Michael Palin to headline new Idler Festival

27 Apr

Busy doing nothing: deckchairs await you in the orchard at Fenton House

Idler magazine launches new three day festival at Fenton House in Hampstead

We’re delighted to announce the first Idler Festival will take place in mid-July at the National Trust’s Fenton House, a grand merchant’s dwelling in Hampstead with beautiful walled gardens.

It is just the place to retreat from the hurly-burly and feed your mind and soul.

The Idler Festival will take place across three days and our headliner is Idler contributor Michael Palin. There will be appearances from Sally Phillips, John Lloyd, Carole Cadwalladr, Matthew Green and a host of Idler favourites. We are limited to just 400 places so it will be a delightfully intimate occasion.

Festival Director Victoria Hull says she is creating her perfect weekend, a cross between a grand house party and the school of your dreams. If any of you have been to our shows at Port Eliot or Good Life Experience you will know what to expect: talks, classes, music, food and high quality lounging around.

Says Victoria: “Three years ago we hosted The Idler Garden Party – a day of fun and frivolity at Fenton House. Now we have imagined what our perfect school would be like and our perfect house party and merged them. Pupils choose what they want to learn – would it be a bit about London architecture? Well drop in on Oldie editor Harry Mount‘s salon in the drawing room on Friday evening and have a chat with him, or go on a walk with him around the eighteenth-century village of Hampstead. Fancy learning an instrument? Try a bit of harmonica. Literature? Biographer poet Fiona Sampson will tell you all about Mary Shelley. Want to write beautifully? Learn to write with a quill in the Rockingham Room. Agony aunt Virginia Ironside will host a “problems” salon in the master bedroom, and there’ll be philosophy walks in the orchard and dancing lessons on the lawn.

“And most important of all, if you simply want to do nothing, there will be lying around in the garden, drinking cocktails, and occasionally listening to feisty panellists setting the social media world to rights.

“No work to do at all.”

The Idler Festival takes place from 13-15 July. Early Bird tickets are priced at just £90 and you can snap one up here.