South West Londoner went along to Wimbledon Bookfest, a literary festival that attracts thousands of visitors each year.
The festival on Wimbledon Common usually runs a 10-day event every October.
However, due to Covid-19, this year is split between two five-day events: Sunrise Festival in June and Sunset Festival in September.
The reduced-capacity Sunrise Festival saw 4,000 visitors and the likes of authors Michael Morpurgo, Caitlin Moran, Max Hastings and comedian Frank Skinner in the line-up.
Festival director Fiona Razvi said: “We couldn’t have been happier to welcome our audiences back for a live in-person festival allowing them to engage with ideas and new work in a communal but safe way.
“Our speakers were equally delighted to be off Zoom and reaching their readers in real life. Digital life has taken its toll and the festival mood was certainly high, enhanced by the glorious summer weather.
“We couldn’t have achieved this without Cultural Recovery Funding through Arts Council England, and the generosity of our sponsors, grant funders, and individual donors who have supported us throughout.
“Running our Sunrise Festival has reminded everyone how important the arts are for our wellbeing, and the need to support and restore our cultural life. We can’t wait to do it again for our Sunset Festival in September.”
Wimbledon Bookfest, founded in 2006 by Razvi and Tony Kane, also works with the local community to help improve literacy and writing skills among schoolchildren in the area from across all socio-economic groups.
Visit wimbledonbookfest.org for more details on their upcoming Sunset Festival.