Chester Literary Festival a hit with all ages


Jim Green

MORE than 7,000 people attended the two-week long 2012 Essar Chester Literature Festival, with ticket sales up 60 per cent on last year.

Festival organisers are delighted with the figures, as residents packed out venues across the city, including Chester Town Hall, St Mary’s Centre and Chester Cathedral.

Historian Dan Snow’s Battle Castles talk opened the festival with more than 50 events taking place over 17 days, before award-winning novelist Will Self brought the curtain down on Monday night.

Highlights included broadcaster Clare Balding talking about her new book My Animals and Other Family to a sell-out crowd at Chester Racecourse and comedienne Jenny Eclair talking about her novel Life, Death and Vanilla Slices.

Comedian and writer David Mitchell was interviewed on his autobiography Back Story: A Memoir before a 400-strong audience and youngsters flocked to the week-long children’s literature festival GobbleDEEbook at St Mary’s Centre.

Chester Literature Festival manager Paul Lavin said: “We are delighted by how well the festival has gone.

“There’s such an appetite in Chester to see these types of events.

“It was also really wonderful to see so many families attending GobbleDEEbook. The festival has gone from strength to strength.”

Other famous names appearing included writer and broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby, poet Simon Armitage and New Order and Joy Division founding member Peter Hook.

The festival has been held every October since 1989 and had been run by Chester Festivals since 2009.

Chester Performs stepped in to run this year’s event at the last minute when Chester Festivals was placed into voluntary liquidation in September due to financial difficulties.

See full story in the Chester Leader

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