The Bowling Green

The heart of the festival and the place where it all started, the Bowling Green is the main stage for our biggest literary events, debates, conversations and on-stage interviews. It’s where Kate Winslet read her favourite children’s book to a rammed crowd of kids (and a notable number of fathers). It’s where Alain de Botton conducted his famous Agony Hour, solving the audience’s shouted-out problems live on stage. It’s where Hari Kunzru DJ’d writers’ favourite records at one of our earliest festivals. And it’s where our legendary yearly Literary Pub Quiz takes place.

It’s also a perfect meeting spot, at the crossroads between the Walled Garden, the Estuary, the Maze and the House. And it’s the site of many unique happenings, including  writer Geoff Dyer juggling fire, chefs Angela Hartnett and Peter Gordon showing off their culinary chops and Shami Chakrabarti taking to the stage to the sound of the Beastie Boys’ ‘(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)’

Billy Bragg

Brett Anderson

Reni Eddo-Lodge

Helen Pankhurst

Grace Dent

John Mitchinson

Ian Marchant

A Cottage on Dartmoor ft. Wurlitza

Philip Lymbery

The Great Diary Project

Ceilidh Liberation Front

Antonia Raeburn

Irving Finkel

Martin Dorey

Paul Gorman

Afua Hirsch

Garth Jennings

Alex Langlands

Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

Sam Guglani

Posting Letters to the Moon with Simon Williams and Lucy Fleming

Martin Salisbury

Luke Wright