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Bookings and

See details included with each event

Tickets for most events can be booked in advance either online, by phone, or from the venue box office.


For most events, you can book your tickets online by clicking the "Book this event online" link beside the event details. All bookable events can also be found in the May section at…


To book by phone, call the number beside the event.


Or, on the day, tickets, if still available, can be bought on the door at each venue.

But please, with popular events, please check first for availability!

The ticket price in brackets applies to people entitled to concessions.


Most evening events scheduled at Swindon Arts Centre are available to buy as a double ticket at a reduced price. But these discounted tickets cannot be bought online. Should you wish to purchase double tickets, please call the box office on 01793 524481.

If you have any queries about booking or the Festival in general, please email us or ring 01793 771080.

Tuesday May 2

Graham Harvey

Arts Centre, Devizes Road SN1 4BJ
Tel 01793 524481
12.30pm • 2 May • £7 (£6)
Book this event online

GRAHAM HARVEY – on the whys and wherefores of grass-fed food.

Are we really what we eat? Are ‘traditional’ foods unhealthy? What are the effects, on our health, of a diet that largely comprises grain-fed meat and processed factory foods? Can grazing be commercial? Has modern agriculture locked us into a cycle of degraded foods from overstretched and impoverished fields? Any other questions?

Prize-winning author, farmer, co-founder of the country’s leading conference on low-input ecological agriculture, the Oxford Real Farming Conference, and agricultural advisor to the BBC Radio 4’s The Archers, Graham Harvey has some answers in his book Grass-Fed Nation. In it, he explains how the grass-fed movement will minister to good health, put life back into our soils, and put wildlife back onto our farmland.

Hilary Bradt

Arts Centre, Devizes Road SN1 4BJ
Tel 01793 524481
6.30pm • 2 May • £8 (£7)
Book this event online

HILARY BRADT – an illustrated talk on the reluctant solo traveller.

What does travel mean to you? Why do we do it? Have you ever been a reluctant solo traveller? Or have you stayed at home when a partner or companion dropped out, but cursed your lack of courage?

Author, editor, and publisher of numerous travel books and articles, Hilary Bradt MBE, was herself a reluctant solo traveller but set out on a journey through Ireland on horseback with only her Connemara pony for company. Tonight, Hilary, along with Janice Booth and Hazel Pennington, two other contributors to Roam Alone: Inspiring Tales by Reluctant Solo Travellers, a collection of stories by travellers who have faced their fears and learned to love the freedom and new friends that solo travel brings, will give an illustrated talk on the trials and treats of travelling solo.

DOUBLE TICKET £14 for two events:
Hilary Bradt 6.30pm and Benedict Allen 8pm

Joanna Hickson

Central Library Regent Circus SN1 1QG
Tel 01793 466454
7pm • 2 May • £5 (£4)

JOANNA HICKSON – on the ever-fascinating Tudor dynasty.

Jasper Tudor, son of Queen Catherine and her second husband, Owen Tudor, has grown up far from the intrigue of the royal court. But after he and his brother Edmund are summoned to London, their half-brother, King Henry VI, takes a keen interest in their future.

Former presenter and producer of news and arts programmes for the BBC, Joanna Hickson now concentrates on bringing fifteenth century English history and some of its fascinating principal characters to life. In her latest book, First of the Tudors, she portrays the uncertainty and danger of the War of the Roses while deftly weaving in daily and domestic historical detail. She gets inspiration from her Wiltshire farmhouse home, which dates back to her chosen period.


Central Community Centre Emlyn Square SN1 5BP
Tel 07960 322215
7.30pm • 2 May • £2

WONDERWORDS – an evening of open mic wordsmithery!

Wonderwords welcomes storytelling, poetry, singing, anecdotes, monologues, stand up comedy; anything word-based goes. But please note that Wonderwords is keen to promote and uphold the oral tradition and encourages participant performers to speak, sing, or tell from memory. Everyone with a song in their heart, a poem in their head, or a story on the tip of their tongue is welcome.

And if you just want to come along and listen, you are very welcome too!

Benedict Allen

Arts Centre, Devizes Road SN1 4BJ
Tel 01793 524481
8pm • 2 May • £9 (£8)
Book this event online

BENEDICT ALLEN – with an illustrated talk on Birds of Paradise: the Ultimate Quest!

One man had a dream, to see Birds of Paradise in a remote cloud forest in Papua New Guinea. But before he had the opportunity to do so, he was shot by terrorists, and lost the use of his legs. By chance, he met another man, who not only had full use of his legs but also knew where the fabulous fabled birds were, because he’d been there, thirty years before. But getting to the birds, over inhospitable terrain and through wooded and mountainous tribal territories with a man in a wheelchair, was not going to be easy.

But nothing that author of ten books, renowned solo explorer-adventurer and film-maker Benedict Allen does has ever been easy. With his usual good humour and enthusiasm, Benedict reveals the full story behind his dramatic return to Papua New Guinea, as recently shown on BBC 2, through the swamps and jungles, with wheelchair-confined Frank Gardner, the BBC’s Security Correspondent, in search of those elusive birds.

DOUBLE TICKET £14 for two events:
Hilary Bradt 6.30pm and Benedict Allen 8pm