Audience member buying books at Festival event

Ilkley Literature Festival is a Registered Charity, set up to promote the enjoyment and understanding of books, reading, writing and the arts for everyone. 50% of our income is from tickets and associated sales – we rely on grants, sponsorship and our Friends and donors for the rest. As a non-profit our income goes towards organising the next festival and providing a range of outreach and education projects for children and young adults.

One such project saw ILF partner with a local charity, LS29 Group, that provides support and activities for families who have children with additional needs. Members were able to attend a range of sessions from exploring multisensory literature, to music and creative writing workshops.

“Just wanted to say a huge thank you from our group [LS29] for a lovely day of activities. We really appreciate the planning and effort that went into creating such a fun event for our families.”

As we go into 2020, we hope to continue supporting LS29 and other local groups to help more people find enjoyment and creativity through the arts and literature.

In 2019 of the 155 ticketed events, 56 of them were sold out before the start of the festival. Many of our Festival Friends took advantage of the priority booking service in order to secure their tickets. If you didn’t get the opportunity to see this year’s programme, we had some great headliners, from star of stage and screen David Suchet captivating audiences with his stunning photography to Poet Laureate Simon Armitage opening the festival with readings from his latest collection. The festival attracted over 21,000 audience members to 184 events over 17 days.

Festival Friends were also able to attend two exclusive, full-house receptions this year: New York Times bestselling author Brian McGilloway gave a fascinating talk on Northern Irish Crime fiction at the Ilkley Tennis & Lawn Club over the summer, during the October festival Trevor Nicholson looked back on his 25 years as Head Gardener at Harewood House, discussing the restoration and redevelopment of the gardens.

Becoming a Friend of the Festival is a brilliant way of keeping in touch with goings on at Ilkley and a great way of providing long-term support, helping to ensure the Festival’s future.

Friends of the Festival enjoy:

  • Priority mailing of ticket information
  • A special priority booking period before the Box Office opens to the public
  • Invitations to two Friends Receptions during the year
  • Two issues of the Friends newsletter.

Cost: £25 (single) and £35 (joint – two people at one address).

Please note:
We have limited tickets for all our events, with our largest venue holding only 500 people. For a small number of headline events the demand for tickets can considerably exceed availability. It is our policy to ensure that some tickets will always be available for members of the general public. The percentage of tickets available to Friends during the Priority Booking Period is therefore limited and tickets to all events are subject to availability.

Buy or renew your Friends membership here.