About the Charleston Festival


From literary giant Salman Rushdie and Booker Prize-winning novelist Bernardine Evaristo to the ‘world’s most famous feminist’ Gloria Steinem, here’s a sneak peek at some of the incredible speakers taking centre-stage at this year’s Charleston Festival.

Don’t miss out! Join Charleston as a friend by midnight on Sunday 23 February to enjoy exclusive access to tickets during priority booking, plus unlimited free entry to our house, garden and exhibitions.

The full Festival line-up will be revealed on Tuesday 18 February. Priority booking for Friends, Patrons and Omega Group members will take place from Wednesday 26 February to Sunday 1 March, and tickets will go on general sale on Thursday 5 March.

Aged under 30? For the first time, Festival goers under 30 will have the chance to snap up tickets for just £10 when 1,000 tickets across all Charleston Festival events are released. 

Master storyteller Salman Rushdie returns to Charleston Festival for the first time in more than a decade to discuss his life and work. Just as Miguel de Cervantes wrote Don Quixote to satirise the culture of his time, Rushdie’s latest novel, Quichotte, takes the reader on a wild ride through a country on the verge of moral and spiritual collapse told with the kind of storytelling magic that is the hallmark of his work.

 Activist, academic and award-winning writer Bernardine Evaristo explores both heritage and modern life in her considerable body of work, shedding new light on what it means to be British. Evaristo has described her 2019 Booker Prize-winning novel, Girl, Woman, Otheras ‘fusion fiction’, and her writing spans an enormous range of genres, from novels to poetry, verse fiction, short fiction, essays and literary criticism to radio and theatre drama.

Since her early days as a journalist and feminist activist in the late 1960s, Gloria Steinem’s words heave helped generations to empower themselves and work together. Now, in a rare visit to the UK, the feminist icon comes to Charleston Festival for the first time to speak about her latest book, The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off! Thoughts on Life, Love and Rebellion.

Charleston Festival takes place annually in the gardens of Charleston, the rural Sussex home of the Bloomsbury group, and draws inspiration from the radical artistic and intellectual legacy of its past visitors including Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes and Roger Fry, as well as its inhabitants Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.

What's on

04 AprMusic
Music & Word: Quartet for the End of Time

 “The abyss is time, with all its weariness and gloom. The birds are the opposite of More

21 AprCourse
History of Art: Module 1, 1880-1940

Introductory course. Explore some of the 20th century’s most intriguing artists and movements.

23 AprCourse
Life Writing at Charleston (Intro.)

Introductory level course. Be guided through the process of bringing real stories and experiences to life on the page.

02 MayMusic
CROWLINK | Shirley Collins

Legendary folk singer Shirley Collins in a unique collaboration with Brian Catling and Matthew Shaw.

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