Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival

Famous names from the world of arts and culture will be heading to the borough in October 2019 when Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival returns for its 7th year. 

A wide-ranging programme of events and shows will run from Monday, 14 October 2019 - Monday, 21 October 2019 and we’re promising another 8 days of exciting arts for all ages.


Events will cover drama, comedy, poetry, spoken word, visual arts, children’s shows and more. For young people aged 14 to 25, a ‘Generation Z’ programme is being put together, with plans to commission another brand new piece of work specially for the festival.

Over 2,500 people attended last year, with the festival including over 35 events featuring BBC presenter Louise Minchin, television presenter and campaigner Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE, broadcaster and author Stuart Maconie, Dr Helen Pankhurst and Gervase Phinn. 

"Thought provoking, motivating, much loved and fun"

2019's event will again include high-profile guest speakers and writers and is aimed at celebrating and promoting the Maskew Collection of classic literature and philosophy at Rochdale Central Library, encouraging people to engage with books and ideas. Annie and Frank Maskew, a Rochdale couple who shared a passion for reading and thinking, met in Rochdale Library in the 1950s and left a sum of money to be used on resources and events related to literature and philosophy to ensure classic works are available for future generations.

The autumn festival, which began in 2013, will include events at venues across the borough. 

Authors, performers and workshops will start to be confirmed from April 2019 onwards, with tickets on sale from 10am, Monday, 29 July 2019.

Festival organisers are also on the lookout for young writers aged 14 to 25 to contribute to ‘Unmasked’, a zine of stories, creative writing and art to be published later this year by

2018’s festival received great feedback from visitors, with 95% rating events as excellent or good, 74% said they’d been inspired to read or try something new after attending and 98% said they would return again.

Almost all visitors agreed it's important to celebrate literature and ideas in the borough.



Mon 14 Oct 2019 to Mon 21 Oct 2019


Rochdale Central Library

Central Library, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale OL16 1XU



Some other events

Festival logo

Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival

Mon 14 Oct 2019 to Mon 21 Oct 2019 Rochdale Central Library

Cath Staincliffe

Cake and Crime Evening with Cath Staincliffe

Wed 9 Oct 2019 6pm - 7.30pm Widnes Library

North West Libraries

Librarians in the North West have pioneered partnership working to encourage new readers into libraries. Time To Read is a partnership of librarians engaged in reader development activity in public library authorities in the North West Region. 22 public library authorities in the region currently support Time To Read.

Keep up to date

Follow Us

  • flickr
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • twitter

We use cookies to help us provide you with a better service, but do not track anything that can be used to personally identify you.

If you prefer us not to set these cookies, please visit our Cookie Settings page or continue browsing our site to accept them.