Billy Bragg, British Sea Power and Howard Marks among stars as second Voewood Festival at High Kelling is launched

A 'jewel-like' festival is preparing to sparkle in a stunning north Norfolk setting when it returns for its second year in the summer.

Stars including the singer Billy Bragg and writer Diana Athill and a marvellous mixture of bee-keepers, puppet operettas and a 'libation library' will be among the attractions at Voewood Festival.

Subtitled the 'arts garden party of the year', it happens at Voewood House, an early 20th century arts and crafts building at High Kelling, owned by Simon Finch.

It will run from Friday August 24 to Monday August 27, and co-curators Clare Conville and Patrick Keogh are promising 'something for everyone'.

Ms Conville, joint festival curator, said: 'Last year's festival was a magical few days. There was an incredible line-up that was invariably fairly eccentric, but we got there in the end.


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'This year the aim is to retain the charm of the original festival, make it a little bit bigger but keep it within the environs of this house.

'It's not going to be like the Hay Festival. We want it to be a jewel-like festival offering the very best of art, literature, music and film - an international festival on a local scale.'

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Among the authors attending the festival are Louisa Young, Sarah Hall, SJ Watson and Meg Rosoff, who said: 'I've been to 50 to 60 literary festivals around Europe and I don't think I've ever had a nicer time. There's something about the atmosphere and the people at Voewood that was extraordinary.'

The music tent will include British Sea Power on the Friday, author and former drug smuggler Howard Marks doing the 'spoken word' on the Saturday, along with Brit Award nominee Beth Rowley, former Sex Pistol Glen Matlock on the Sunday and Billy Bragg closing the festival on the Monday with a tribute to Woody Guthrie near to what would have been his 100th birthday.

Another of the festival highlights will be 'bibliotherapy', where 'patients' can pour out their problems and be prescribed a list of books to read as a treatment.

Alison Ouvry will stage a puppet operetta adaptation of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, while Idler Academy tutors will coach visitors in beekeeping, darning and Latin.

There will also be a pop-up restaurant provided by Borough Market firm Brindisa and a 'libation library' from Hendrick's Gin.

? Visit www.voewoodfestival.com.

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