Impressive literature lineup announed for Camp Bestival

The past few years at Camp Bestival have seen increasingly impressive literary line-ups, so this year we are thrilled to be announcing our biggest and best literary programme yet across the weekend of August 1st-4th at Lulworth Castle in the Guardian Literary Institute, our cerebral hotspot that caters for erudite adventures of all kinds in partnership with our good friends at the Guardian. We will be presenting an inspirational selection of over 50 speakers, authors, poets, journalists, scientists, philosophers, kids’ writers and illustrators. So join us to explore ideas, philosophise, ponder, chat to the authors and speakers, and pick up a copy of a signed book.

Rob da Bank said: “Well here we go again with another bumper crop of literary folk for Camp Bestival 2013 – delving into the brains, minds and inner recesses of many of the country’s greatest authors, poets and speakers with another bountiful mix of the well-known nestled along unsung heroes of their craft. I live my life surrounded by music and noise so the Guardian Literary Institute is always a welcome break from the hubbub of the festival and I normally learn more in 30 minutes there than in the rest of my year. See you on the sofas!”

Jo WhileyThe Guardian Literary Institute is handily situated in the Kids Garden and promises a grown-up, relaxed hang-out (with sofas!) to soak up the eclectic mix of literary delights. Our ever popular ‘How To’ series welcomes national treasure Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards to chat about recently being crowned champion of ITVs diving contest, Splash, as well as his career as the UKs first Olympic ski jumper. Next up is the fabulous Jo Whiley, one of the best loved presenters in the UK, who’ll be talking about her impressive career spanning C4, Radio 1 and now Radio 2 in ‘How to Present’. The hugely respected human rights activist Trevor Phillips OBE to speak on the topic of‘How to Handle a Riot’, and the fabulous and lovely-in-real-life Charlie Brooks, who stars as super-bitch Janine in Eastenders, will be sharing her secrets of ‘How to Play a Baddie’. while the Guardian’s chief features writerSimon Hattenstone shares the trials and tribulations of ‘How to Interview’. Mercury Award nominated folk musician Sam Lee will reveal his musical secrets in ‘How to Collect Songs’ and journalist and writer Jules Evanspromises tools to achieve the Good Life, in ‘How Philosophy Can Improve Your Life’. Royal Observatory Astronomer, Marek Kakula, teaches us ‘How to Stargaze’ and wilderness experts Rob and Leo take us back to basics in ‘How to Be Wild’.

As the UK spoken word scene goes from strength to strength, we’ve been lucky enough to bag some of the top poets in the country to share their musing, led by our one and only chief wordsmith, Scroobius Pip. He has invited recent Ted Hughes Award winner Kate Tempest and the immensely talented Polarbear to join him on his Sunday session. Each of these artists is an impressive headliner in their own right, so this is a rare triple bill not to be missed.

The fantastic Josh Idehen will also be presenting poets who perform as part of London’s ever popular Poejazzi nights, including Paul Cree and James Massiah, whilst the brilliant Mr Gee and the Chill Pill Crew will be bringing the likes of Raymond Antrobus and Adam Kammerling. Plus we’ll be showcasing breaking young talent from poetry collectives ElephantEarly Doors and Roundhouse.

Leading the author line-up are two rather special one-off events. In ‘Bestselling Women’s Hour’ we will be welcoming four of the most-loved female novelists in the UK, Adele ParksLisa JewellEmily Barr and Anna Maxtedto join us for a chat on the sofa. In our second special event, Granta, who have recently revealed their Best of Young British Novelists, will be sending down three of these acclaimed authors for a live interview and reading. Come and say hello to Joanna KavennaBen Markovits and Ross Raisin before they are propelled into the literary A List. 

We’re also very happy to be welcoming back Camp Bestival stalwart and intrepid bon viveur Howard Marks, to share with us his brand new spoken word show; Scholar, Smuggler, Prisoner, Scribe.  With trademark honesty and penetrating humour, Howard will look back at four extraordinary and action packed phases of his life.

For the insightful and inquisitive, the highly regarded RSA are presenting talks exploring ideas for an enlightened society. With their distinctive brand of intelligent and inspiring talks, they’ll be bringing us a trio of intrepid thinkers and adventurers who’ll take us “around the world in weighty ways” (see what we just did there?), sharing deep insights and lessons from international uprisings to the farthest reaches of human experience. Kevin Fong (the Brian Cox of Medicine!) will be taking us on an awe-inspiring journey around the human body and Bidisha (broadcaster and campaigner) explores the potential of political protest and activism. 

Plus Andrew Simms will be calling in you to ‘Cancel the Apocalypse’ in a positive talk suggesting that the only thing holding us back from a gleaming future is our imagination for solutions. Or catch Angela Clarke unearthing the darkest secrets of the world of fashion in ‘Confessions of a Fashionista’.

If you have a little bit of a competitive streak, we’ve got four fighting chances for you to exert your expertise. Lily Vanilli, one of baking’s biggest rising stars, is donning her judging hat to crown the winner of the Camp Bestival Bake-Off – a chance for you to bring your handcrafted baked treats from home, for Lily to critique. The best baker will receive family tickets for Camp Bestival 2014. Or if you are a film, TV or music buff, we have three devilishly difficult quizzes, penned by Guardian brainiacs, John HarrisSam Wollaston and Catherin Shoard, taking place each evening at dusk. Plus don’t miss the ‘Wake Up with the Guardian’ sessions each morning, where you can ease yourself into the day with an amusing live commentary of the papers and a roundup of the day ahead. Journalists Simon HattenstoneCatherine Shoard and John Harris will be your hosts, joined by some familiar festival faces.

As well as this incredible plethora of literary delights in the Guardian Literary Institute, we will also be offering a full line-up of kid’s authors and illustrators, with something for all ages. These riveting readings and author events will take place in the heart of our Dingly Dell woodland enclave, the Story Den. Gather under the canopy of trees and settle down to listen to Sam Lloyd and her Monster Mates,  Laura Dockrill’s tales of Darcy BurdockGuy Bass’s stories of Stitch Head and check out Jonny Duddle’s pirate doodles. Don’t miss these authors and many more sharing their tales and talents with the young folk of Camp Bestival in this beautiful and unique setting. 

Then at night, the woods will come alive with fire and dragons, and you will be able to hear a specially written story on headphones as you explore the trail in the trees. Or gather again in the Story Den, to watch the shadow puppets dance as the storytellers bring their legends to life.

And don’t forget that you’ll be able to buy books from all the authors appearing at the festival, as well as get them signed after the talks and readings. Plus Martin Brown, illustrator of Horrible Histories, will be popping in for a very special book signing to take place at the Big Top following the Barmy Britain show Sunday. 

So whether you are looking for some inspirational enlightenment, imaginary escapism, jaw-dropping spoken word, brain-crunching quiz sessions or to immerse the little ones in make-believe, we have something for everyone on our Camp Bestival literary line-up.

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