• The Heath Bookshop announce the full programme for their inaugural literature and music festival taking place 18 – 21 April 2024. The programme goes live on Tues 5 March at 9am.

  • The programme includes Robin Ince, General Levy, The Bookshop Band, Mike Gayle and Catherine O’Flynn plus Poetry on Demand and a new commission from Adèle Oliver featuring new work from Casey Bailey and Ryan Dre Sinclair.

  • Tickets go on sale at 9am on Tuesday 5 March, find the full programme here: https://linktr.ee/theheathbookshop

  • Follow The Heath Bookshop on Facebook and Instagram @theheathbookshop to keep up to-date.

The Heath Bookshop announce the full programme for their inaugural The Heath Bookshop Literature and Music Festival which takes place in and around Kings Heath, Birmingham 18 – 21 April 2024. The programme goes live on Tuesday 5 March from 9am, when tickets will go on sale. Funded by National Lottery through Arts Council England the festival is in partnership with partners the Hare & Hounds and children’s bookshop How Brave is the Wren.

Over four days, Kings Heath will be buzzing with author events for young and old, music events and new artistic commissions that celebrate the connections between literature and music through spoken word, film, dance and sound.

The programme includes Robin Ince, General Levy, the Bookshop Band, Mike Gayle and Catherine O’Flynn plus Poetry on Demand and a new commission from Adèle Oliver featuring new work from Casey Bailey and Ryan Dre Sinclair. Tickets are on sale from 9am Tuesday 5 March, the full programme is available here: https://linktr.ee/theheathbookshop

Catherine and Claire, co-owners at The Heath Bookshop said: "We are so pleased to be announcing such a packed programme for our first ever The Heath Bookshop Literature and Music Festival, we’ve aimed to put together a Festival that offers something different to audiences. We’ve got musicians talking about their lives and the books they have written and we have writers talking about music. With music in the bookshop and literature events in music venues we can’t wait to welcome audiences to the Festival."

Peter Knott, Midlands Area Director at Arts Council England, said: “We’re delighted to support the first The Heath Bookshop Literature and Music Festival, thanks to over £19,000 from National Lottery Project Grants.

“Kings Heath has a vibrant arts and culture scene and it’s incredibly exciting to have such a varied programme of creatives from the worlds of music and literature coming to the area this April.”

The Festival kick starts on Thursday 18 April with award-winning stand up, presenter and author Robin Ince taking festival-goers on a journey across Britain exploring his lifelong love of bookshops and books, hosted at Queensbridge School.

Starting the children’s events, How Brave is the Wren, festival partner and children’s bookshop, will present their weekly Story Time with a musical twist and a chance to meet author of Can you Feel the Noise, Stewart Foster.

Friday 19 April starts with an Advanced Writing Workshop with award winning author Michel Faber, aimed at individuals who have been writing for some time, places are limited and one writer will be supported to attend with a Bursary from The Heath Bookshop and help from Writing West Midlands.

Friday also sees a series of music themed author events at festival partners Hare & Hounds with White Rabbit Books who are dedicated to publishing the most innovated books and voices in music and literature. Musician, writer, producer and DJ Richard Norris will talk about his journey through the music industry as told in his autobiography Strange Things are Happening. Singer Lias Saoudi will discuss his book Ten Thousand Apologies telling the sordid and thrilling story of the country’s most notorious cult band, Fat White Family. Both Richard and Lias’ events will see them in conversation with arts and music journalist Daniel Dylan Wray.

Over at How Brave is the Wren expect story telling with a musical twist as well as author events including Nathanael Lessore talking about his book Steady for This.

DJ and producer David Holmes will close the Friday with a 3hour genre bending set at the Hare & Hounds taking in house, techno, electro and beyond, supported by resident DJs, and friends of The Heath Bookshop, Leftfoot.

Saturday 20 April at the festival sees a morning focused on crime fiction with a Crime Writers Panel at the All Saints Centre in Kings Heath featuring Jo Callaghan, Mark Edwards and Rachel McLean in conversation with fellow crime author Barbara Copperthwaite. Expect discussion of everything from their own novels to plot development to the writing process.

Also at the All Saints Centre, later in the day, Birmingham legends Mike Gayle and Catherine O’Flynn will discuss the crossover between their love of pop music and their writing. How music journalism inspired them to start writing, with one of them revealing that they wrote for Just 17 magazine.

Over at The Heath Bookshop award-winning Ingrid Persaud will be in conversation with BBC’s Grace Smith about her new novel The Lost Love Songs of Boysie Singh. Whilst at the New Photo Company and Seesaw Opticians – both on the high street – drop in and meet Birmingham poet Bradley Taylor who will perform ‘poetry on demand’ using his typewriter to gift strangers with a unique poem of their own choosing. In the Oxfam Bookshop be serenaded by musicians from Misfits Music Foundation, live music whilst hunting for a literary bargain.

How Brave is the Wren invites children aged 8+ to be inspired by Matthew Forsythe’s Pokko and The Drum in a storytelling, drama and costume making workshop inviting participants to come back on Sunday for the performance. The workshop will take place at Kings Heath Library and the parade – on Sunday – will take place on York Road, Kings Heath.

Saturday closes with a new commission, especially for The Heath Bookshops Literature and Music Festival, from Birmingham writer, music producer and scholar Adèle OliverBlack Sound, Song and Soma. Deeping It: A Live Experience taking the soul of her book ‘Deeping It: Colonialism, Culture and Criminalisation of UK Drill’ to the stage. Over two hours expect to be immersed in oral, somatic, and visual histories of Black artistic resistance through live music, spoken word poetry, and capoeira from some of Birmingham’s most talented storytellers. Adèle is working with Birmingham’s Casey Bailey and Ryan Dre Sinclair along with artist Nicoy Downes and singer Alexis Brown.

Before closing the day’s proceedings with a late night club show, General Levy – a veteran of the UK urban music scene and one of the most in demand MCs in the country – will be in conversation with broadcaster Alex Carr providing an exclusive dive into the life and times of the UKs longest standing club legends.

Sunday 21 April starts with writer and lecturer Anna Metcalfe, at The Heath Bookshop, delivering a Beginners Writing Workshop focused on how to build a character, a great opportunity for budding writers to develop their character creation skills. The afternoon sees a take over from the acclaimed Bookshop Band who write and perform songs inspired by books, perfect for a chilled out Sunday afternoon. Then, over tea time enjoy poetry with Naush Sabah and Ayan Aden.

At How Brave is the Wren enjoy Spoon in a Jar Trio a family concert celebrating the grooviest book trilogy Jazz in the jungle, Oscar at the Opera and Ella Fitzfeathers and the Stormy Weather. Don’t forget your dancing feet.

Over at the Hare & Hounds join best-selling British author Daniel Rachel and Pauline Black of The Selecter, who will be in conversation with Lyle Bignon about their work and the influence of Two-Tone Music. The final event of the festival – ahead of the Festival After-Party – sees Maddie Langham-Walsh and Bradley Taylor present The Big Gay Poetry Night inviting attendees to share their queer-themed poetry.

The festival is funded by Arts Council England.

For more information and to buy tickets visit: https://linktr.ee/theheathbookshop

In order to make the festival as accessible as possible, many of the events are low cost and many of the events will be BSL signed, check the programme for details.

Follow The Heath Bookshop on Facebook and Instagram: @theheathbookshop