Festival Director, James Holland

Creative Director, James Holland

James Holland: A Letter from the Creative Director

Dear All,

Plans for the 2024 Festival are a long way down the line and we’re all very excited about how things are shaping up.

We have reached an exciting moment in the history festival’s life and are looking at 2024 as a chance to look afresh at what we do and how and why we do it. With that in mind, we have changed our name to Chalke History Festival and both stunning new branding and website that we’re anxious to share with you here.

As we’re sure you’ll agree, history has rarely been more important than now. With so much change and upheaval around the world it is only natural that people should look to the past for some of the answers about how to make sense of the present and prepare for the future. Our programme for 2024 will reflect this, dealing with themes and concerns that dominate our current lives.

We’re also changing the layout of the site a little bit and introducing a new outdoor stage, closer to the bar, and a Vaudeville-style Spiegel tent as one of our main talks venues. There will be more performance and demonstrations throughout every day of the festival, significantly more live music, and on Friday evening there will be an ABBA tribute act and a D-Day Dance on the Saturday evening. Sunday will see our first-ever historic banquet in the dining tent.

A number of household names have already been signed up as well as a greater number of international speakers. We will be posting news of programme developments on the website, so please do keep an eye on the website for updates.

We’re all really excited by the direction in which we’re heading. It’s very much Darwinian evolution rather than radical revolution but we can certainly promise a richer, more wide-ranging programme, with more to see, do, hear, see and experience.

We will be sending you regular updates from here on right up the festival in June but in the meantime, we’re sending you all our very best wishes for the New Year.


Visit chalkefestival.com for all the latest updates and announcements.