Dear Fowey Festival supporters
As you know the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature due to take place in May has been postponed until late September. The good, indeed excellent, news is that our wonderful Festival Director, Brenda Daly supported by the Board of Trustees has managed to re-book nearly everyone, so the structure of the September Festival looks almost the same.
The not so good news is that, as a non-profit charity, the Covid-19 pandemic has come at a terrible time financially. To lose our festival because of financial problems at this stage would be very sad indeed.
2021 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Fowey Festival; a milestone everyone would like to reach.
But you can help.
To raise emergency funds to cover ongoing costs and ensure the festival survives, please join in our crowdfunding scheme and donate what you can. Click here for full information:
The dates for the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature 2020 are 25th September - 3rd October 2020
To keep festival visitors informed, Fowey Festival and the Daphne du Maurier website are providing you with up-to-date statements regarding the Festival.
March 17th, 2020: The Festival has been postponed to September 25th – October 3rd 2020
We are currently working closely with all the artists that were due to perform at the Festival in May, and we are delighted that many have been able to reschedule their diaries to September. We hope to have the final schedule of events ready to launch by the end of March, at which point we will be in a position to inform you about arrangements for existing ticket holders. Online booking will reopen at the end of March for the sale of tickets to the Festival in September.
Our Festival is a self-funding charity, staged and supported by volunteers and cancelling it would have put any future Fowey Festivals at risk. We are delighted that we have been able to secure the dates in late September and we thank you for your patience and continued support while we finalise the arrangements.
We look forward to welcoming you to the Festival in September.
A literary festival has taken place in Fowey for many years, the first being The Daphne du Maurier Festival of Arts and Literature in May 1997. This was a community initiative which had the full support of the du Maurier Browning family and was timed to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Daphne’s birth.
From then on it became a tradition that 13th May, Daphne’s birthday, would always be included within the dates of the festival.
That first festival provided the pattern for the future, with du Maurier-related walks, exhibitions, talks, plays and music events. There was a national one-day conference on the subject of Daphne du Maurier and the Romance of Place, with speakers including Avril Horner, Sue Zlosnik and Helen Taylor.
This was repeated on a much bigger scale in 2007, to celebrate Daphne du Maurier’s centenary, when a three-day international conference was held and concluded with a visit to Ferryside for all the delegates.
Over the years that followed the Daphne du Maurier Festival of Arts and Literature grew, under the direction of a small team of people from Restormel Borough Council led by Jonathan Aberdeen. The centrepiece of the festival was a beautiful festival village, built on land belonging to Fowey Community College just beyond Fowey Hall Hotel.
When the festival in Fowey began it was a rare and special event, which thrived through the good years of the 2000s. But, as the decade drew to a close, a huge range of literary festivals all over the country gave people a greater choice of venue, and politics and the recession began to play their part in what was to become quite a struggle for survival.
With the inception of a unitary authority in the county, Cornwall Council could no longer justify supporting the du Maurier Festival in isolation; funding was reduced and shortly after ceased. However a local group of enthusiastic people got together, incorporated themselves into a charity and the Fowey Festival of Words and Music was born.
The festival became an altogether smaller event, located in various venues around the town, and, despite misgivings from many people, both local and visitors, has proved in the last few years to be very successful and financially sound.
The festival is gently growing in strength and content, under the direction of Brenda Daly and its board of trustees, and is enjoyed by all who come.
The formula is still one of walks, exhibitions, talks, workshops, plays and music events but also includes an Art Trail, which gives local artists the opportunity to open their homes and studios to show their work. Another popular addition in the Secret Gardens Programme, through which local people open their gardens to festival goers. The festival also always makes a point of focusing on events to include children.
In 2016 the name of the festival was tweaked slightly, to reflect more accurately what the festival does, and became the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature. Despite Daphne du Maurier's name no longer being in the festival title she is still a vital part of the proceedings.
We can now confirm that the dates of the next Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature are Friday 8th May - Saturday 16th May 2020. We will being you news of what you can look forward to and link you with the festival website, so that you can be completely up to date with all festival news.