Sign up to our newsletter

Follow us…

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.

Farmhouse Kitchen

Free range food for free range people. Specialising in wholesome, home made, open air catering in fields, meadows, barns and woodlands.

Lorraine 07583 877732

Coffee Gang

Coffee Gang is a mobile Fairtrade coffee service. It will bring the coffee to you!

Call 07884 285777

Monday May 7

Dawn Chorus

Lawn Woods, High Street Old Town SN1 3EN
Tel 01793 771080
5.30am • 7 May • Free!

DAWN CHORUS – Festival launch: created by dawn sky, dawn breeze, and dewdrops, birdsong and beauty, minstrels and musicians, storytellers, poets and performers, and celebrated by you!

As the sun rises over sleeping Swindon, join the keenest and coolest Festival followers, high on a ridge in Lawn Woods, for this all-age, all-weather outdoor event that marks the start of the twenty-fifth Swindon Festival of Literature.

Make new friends, meet old ones, swig a coffee or tea, bite a butty, watch the sun rise, frolic round the maypole, and celebrate life and Literature!

At the sound of Jake on watering can and Danny on pipes, plinth-high against the dawn sky, the show will begin.

Jacob Hi-Ho and his mischievous morning band of gravity-defying, fire-flinging, musical, and dancing friends, who include Fergie, an English music man, and Darine, an Irish dancing woman, will bring the vigour, beauty, daring, and discipline of youth to proceedings; Swindon’s own Sun Arise Singers will sing the sun up; author, historian, and The Extollager Jon Cannon will gift us A Piece of Places and A Story of Stones; tin whistle-playing Literature-lover Andria Walton will give us moments of delight; storyteller Cat Weatherill will surprise us; Debbie Wolfson with her friends from Music Alive will make appropriate melodious morning sounds; Tony ‘Community Poet’ Hillier will make sure that maypole ribbons fly and we weave and sway the untangled way; Lorraine and her Farmhouse Kitchen catering crew will keep hot butties coming; while Matthew and his Coffee Gang will keep things hot and steamy; and a masterly master of ceremonies will keep morning mayhem to a minimum but first-light frolics on fire!

Join us on time – that’s 5.30am – or you’ll miss the best bits, and what’s more, you can come, have fun, and be back home before anyone has noticed you are gone!

Note: Later in the day, Dawn Chorus performers will be visiting people who could not get out, in hospitals and hostels, thanks to the generosity of Festival supporters…

The Wild Animals of Richard Jefferies

Richard Jefferies Museum, Marlborough Road, Coate, Swindon SN3 6AA
Tel 01793 917466
11am – 3pm • 7 May entrance: £3 per person

The Wild Animals of RICHARD JEFFERIES.

Come and enjoy a family-friendly morning and/or afternoon of adventure; and discover the wild animals that roam the pages of Richard Jefferies’ stories, through arts and crafts, nature walks, animal hunts, drawing, and storytelling.


Meet by the Stable Block beside Lydiard House, Lydiard Park, West Swindon SN5 3PA
Tel 01793 771080
2pm • 7 May • Free!

STORYWALK with Cat Weatherill – for health, well-being, and stories along the way!

Join international storyteller Cat Weatherill for a short walk, by the big lake, under the greenwood trees, stopping for a story or three, and back through the park, for a cup of tea, a piece of cake, and one last story. Cat will tell old stories and new ones too, chiefly about British trees. A walk, with stories, and trees: perfect, for everyone!

Freedom Run

Meet by the Stable Block beside Lydiard House, Lydiard Park, West Swindon SN5 3PA
Tel 01793 771080
2pm • 7 May • Free!

Presented in association with Swindon parkrun

A gentle 5k run in lovely Lydiard Park, with lots of friendly, supportive, and all-age Swindon parkrun runners!


The run will be followed by a short rest, with refreshing REFRESHMENTS!

Jo Pavey

Lydiard Conference Centre, Lydiard Park, West Swindon SN5 3PA
Tel 01793 524481
3pm • 7 May • £5
Book this event online

JO PAVEY – on the joys, the pains, and the gains of running!

Presented in association with Swindon parkrun

Even though going for a run is reckoned to be good for our health and that it might even make us more likeable, fitting in a running schedule with work, friends, and family life is a tricky business. But it’s extra tricky for a medals-seeking mum!

Olympic runner for Great Britain, third in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and winner of the 10,000 metre gold medal at the 2014 European Championships at the age of 40, and ten months after giving birth to her second child, inspirational running mum Jo Pavey has also found time to write a book called This Mum Runs. Let’s see what we can learn from it, and from Jo!

Hugh Warwick

Lower Shaw Farm, West Swindon SN5 5PJ
Tel 01793 771080
7pm • 7 May • £5 (£4)

HUGH WARWICK – on the lines we have drawn on our landscape.

Naturally, our countryside does not arrange itself in straight lines and discrete borders. But the lines we make on it – our hedges, walls, ditches and dykes built to enclose and separate and the lanes, roads, canals, railways, and power lines, designed to connect – all do.

And it is the borders we make and the lines we draw that can and do affect the possibilities of wildness in our countryside. By creating borders in our fields and woodlands, we also create the habitats and movement of our wildlife.

Writer, ecologist, and spokesperson for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, Hugh Warwick is author of Linescapes, which a fresh perspective on Britain’s countryside and a hope that, in terms of offers the countryside, we are doing things along the right lines.