Top Posts
Home Culture Bath Festival launches next week with Party in the City

Bath Festival launches next week with Party in the City

written by Bahar Muller May 12, 2017

One of Bath’s most established art events, Bath Festival will kick off on the 19th of May with a free night of music and entertainment at various locations across the city.  2017 edition will showcase over 130 events in ten days, packing a great line-up of classical, jazz and folk music performances in addition to talks, debates and discussions on contemporary fiction, science, history, politics and literature. The headline names include Sir Salman Rushdie, Colm Tóibín, Margaret Drabble and Fay Weldon, Sebastian Barry, Sophie Hannah, Helen Fielding, Mary Berry, Ali Smith, Michael Rosen, Harriet Harman, Ed Balls, India Knight, Elif Safak, Victoria Hislop and Lionel Shriver.

Chair of Bath Festivals John Cullum DL said, “The festival will have an accessible and vibrant programme that embraces the wider performing arts, with broad appeal for our city, engaging the wider community and our valued visitors. Leading thinkers, writers and musicians will perform with the most gifted new talent emerging on the global stage. The festival will also provide a platform for the year-round extensive learning & participation programme that Bath Festivals run for over 6,000 young people, many with few opportunities to engage with the arts.”

Here are our top picks from the programme:


– Sir Salman Rushdie, in his only appearance outside Paris and London, talks about his remarkable life in writing as he approaches his 70th birthday

– An unflinching look at Trump’s first 100 days in office, with academic and writer Sarah Churchwell, novelist Lionel Shriver, journalist Tim Dowling and special guests in our US Politics debate

– Ali Smith discusses Autumn, her brilliant new novel, written last summer to chime with rapidly unfolding political events

-A rare chance to hear Palestine’s leading writer, Raja Shehadeh, founder of the human rights organisation Al-Haq, exploring the connections that have been forged across the Israeli-Palestine border over decades

-Victoria Hislop talks about Cartes Postales from Greece – a powerful combination of stories and photographs that take us around all Greece’s hidden corners-Sebastian Barry discusses his Costa Novel Award-winning Days Without End

-Sebastian Barry discusses his Costa Novel Award-winning Days Without End


– One of the great musicians of our time, Herbert Blomstedt, conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra, with pianist Martin Helmchen

– Original and charismatic pianist, Jeremy Denk, plays a mix of baroque and classical music interspersed with composers’ takes on ragtime for an unforgettable concert

– New festival series BathSongs – a sumptuous mix of words, music and song, with top artists and rising stars. This year’s 6 concerts, Brahms to Broadway, take us on a journey through beautiful songs, from folk to classical to Broadway

– Marking 450 years since the birth of Claudio Monteverdi, the Dunedin Consort perform Love’s Fire; Love’s Ashes – Madrigals by Monteverdi, directed by Nicholas Mulroy

– One of the world’s great kora players, Ballake Sissoko, joins forces with French cellist Vincent Segal for a thrilling, soulful duet, featuring music from their two albums: Chamber Music and Musique de Nuit

Words and Music

– Internationally celebrated cellist Steven Isserlis discusses his new, extensive commentary on Robert Schumann’s Advice to Young Musicians with actor, national treasure and Schumann superfan Simon Callow

– Bob Dylan: A Celebration – Dylanologists gather for a gala evening of music and discussion about the musician, lyricist and now Nobel Prize Laureate. Guests include Sid Griffin, Barb Jungr and David Hepworth

– Madeleine Thien’s epic tale about revolutionary China, Do Not Say We Have Nothing, centres on a group of classical musicians, with Bach’s Goldberg Variations featuring prominently in the story. She talks about the book, with live music from pianist Richard Uttley

How to book
– In person at Bath Box Office from 10.30am to 5pm on the release dates
– By telephone on 01225 463362
– Online at
– Gift vouchers for The Bath Festival can also be purchased at Bath Box Office, by telephone and online.

Related Articles