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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.

Thursday May 11

Elli Woollard

Richard Jefferies Museum, Marlborough Road, Coate SN3 6AA
Tel 01793 979224
10am • 11 May £3 per child

ELLI WOOLLARD – with story-walks for under 5s!

Presented in association with Swindon ARTSWORDS

Come and meet Elli and The Dragon and the Nibblesome Knight, the story of a kind young boy who helps a strange-looking bird, and a beautiful friendship follows.

A morning of discovery in the open air at the Richard Jefferies Museum with stories, music, and crafts.

Elli Woollard started writing stories after an embarrassing incident in which her youngest son broke Michael Rosen’s glasses! In addition to picture books, she also writes children’s poems. The Giant of Jum, her first book, was a hit debut. Elli lives in London with four children, two guinea pigs, and one husband.

Ingrid Seward

Arts Centre, Devizes Road SN1 4BJ
Tel 01793 524481
12.30pm • 11 May • £7 (£6)
Book this event online

INGRID SEWARD – on what the Queen thinks.

Presented in association with Swindon 105.5

At least two royal duties expected of most members of the royal family, are to keep emotions in check and opinions private. So how do we know what the Queen, Britain’s longest-serving and the world’s oldest reigning monarch, thinks and feels?

Writer of more than a dozen books on the royal family, regular international broadcaster on all matters royal, and Editor of Majesty magazine, Ingrid Seward is author of The Queen’s Speech, an intimate and fascinating portrait of Her Majesty.

Xiaolu Guo

Arts Centre, Devizes Road SN1 4BJ
Tel 01793 524481
6.30pm • 11 May • £8 (£7)
Book this event online

XIAOLU GUO – on life-lessons, in the East and the West.

When she is born, her parents hand her over to a childless peasant couple in the mountains. Aged two, they leave her with grandparents in a fishing village on the East China Sea. She ends up in a Beijing film school and next, on a scholarship, in England. Censorship strikes but her life goes on a pace, as author and film maker, in the East and the West. Nature or nurture, what makes a writer?

Author of A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, Xiaolu Guo has now written Once Upon a Time in the East, an extraordinary memoir that tells a remarkable story full of reflections on how to be an artist when censorship kills creativity, how to be a woman when female babies are regularly drowned at birth and sexual abuse is commonplace, and the way to love when you’ve never been shown how.

DOUBLE TICKET £13 for two events:
Xiaolu Guo 6.30pm and Roman Krznaric 8pm

Roman Krznaric

Arts Centre, Devizes Road SN1 4BJ
Tel 01793 524481
8pm • 11 May • £8 (£7)
Book this event online

ROMAN KRZNARIC – on the vanishing art of seizing the day!

‘Seize the day’ is one of the oldest pieces of life advice in Western history. Its promise of radical aliveness has inspired us for centuries. But what does it really mean? And how can it really be part of our modern lives? Can it really be a route to aliveness, awareness, and happiness?

Social philosopher, founding faculty member of The School of Life, and author, whose books The Wonderbox and How to Find Fulfilling Work have been published in more than twenty languages, Roman Krznaric now offers readers Carpe Diem Regained, a rousing call for anyone who wants to have an agency in their own actions and lead a vibrant and even more meaningful life.

DOUBLE TICKET £13 for two events:
Xiaolu Guo 6.30pm and Roman Krznaric 8pm

A Hip-Hop Panel

The Tuppenny, Devizes Road SN1 4BD
Tel 01793 323643
9pm • 11 May • Free!

A Hip-Hop Panel – on the four elements that shaped a new urban youth culture.

Not in the Bronx but in Swindon: four individuals, who embraced the culture of hip-hop, chose one of the elements as a creative form to pursue, and made it their career.

Colin Astin, Graffiti writer, artist, and cultural historian; Ross Burden AKA DJ Para, DJ; and producer, Richard ‘Banksy’ Banks, break-dancer, and Gee Ealy MC, will be talking about the hip-hop elements, what they are, why they are entirely pivotal to the culture of hip-hop, why they chose their respective paths, and why they kept their careers in their home town.

The evening will be rounded off with a jazz-accompanied rap battle!