For more than 70 years Bath Festivals have brought world class musicians and authors to the beautiful city of Bath and the wider local area. Reduced ticket sales, sponsorship and public funding due to the Covid-19 crisis have had a devastating effect. They are now turning to the publicto help ensure their survival for future generations, launching a fundraising campaign, Back Bath Festivals, with a £50,000 target – . This will run during what would have been a 10 day celebration of music, words, poetry and live performance in the 2020 Bath Festival, across the unique buildings and open spaces of our wonderful city and surrounding areas. Artists and authors who were due to perform at this year’s Bath Festival include Ian McEwan, Patti Smith, Emily EavisBertrand Chamayou and Tayari Jones alongside a series of classical music rising stars concerts and new talented author talks. Party in the City, the festival’s opening celebration that usually sees the streets of Bath city centre burst to life with arts, has also been cancelled for the foreseeable future along with many of the organisation’s thriving Creative Learning projects. 

Ian Stockley, CEO of Bath Festivals “Bath Festivals is a charity working to bring together communities through the celebration of music, words, books and live performance. At this difficult time, we ask for the generosity of others, so that together we can continue to listen, learn, smile, dance, create memories, and be inspired!” 

For decades many have enjoyed Bath Festivals events and experiences such as: 

  • Taking their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and family friends to be inspired by their favourite authors and illustrators of the magical world of children’s books at Bath Children’s Literature Festival 
  • Hearing some of the world’s finest musicians here in Bath and listening to best-selling authors discuss some of the big issues of our time at The Bath Festival 
  • Witnessing the faces of children and young people, facing life challenges, light up as they experience life-enhancing opportunities from one of the many music and literature projects provided in their year-round Creative Learning programme 
  • Party in the City with all the fantastic free music across Bath’s brilliant venues, joining in the celebrations everyone out on the city streets and dancing in the parks  

Bath Festivals works across our local communities, in partnership with a number of diverse organisations, to celebrate and provide access to the best of music and books. Working with young people often facing challenges, their outreach work through the Creative Learning Programme engages with more than 7000 children each year.  

Bath Festivals are also encouraging their audiences to share their favourite festival memories as well as what they would like to see at future festivals. Whether it is a memory from 50 years ago or your favourite musician you want to see at next year’s festival, Bath Festivals wants to know! 

Some already shared include: 

“Seeing Led Zeppelin at the festival in 1969 with my husband to be. It was special too because we married that year and fifty years on we saw Robert Plant at the same venue.”  

Liz Pichon and the Tom Gates band – what an utter treat, blew me away when I was least expecting it. Awesome reading, illustration and music all for about £8 – one of the best events I’ve ever been to with my kids.” 

So many happy memories of different aspects of the festivals. From seeing and listening to Red Priest via Terry Pratchett to the pomp inputted by Cornelia Funke and seeing Emma Kirkby in the Abbey. 

“A late evening performance of Handel opera a few years ago, complete with model ships fighting a sea battle in the Great Bath of the Roman Baths, all lit by torchlight. Magical!” 

Bath Festivals goal is to increase and broaden community engagement to provide a vibrant arts culture for everyone.  Please help Bath Festivals keep these much-loved events in Bath’s diary an intrinsic part of our community. Whatever you can spare, will make a big difference, and if you can’t afford to donate directly, sharing their plea further will assist them greatly.