More music and literary names announced for Curious Arts Festival

Lots more acts announced for Curious Arts Festival 2016.

 Simon Evans with son Edward at last year's Curious Arts Festival

Pylewell Park Friday 22nd - Sunday 24 July - book your family tickets now, children 13 and under go free!

Buy tickets online at https://billetto.co.uk/en/events/curious-arts-festival-2016/tickets and via the Curious Arts Festival website.

  • Calling all Ramones fans – celebrate punks 40th anniversary with original manager Danny Fields 
  • Literary luminaries Michel Faber and Petina Gappah join Carol Ann Duffy and a long list of acclaimed authors
  • Jackson Scott, Jake Isaac and Willow Robinson line up on the music stage


The Curious Arts Festival has announced new additions to the packed programme of high-minded hi-jinks for curious adults and children this July.


curious arts 16 michel faberMichel Faber, (pictured left), author of the highly acclaimed novel The Crimson and The White,  prize-winning Zimbawean novelist, Petina Gappah (The Book of Memory) join prize winners and best sellers Deborah Moggach (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), SJ Watson (Before I Go to Sleep, Second Life), Stephen Kelman (Pigeon English), Andrea Wulf, Simon Toyne, Piers Torday, Louisa Young, DBC Pierre, Meg Rossoff, Max Porter, Gerad Kite, Andrew Miller, Jill Dawson.


The festival has also announced that history writer and indefatigable champion of trees Thomas Pakenham and British Army veteran Harry Parker will be bringing their illuminating perspectives to the programme along with countercultural hero and original manager of The Ramones, Danny Fields, who will talk candidly about his extraordinary life in music.


On the music stage, hotly tipped Paloma Faith support Jake Isaac is confirmed along with the smokey soul-drenched folk of newcomer Willow Robinson and the eclectic sounds of Jackson Scott.


Something for everybody at this unique festival!



Performances by literary icon Carol Ann Duffy including...

  • special children’s event.
  • Iconic Billy Bragg on the music stage on the Saturday night.
  • A weekend-long Sonnet-a-thon which launched by playwright Polly Stenham to mark the 400 year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death - we can all take part!
    Music from Bombay Bicycle Club vocalist Lucy Rose, HMS Sweet Charity, Gus Robertson (lead guitarist for Razorlight), and Communion Music (founded by Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons and Kevin Jones of Bear’s Den).
  • Comedy from TV stars Simon Evans, Zoe Lyons, Lucy Porter and Justin Edwards, plus children’s and teen favourite James Campbell, lightening-quick sketch group The Noise Next Door, whimiscal Chris Martin, rave reviewed Lloyd Griffiths and outstanding young comic Tom Lucy.




• A Jabberwocky Hunt led by a pop up theatre group, for children aged 3 and up
• Poetry trail though the 27 acres of beautiful gardens and grounds at Pylewell Park
• Insect Walks with Pestival founder and insectophile Bridget Nicholls
• Night-time bat walks
• Mind reading
• Breathing lessons
• Life drawing
• Faber Academy poetry workshops
• A series of events by Niddfest family friendly festival, which celebrates literature and nature in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales every August
• Learn how to be lazy with The Lazy Guru Laurence Shorter; consultant, coach, comedian and author of The Mindful Art of Achieving More by Doing Less
• Puppet theatre workshop
• Shakespeare Not Stirred cocktail making with Fever Tree tonics and Scribe
• Snail racing
• Garden tour with landscape architect Wade Graham
• News and Views Breakfast Club with journalists and broadcasters Kirsty Lang, Misha Glenny, Simon Nixon and Rowan Pelling
• Tree walks
• Opera
• Cricket
• Bedtime Stories with Paul Blezard at 7pm each evening in the Children’s Tent
• Theatrical bars and foodie fare


Delicious drinks from Fever Tree using only the highest quality natural ingredients sourced by obsessive founders Charlie and Tim will be served on the lawn to complement the programme of dazzling tented events and a wide variety of top notch food offers and dining options.


Festival visitors are welcome to pitch a tent and stay in the beautiful grounds of Pylewell Park during the festival – this is included in the weekend ticket price. For those who want that added touch of luxury, fabulous glamping options (www.bluebelltents.com) ensure enjoyment of the festival in comfort and style or Tangerine Fields will pitch a tent for you to be ready on arrival. (www.tangerinefields.co.uk)

Adult tickets are £120 for the weekend with day and evening tickets available. Children 13 and under free of charge.


The Curious Arts Festival at Pylewell Park, 22nd-24th July (Friday to Sunday). www.curiousartsfestival.com


Tickets can be purchased online at https://billetto.co.uk/en/events/curious-arts-festival-2016/tickets and via the Curious Arts Festival website.


About Pylewell Park

Pylewell Park is home to the Hon David and Melanie Roper-Curzon. Positioned on the south coast in the New Forest with a large agricultural and sporting estate, the house sits majestically surrounded by traditionally laid out parkland with unrivalled panoramic views over the Solent along the South coast. The sea serves as a stunning backdrop to the grounds, which include 27 acres of pleasure gardens and a 15-acre lake. www.pylewellpark.com


About the authors

From bestsellers and book club favourites the literary line up includes critically acclaimed writers of thrillers, history, crime, art, poetry, history, memoir and nature. They include:

  • Deborah Moggach - author of 18 novels including the best-selling The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which was turned into a major movie and Heartbreak Hotel.
  • SJ Watson - of international bestsellers Before I Go To Sleep and Second Life
  • Renee Knight - newcomer and Faber Academy graduate on her first novel Disclaimer, a Sunday Times Number One Bestseller.
  • Max Porter - the publisher and the author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers, inspired by Ted Hugh’s Crow and described by The Guardian as ‘astonishing’.
  • Stephen Kelman - whose first novel Pigeon English is now a set text on the AQA English Literature GCSE syllabus and was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize, on his second novel Man on Fire out in paperback in June 2016.
  • Meg Rosoff - Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize winner with her new novel, Jonathan Unleashed.
  • Gerad Kite - the A list’s favourite acupuncturist (Chris Evans, Will Young) and Everything You Need You Have (published January 2016)
  • Simon Toyne - the international bestselling author of the Sanctus trilogy - Sanctus, The Key and The Tower - and the Solomon Creed series.
  • Andrea Wulf - Costa-winning historian, New York Times bestseller on The Invention of Nature which reveals the extraordinary life of the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt.
  • Piers Torday - prize-winning children’s fiction writer.
  • DBC Pierre - Man Booker Prize winning contemporary fiction writer (Vernon God Little, Ludmilas Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland and Breakfast with the Borgias) will publish his memoir about writing - ‘Release the Bats’ in the summer.
  • Andrew Miller - multi award winning writer on his most recent novel, The Crossing.
  • Jill Dawson - who has often drawn on real figures and events for her novels, which include Fred and Edie about the murderess Edith Thompson, The Great Lover about Rupert Brooke and Wild Boy about the first recorded case of autism in 18th-century France on her new book The Crime Writer.
  • Louisa Young - the adult half of Zizou Corder, authors of the best-selling Lionboy trilogy and an award-winning author of thirteen books in her own right, including the forthcoming Devotion – three novels set across the early 20th century, following the Locke and Purefoy families from the outbreak of WW1 into the charged and changing times of the 1930s.
  • Joanna Cannon - newcomer, previously a psychiatric doctor, on her first novel the Sunday Times bestseller The Trouble with Goats and Sheep.



Article updated June 2016, see also event information and general article about the festival 



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