When coronavirus struck, it seemed that BookTastic, Bedford’s annual children’s book festival, would have to be cancelled. But the organisers refuse to be beaten, and have exciting plans to take the festival online!
BookFest was due to return in May with a programme packed with some of the biggest names in children’s books. Now the team is creating an online platform that will allow families across Bedfordshire – and beyond! – to tune into live-streamed performances. And they need your help.
“We’ve been blown away by the enthusiasm from the book industry for our idea,” says Festival Director, Rachael Rogan. “As soon as we contacted everyone to break the news they were full of fantastic ideas to deliver a virtual festival live into the homes of families. And this means we can now extend the reach of the event beyond our usual audience – so it’s actually become a genuinely exciting opportunity!”
To enable their channel to meet the minimum requirements for live-streaming from a range of devices, the team need to reach 1000 subscribers – which is where you come in. They are asking everyone to go to their channel here and hit subscribe – between now and the festival they are going to upload content from all of the performers, so you will get sneak previews of the sort of activities to expect on the day.
The event, now in it’s 6th year, has worked with such literary heroes as Chris Riddell (children’s laureate), Cressida Cowell (How To Train Your Dragon), Nick Sharratt (You Choose) and Kes Gray (Oi Frog), delighting families by bringing their books to life right here in Bedford. This year is bigger than ever – bestselling author and BookTastic favourite Steve Cole will be back with his popular series ‘Adventure Duck’(1), joined by Blue Peter Book Awards 2020 winner, Vashti Hardy (2), and Harriet Muncaster, author of the hugely popular Isadora Moon (3) series. Back with his high-octane poetry, AF Harrold will be performing alongside illustrator Katy Riddell (daughter of Chris) (4), and David Litchfield will run an illustrating session based on his bestselling and award-winning books (5).