The 2020 festival has been cancelled.
Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival began in 2013 and has attracted some of the high profile names in arts and politics. Dame Carol Ann Duffy, Tony Walsh, Alan Johnson, Simon Callow CBE, Owen Jones, Jenny Eclair, Bonnie Greer, Willy Russell, Alastair Campbell, Mark Steel, Joanne Harris MBE, Gyles Brandreth, Ed Byrne, Simon Armitage, Dom Joly, Helen Lederer, Lucy Spraggan, David Starkey, Ian McMillan, Gervase Phinn, Jackie Kay, Lemn Sissay, Floella Benjamin OBE, John Craven, Konnie Huq, The Reverened Kate Bottley, Louise Minchin and Stuart Maconie are some of the high profile names who have taken part.
The festival is very much rooted in the history and people of the town, with its origins lying in a generous bequest left by local couple, Annie and Frank Maskew. Annie and Frank met at Rochdale Central Library in the 1950s and they connected over their shared love of reading and philosophy. The Maskew Bequest has ensured that the books and culture that brought them together are available for future generations of literature lovers and young philosophers.
Organised by Rochdale Borough Council, Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival is the flagship event to promote the Maskew Collection, a prestigious curation of books spanning a range of genres, fact, fiction and philosophies.