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The UK’s first drive-in book festival

The UK’s first drive-in book festival

Friday 31 July 2020

For book lovers who usually frequent one of the UK’s many literary festivals, this year has been a washout. With the Coronavirus pandemic putting paid to festivals large and small across the country, avid readers will be delighted to know that a festival in the small fishing village of Appledore is soldiering on, but with a twist.

The festival, running from 18th to 22nd September is offering the opportunity to listen to over 20 distinguished speakers, all from the comfort of your car. With a line up featuring Michael Morpurgo, Richard Osman and Jeremy Vine, the general public can purchase tickets from 8th August.

For festival director Ann Juby, the novel concept was a way to ensure the event, which has run every year since 2006, could go ahead. “We’ve hung on and we’ve kept our fingers crossed, but it became very apparent in the last few weeks that we couldn’t book our usual venues, and people were obviously concerned about any social distancing that might take place, so we came up with the idea of a drive-in. We were reading about cinema going that way, and comedy festivals. We made some investigations, and it’s on – full steam ahead. People are going to feel safe because they will stay in their cars.”

The event will still offer a degree of interactivity, said Juby. “We’ll also have a mic at a distance, so people can wind their windows down to ask a question, and if we pull out a question sent in before the event, we’ll ask the person who sent it in to flash their car lights so the author can engage. We’re trying to make it as interactive as possible, and luckily we’re in a field so at the end we can have applause and honking of horns and flashing of lights, to make it exciting.”

To find out more about the Appledore Book Festival, Click Here


  1. Appledore Book Festival.
  2. The Guardian.


Literary Festivals

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