Idler Festival

Idler Festival

FENTON HOUSE ▪ HAMPSTEAD ▪ 8 – 10 July 2022

The Idler Festival is a weekend of talks, debates, comedy, music and merriment in the idyllic surroundings of Fenton House and its walled gardens in London’s Hampstead. On this page you’ll find speaker biogs, festival programme, timetable and link to book tickets.


Click the images to find out more about the performers and speakers. And take a look at the timetable here.

The Idler Festival is a weekend of talks, debates, comedy, music and merriment in the idyllic surroundings of Fenton House and its walled gardens in London’s Hampstead.

Speakers include Jarvis Cocker, Sally Phillips, Arthur Smith, Glen Baxter, Margaret Drabble, Elif Shafak, Ben Moor, Lucy Cooke, John Lloyd, Lea Ypi, Matthew Green, Lauren Child, Charles Hazlewood, Mark Vernon, Harry Mount and many more.


See who’s on when here (please note Oliver Burkeman is no longer joining us; but we’re pleased to announce Elif Shafak as a new addition to the line-up):


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We’ll have literary, philosophy and architecture walks; cartooning and zine workshops; foraging; hip-hop dancing lessons; The Chill Out Tent in the attic; silent disco in the sunken garden; harmonica and ukulele lessons; bibliotherapy and agony aunts; cocktails in the orchard; The Art Car Boot Fair; and much more. We can’t wait to be loafing, laughing and learning in the walled gardens of beautiful Fenton House.

Tier Two weekend tickets are on sale now! Get yours while they last.

This is what festival-goers said about the 2019 edition:

A wonderful weekend… An event that expanded my mind and made me re-evaluate so much in my life.

A soul-soothing bucolic haven of unexpected loveliness.

Relaxed and imbibed with calmness and a sense of purpose.  


Fenton House is a 17th-century brick mansion surrounded by a walled garden with formal lawns, a sunken rose garden, yew hedges, a 300-year-old orchard and a working kitchen garden. Fenton houses a huge collection of harpsichords and during the Idler Festival becomes a soundscape of harpsichord recitals. On display will be Fenton’s collections of 17th-century needlework and ceramics featuring Chinese and 18th-century pieces. Fenton was given to the National Trust by the last owner Lady Binning in 1952.


Member Early Bird Weekend Tickets: £110 plus fees – SOLD OUT

Early Bird Weekend Tickets: £115 plus fees – SOLD OUT


Friday 8 July Day Ticket: £40

Saturday 9 July Day Ticket: SOLD OUT

Sunday 10 July Day Ticket: £50

Useful Information

Friday 8 July – Sunday 10 July

Fenton House, Hampstead Grove, Hampstead, London NW3 6SP
Hampstead Jazz Club at The Duke of Hamilton, 23-25 New End, Hampstead, London NW3 1JD

Friday: 6pm – 9pm
Saturday: 12pm – 11pm
Sunday: 12pm – 7pm

Please note, these times reflect the programme with some events taking place off-site. Fenton House is open from 6pm – 9pm on Friday and 12pm – 7pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Nearest tube:
Hampstead Underground Station

Building – there are two steps to the entrance which provide access to the Dining Room and bookshop; a ramp is available. The toilets are on the first floor, accessible via the stairs.
Grounds – there is an accessible route around the upper walk and south garden which provides access to the Main Stage.

Limited on-street metered parking Friday/Saturday. Paid carparks nearby at Hampstead Heath. No parking restrictions on Sundays.

The Idler Festival does not offer overnight accommodation. You can find a range of local options here.

Food & Drink:
There will be a delicious selection of cakes and snacks, salads and hot food, beers and wine, teas and coffees on sale at Café Tangerine throughout the weekend. There will be a cocktail bar in the orchard.

Some workshops and activities with limited spaces are subject to additional booking fees. Booking for workshops will open to all ticket holders two weeks before the festival.

Children at the Idler Festival:
We offer half-price tickets to under 16s. Call to book. Please note, there are no children’s areas at the festival and no events aimed specifically at children. Older children may enjoy the talks. Families with babies are welcome and will find plenty of quiet spots in the garden.

Dogs at the Idler Festival:
There are no dogs allowed on the Idler Festival site (apart from registered guide dogs).

Terms and Conditions:
Festival tickets are fully transferable. This means if you are unable to attend an event or course you have booked, then you may pass your ticket on. Please contact us at with your details and the details of the person to whom you would like to transfer your ticket(s). If you would like to cancel a ticket, we accept cancellations for up to 28 days before the festival, refunding your money in full. Fewer than 28 days before the festival and we shall not be able to offer a refund. If the event is cancelled or rescheduled as a result of Covid-19, you will be entitled to a refund or you can transfer your tickets to a future date.