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Well, it’s been a long time coming, but we’re delighted to finally be able to share the first 25 artists confirmed for Kenilworth Arts Festival 2018, which will be taking place from 20th – 29th September.

This year’s programme will feature a distinguished cast of award-winning, critically acclaimed musicians and writers – including a number of international artists. We’re also proud to be featuring some of our favourite emerging artists from around the country.

Highlights of the programme include:

  • A full band show from American musician S. Carey (29th September) – one of only 5 UK dates the musician is playing in 2018. Perhaps best known for being a key member of Grammy-winning band Bon Iver, S. Carey’s third solo album, Hundred Acres, was released on Jagjaguwar in February 2018 and has been described as “an album you can get lost in” (Uncut) and “breathtakingly pretty” (Paste Magazine). Support comes from Billie Marten, who is widely regarded as one of the most promising young singer-songwriters in the UK.
  • A solo piano concert from multi-award-winning jazz pianist and composer, Zoe Rahman (21st September). As a MOBO Award winner, Mercury Prize nominee, Jazz FM Award nominee and British Jazz Award winner, Zoe Rahman has established herself as a unique presence in the British music industry.
  • A weekend of literary events (22nd & 23rd September), featuring Fiona Mozley, whose debut novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2017; Kit de Waal; debut novelists Sharlene Teo and Michael Donkor and local authors Harriet Cummings and Patrick Kincaid. The weekend will also feature a showcase event from the newly-launched Rough Trade Books; a launch event for Sarah Moss’ sixth novel, Ghost Wall, and a panel discussion on discounting and the future of publishing.
  • A talk by John Lewis-Stempel – described by Country Life as “one of the best nature writers of his generation” – on Tuesday 25th September. Lewis-Stempel will be giving a talk based on his latest book, The Wood, which was published in March 2018 and selected as a BBC Radio 4 ‘Book of the Week’ upon its release.
  • A concert from BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners, Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker, in the stunning setting of the Tudor Stables at Kenilworth Castle (27th September).
  • A conversation between acclaimed food writer and Great British Bake Off finalist Ruby Tandoh and historian Rebecca Earle (20th September).

Also confirmed to appear in 2018 are Dutch singer-songwriter Christof van der Ven; jazz group The Emily Francis Trio; Syrian oud player Rihab Azar; theatre group The Wardrobe Ensemble, poets from Birmingham-based Verve Poetry Press, and journalist & critic Anita Sethi, amongst others.

The programme will also feature workshops, exhibitions and an eclectic mix of family & community events. More details about these strands of the festival programme will be announced in the coming weeks.

You can find out more about our artists here, or see a breakdown of the programme by day here

Tickets will go on sale on Friday 25th May.

More events will be confirmed next month.