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Medway River Lit in numbers

"The breadth of different events really was something for everyone and you pulled off some amazing coups with the quality of acts you persuaded to come to Medway River Lit. I look forward to this event growing into a nationally important literature festival."

We had set ourself a target to get 1,000 visitors to festival events and this was exceeded.

  • Total attendance during the festival (including Bookends Events): 1,676

  • Total attendance during the festival engagement events (February - June): 1,024


We had set out to be a festival which not only brought interesting and unexpected writers and performers to the Medway area, but also introduced local writers to new audiences, (plus put spending directly into the local economy).

  • Total authors and performers: 111

  • Total local writers/performers: 60


We wanted to be a festival not only offering the chance to hear writers talk about their books, but give audiences the opportunity to experience literature in all its genres - drama, graphic novels, films, illustrated books, crime novels, fantasy and sci-fi, non-fiction, etc.

  • Total events (panels, talks, performances): 43


We also wanted to give would-be writers the chance to learn something new, or expand their writing knowledge.

  • Workshops during festival: 12

  • Workshop attendance: 121


We also ran 3 well attended art exhibitions inspired by books and writing;

  • Medway ArtBox (31 May - 30 June)

  • Chatham Library (throughout June)

  • Rochester Library (throughout June)


Our programming for the first festival was eclectic, diverse, unexpected, inclusive and very Medway!

"Among the very many great things about the Medway River Lit Festival has been both the quality and variety of events. For example, each of the three poetry evenings I attended were very different in terms of style and tone but the common factor was the brilliance of the poets themselves. The festival provided me the opportunity to indulge my current interests and to explore new ones – it was a real treat to be introduced to the world of graphic novels by such talented creators – and the workshops I attended were incredibly welcoming, inclusive and encouraging. In all I have attended over a dozen of them and have always left feeling inspired or entertained or thought-provoked, and often all the above.
I’ve also enjoyed the variety of locations that Medway River lit has used and that it brought events to each of the towns in Medway as this added to very inclusive nature of the festival.
Finally, I really like the balance the festival has struck between bringing first-class creators and performers to Medway and showcasing its home-grown talent. Making this an annual festival and giving it the resources, time and space to grow could have a profound impact on the creative life of Medway, inspiring and supporting the next generation of authors, poets and playwrights."
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