ran two author panels. In ‘Murder and Mayhem’ a group of crime writers discussed their work and inspirations, followed later by a crew of romance writers in ‘Pain and Passion’. With a range of stalls, a writing workshop, a poetry competition and a chance to meet and chat with the authors individually, this was an enjoyable event for all the family.
This weekend I’m off to Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival at Harrogate, one of the biggest crime writing events in Europe. Although I’m only able to attend on the Friday, I’ve packed my day with tickets to three events: Social Media – Who are You?, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants; and a talk by bestselling crime author Susan Hill. I’m so excited – this will be my first time at Harrogate and I’m looking forward to meeting some of the friends I’ve made online over the past couple of years too.
What are you doing this summer? Do you have any local literary or music events to attend? I’d love to hear about them. In the meantime, enjoy basking in the sunshine. Long may it continue.