Wimbledon BookFest

Wimbledon Bookfest Weekender

Wimbledon Bookfest Weekender 2020

Wimbledon BookFest is back on Wimbledon Common this September and is holding a weekend of live ‘in person’ events, 12-14 September

Our favourite literary festival, Wimbledon Bookfest, is back with The Last Days of Summer LIVE Weekend Festival for a weekend packed with live events and speakers, in a bespoke, open marquee on Wimbledon Common.

Fiona Razvi, Festival Director says:

‘We are so excited to be able to host live ‘in person’ events with such a range of interesting writers and speakers”


Former Olympic Table Tennis player and author of Black Box Thinking and Rebel Ideas, Matthew Syed will deliver the Festival’s keynote speech, as well as an event for children. Comedian, writer and mental health advocate Ruby Wax comes to Wimbledon for the first event for her new book And Now for the Good News: To the Future with Love. Other speakers include journalist and podcaster, Pandora Sykes; broadcaster Jeremy Vine;  comedian Andy Hamilton with his remarkable new book Longhand and a unique performance from Lemn Sissay who will be reading from both his memoir My Name is Why and his latest poetry collection Gold from the Stone.

Bestselling novelists David Nicholls and Jessie Burton will be in conversation about their latest books, in partnership with the London Library. New voices will be making an appearance at Bookfest including NHS palliative care doctor Rachel Clarke and Black Lives Matter activist Patrick HutchinsonKadiatu Kanneh-Mason will talk about her musical family to celebrate the launch of her book House of Music: Raising the Kanneh-Masons, while her son Braimah will give a violin performance. Mervyn King and John Kay shares valuable insights from their latest book Radical Uncertainty: Decision-making for an unknowable future.

Test your general knowledge in Encyclopedia Britannica’s fun family quiz for all ages!

Events will have reduced capacities and ticketed entry to ensure that the festival is a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. Many of the events will be digitally streamed.

This alternative model for 2020 has been developed with the help of partners including Wimbledon & Putney Commons, University of Roehampton, Merton Council, Wimbledon Foundation, Baillie Gifford, Arts Council Grant England Emergency Funding and support from community benefactors.


BookFest’s Word Up education programme will run as usual in October and will feature 10 events with authors filmed live and then digitally relayed to participating schools. In celebration of the work of black writers and Black History Month, BookFest will donate a selection of books by black authors to the library of every Merton state schools (5 for primary and 10 for secondary schools.)


Fiona Razvi, Festival Director says: ‘We’ve worked hard to pull it together since guidance opened up on live events, but we feel the programme offers something very special for our audiences to enjoy. Social distancing will be in place and we’ve arranged an ‘open air’ roof only marquee set up to ensure audiences, staff and performers all feel safe.’

Tickets go on sale on 1st September

For further information please visit