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Literature festival venues named

Press release   •   Aug 13, 2014 11:55 BST

The official venues for Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival have been announced.  Twelve venues will be hosting more than 40 live events during the celebration of literature, drama, dance, music, theatre, film and visual arts in October.

The main festival venue will be Rochdale Central Library at Number One Riverside. The library and first floor Hollingworth Conference Suite will stage the majority of performances, including talks by writer Jackie Kay, television presenter Bill Turnbull and a live gig by singer/songwriter Lucy Spraggan.  The ground floor Bean Coffee shop will also be hosting events, together with Number Ten Gallery on Baille Street and Touchstones Arts and Heritage Centre.

New venues for 2014 include Middleton Arena, Wardle Academy, Hopwood Hall College (Rochdale Campus) and a pop-up shop in Rochdale’s Wheatsheaf Centre. M6 Studio, The Flying Horse Hotel and The Baum will also be hosting shows in Rochdale, together with The Studio Gallery in Littleborough.

Warm up events will be held earlier in October at Littleborough Library, Darnhill Library in Heywood and Langley Library in Middleton.

The festival, which has something for every age group, will be staged from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 October. It will offer people a chance to get together with others to share or discover a passion for reading and books.

Additional highlights on the line up so far include poet Ian McMillan, stand up legend Dave Spikey, author Chrissie Manby and BBC DJ Liz Kershaw, performance poet Tony Walsh, Tom Hingley from the Inspiral Carpets and Steve Hanley from The Fall, with more still to be announced.

There’ll be comedy/drama in ‘Gin & Chronic Arthritis’ by the MAD Theatre Company and the borough’s diverse cultures will be celebrated in a ‘World of Poetry & Music’ from the Multicultural Arts & Media Centre.

Events for children and families include a performance of ‘Whatever the Weather’ from M6 Theatre Company, Magic Carpet Yoga and Mark Gwynne Jones’s ‘Wordworms!’ show.

Book early is the message from organisers, after many shows sold out weeks in advance last year.

Councillor Neil Emmott, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Neighbourhoods at Rochdale Borough Council, said:

“It is really exciting to see how the festival is growing with new venues, and people contacting us saying they want to be part of it.  I said we wanted this year to be bigger and better and it will be.” 

The festival is due to the generosity of Annie and Frank Maskew, a Rochdale couple who shared a passion for reading and thinking, and originally met in Rochdale Library. They left a sum of money to be used on resources and events related to literature and philosophy to ensure classic works are available for future generations.

Tickets are available from

Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival runs from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 October/

For festival updates on Twitter connect with @RochdaleLitFest

The festival is organised by Rochdale Borough Council, funded by the Maskew Bequest.

For more information on this story, please contact Mark Roberts on 01706 924761 or 07754 267252 or email

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