A show by top-name comedian Simon Munnery, musical bingo and the Flitwick Cocktail are just some of the highlights of a free festival next month.
The Future Libraries Festival is a three-day event taking place at Flitwick Library from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 October 2015.
It is part of an ambitious art project commissioned by Central Bedfordshire Council’s libraries, in partnership with Bedford Creative Arts and funded by Arts Council England. Involving eight artists, it invites us to imagine what the library of the future could look like.
The Future Library Festival is the second of three commissions making up the project and is a free festival like no other. Hosted by artists Rosalie Schweiker, Ania Bas and David Littler, it will transform Flitwick Library into a hub of comedy, debate, music, food and films.
It kicks off at 7.30pm on Friday 16 October with Flitwick Comedy Night and the launch of the Flitwick Joke book – a collection of jokes sold to the artists by Flitwick residents for 10p a joke. Bedfordshire comics Simon Munnery, who will bring his ‘And Nothing But’ show hot from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and Eamonn Fleming will be performing on the night. Tickets are free but booking is essential.
Saturday morning sees the library playing host to a language café from 9.30-11am with native speakers keen to share their language, and from 11.30am-1pm local crime fiction author Adam Croft and And Publishing will be running a workshop on how to self-publish. In the afternoon, local groups will go head to head in the community challenge competition. The fun begins at 3pm.
From 7pm the library will screen the Flitwick Skater Group’s Flitwick Skate Competition film as well as the cult skating film Dogtown and Z-Boys.
The cocktail caravan will be serving a special Flitwick Cocktail and craft beers on Friday and Saturday nights.
There will be a more relaxed pace at the library on the Sunday with rest, relaxation and musical bingo as the theme of the day. The weekend will culminate in a discussion and debate about the future for libraries.
And if you have a good idea, it could earn you some money: get in touch with your 60-minute suggestion of what you would like to do to ensure the future of libraries and you could be paid £50 to deliver it.
Rosalie, Ania and David said of the festival: “We see libraries as a vital community resource. They are one of the last remaining free social spaces. Spaces that allow you to sit down, relax, enjoy, discover and learn. However, with recent closures across the country it is clear that libraries are under threat. This festival will explore with everyone the possibilities for libraries beyond books and how they could be an inclusive space for all.”
The festival is free and open to all. Booking is essential for the Flitwick Comedy Night and is for people 16 years and over. A second festival will follow in Biggleswade from 13-15 November, with more details to come.
Each art project is created through public collaboration, with the first Library as Laboratory commission, Dump it on Parliament Revisited, looking at the role of libraries as custodians of local history by creating a new living history artwork using the backdrop of Bedfordshire’s well-known post-punk scene of the late 70s and early 80s. This will culminate in a final musical performance at Leighton Buzzard Library Theatre on Friday, 27 November 2015.
The third commission – Make, Do, Discover – will take place in early 2016 and reflect the discovery of lost information and hidden secrets.