We are delighted with how MK Litfest went in September. Thanks to funding from the Arts Council, MK Community Foundation, MK Council and ourselves, Arts Gateway, we were able again this year to give the city a big literary event. 1,500 tickets were sold over the five days, and another 200 were given to deserving audience members. 24 events were held, mostly writers reading or in conversation, but we had a strong programme of workshops. The headline events, all very well attended, were Paul Mason, Carrie Gracie, Dan Cruikshank, Kassia St Clair, Chris Ryan and Attila the Stockbroker. Sadly Jack Monroe had to pull out of everything including us for a month due to ill health, leaving an empty slot in the programme.
This year we moved across from Holiday Inn CMK, to the brand new MKGallery extension. There were teething pains in the build-up and planning, but the venue and its team came up with the goods in the end and the venue was fantastic. Izzy Pirillo again designed and built the main set, put together at Arts Central with a great deal of help from Hayden Otton and Luke Jenkins. Huge books straddled the stage, and presenters sat in armchairs created out of old books, while punters hung their comments on a spectacular magic tree (now standing in Arts Central).
Many thanks to our team of Litfest volunteers, to the Litfest Organising Committee, and to Arts Central’s own Jane Charles who was in conversation with Textile historian Kassia St Clair. And thanks to all of you who came along to the events. If you came, make sure you tell us how it was and how we could improve. If you didn’t come, let us know what you’d like to see. We’ll be doing it all again next year.