Posted by: jbwuk | September 28, 2011

Books at Music Festivals (and music at book festivals)

Festivals are everywhere and contain everything. They’re branching out and learning to create utopian spaces where anything is possible and it’s even OK to talk to strangers. A little bit like all the best bits of a city but without the alienation and traffic.

This summer I went to a music festival in Michigan where I learned archery and African dance and found myself doing the Hokey Cokey in a woodland clearing (though because this was the U.S. they called it the Hokey Pokey and also, it seemed to have a spiritual significance which I never quite grasped). Back in England this month at the End of The Road music festival, there were not just book events but flying books in the trees and an outdoor library as well as opportunities to learn to knit or make bedouin-style pittas. Yet both festivals still had stellar music line-ups

At JBW we’ve been slowly stretching out into new territories, though we’ve always been limited; by the season (who wants to be outdoors in February?) and the venue (it’s difficult to notice an art installation placed on a carpet covered with giant ships). This year in our gorgeous new venue, Kings Place, we’ll at least overcome one of these factors. Look out for a brand new score accompanying a silent film classic, a tribute to one of the greatest folk singers of the past fifty years, a well-loved journalist sharing his passion for Jazz piano, a chance to have your say about the best Jewish books of the past sixty years and quite a few little (and not so little) surprises. I’d also love to promise a floating music-filled canal boat alongside the venue’s restaurant but maybe we can save that for 2013.

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