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Bath Festival Announces First Wave of 2022 Lineup

The full festival programme will be announced on Friday 4 March and tickets go on general release on Friday 11 March.

Bath Festival is back with a bang in 2022 as it announces big names from the world of music, literature and comedy. Historian David Olusoga, comedian Phil Wang, Nobel Prize winning author Abdulrazak Gurnah and saxophonist Jess Gillam are among those announced as part of this years star-studded line-up.

Celebrating music and books in a beautiful city, this year's Bath Festival will run from Friday 13 May to Saturday 21 May 2022 and festival organisers have released a handful of names ahead of the official line-up announcement at the beginning of March.

From pioneer pop up gigs to discussion around immigration and postcolonialism with some of the world's most eminent authors, this year's highlights will include:

  • Comedian Phil Wang, who went to school in Bath, talking about his memoir Sidesplitter: How To Be From Two Worlds At One which takes an incisive but characteristic comic look at what it means to be mixed race.
  • A return to Bath by the celebrated saxophonist Jess Gillam, who will be bringing her Ensemble to Komedia.
  • Arifa Akbar The Guardian's chief theatre critic, whose memoir Consumed: A Sister's Story has been widely acclaimed, will be guest curator for a number of events at The Bath Festival 2022.
  • Abdulrazak Gurnah, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021, will be in conversation with writer Elif Shafak. They will discuss some of the themes of both their novels, including immigration, postcolonialism and the notion of home.
  • James Runcie, creator of the Granchester series, will be talking about his latest novel, The Great Passion about JS Bach at an event with acclaimed pianist Joanna MacGregor, which combines music and literature.
  • Bath Abbey's beautifully restored interior will be the setting for a concert by The Tallis Scholars, the early music vocal ensemble specialising in sacred music.
  • We'll be welcoming a visit from American writer Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby.
  • Pioneers of pop-up gigs, Empirical Jazz will be putting on a series of free performances around Bath city centre as well as a more formal concert.
  • Historian and presenter David Olusoga and geneticist and author Adam Rutherford, author of Control: the Dark History and Troubling Present of Eugenics, will be in what promises to be a stimulating discussion.
  • Scottish musicians Karine Polwart, the multi-award winning singer-songwriter and composer David Milligan will be showcasing their latest joint project, Still As Your Sleeping for voice and piano.
  • Comedian, writer and actress Isy Suttie and comedian, podcaster and author Helen Thorn will be two of the stars of an all female event at The Forum.

The festival will open with the traditional Party in the City on Friday 13 May, offering dozens of free live music events in city venues for an evening of celebration which attracts tens of thousands of visitors.

The Bath Festival will be once again hosting events in some of the World Heritage city's beautiful historic buildings, including the 18th century Assembly Rooms, Bath Abbey and St Swithin's Church. There will also be events in the Forum, Komedia, the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute in Queen Square, at Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights at Persephone Books, at Walcot House and in the festival's intimate Literature Lounge which will be set up in Alfred Street.

Following the success in 2021 of a series of guided walking tours created for The Bath Festival, three new themed walking tours have been developed for the May 2022. There will also be creative workshops and, for the first time at The Bath Festival, proof parties at which readers will be able to hear from the rising stars of literature and go home with coveted proof copies of as yet unpublished works.

The Bath Festival 2022 will tackle topics including sense of identity, race, home, grief and families. There will be a mixture of fiction and non-fiction, of classical music, jazz, folk and contemporary sounds. The festival's official bookseller is the independent Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights and the festival is supported by sponsors, including Bath Spa University, Bath BID, Wessex Water and The Royal High School, its patrons and members and an invaluable army of volunteers, without who the festival would not happen.

The full festival programme will be announced on Friday 4 March and tickets go on general release on Friday 11 March.

To sign up for festival news or join as a member for priority booking, visit: https://bathfestivals.org.uk/the-bath-festival/sign-up/Bath Festival Announces First Wave of 2022 Lineup



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