Festival is blessed with sunshine and celebrities
- Credit: @CAMERAFIRM
Visitors and locals enjoyed talks from more than 70 authors and speakers, on topics ranging from teenage mental health to the history of the Special Boat Service, and everything in between, at Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival this weekend.
The sun shone for the five-day festival, which drew to a close on Sunday - and was the first ‘in person’ festival since 2019 - has been declared a resounding success by organisers with more than 6,500 tickets sold to talks over five days.
Among the speakers were Darcey Bussell, Celia Imrie and Richard Dawkins, all of whom enjoyed some warm Devon hospitality and sell out audiences in venues across the town. There was a full programme of children’s activities, from free bounce and rhyme sessions, Alice in Wonderland themed fun and a talk from Jacqueline Wilson.
Sue Briggs, chair of the festival committee, said the event had ‘felt really special’ this year. She added: “Covid certainly caused a few headaches, but our whole committee and team of more than 50 volunteers worked so hard to stage this event and we’ve had wonderful feedback from our visitors. You could sense there was some hesitancy at the beginning of the week, but you could see how people grew in confidence as the days went on. Many people have said to us that it has made them feel braver to get out and attend other things. Our audiences were so warm and appreciative of the speakers, and it felt like a lovely way to bring people together after the last 18 months.
“This is an event which is staged by the community, for the community. It was wonderful to see generations of families coming together and enjoying such a varied programme. We are so grateful to everyone who gives up their time to plan stage this really special event and of course everyone who comes along and supports it.”