ESSEX – Following on from its pioneering launch of a new hybrid event format capable of adapting to all Government guidelines, EA Festival’s forward-looking approach is clear in every aspect of its inaugural festival. The world-class line-up of this brand-new festival in East Anglia involves talks and panel discussions that interrogate the future of everything from meat-eating and sustainability to fashion, sex and the English language.
Daisy Buchanan, author of Insatiable and How to be a Grown-Up, and Rowan Pelling, founder of The Amorist and former editor of The Erotic Review, will compare notes on how we talk about sex. Tackling the scandalous and the passionless, they’ll explore the ongoing impact of social media and technology on dating and what it means for the future of loving. Renowned lexicographer, Susie Dent will also be on hand to share her observations about how language has changed in recent years and her predictions about how future generations will use English.
Sustainability is a key theme throughout EA Festival as the world faces a climate crisis. Committed to reducing the waste and environmental impact of the fashion industry, Arizona Muse, best known as a supermodel who has graced the covers of over 40 Vogue titles, will appear in conversation with Christina Dean, the founder of the NGO Redress and the sustainable fashion brand R Collective. They will explore how the fashion industry can mitigate climate change, from overhauling its raw inputs to its legacy business models and culture. There will also be a panel discussion about the future of meat-eating as The Ethical Carnivore, Louise Gray, joins environmental scientist, John Lynch and environmental systems thinker, Anna Beames in conversation about the actual versus purported impact of livestock farming and the challenges of putting natural capital at the heart of agricultural production.
Former Director of both the Royal Academy of Arts and National Gallery, Charles Saumarez Smith will explore the evolution of art museums and how museums need to cater for a new artgoing culture. Music icon Evelyn Glennie will appear with improvisational virtuoso, Rosey Chan to demonstrate how they found development and possibility through collaboration with other artists as well as the power of truly listening to others.
Joanne Ooi, Founder and Artistic Director of EA Festival, comments: “We’ve finalised the line-up and I do believe that the two last events are among our most exciting and innovative. I’m very proud that EA Festival is the first festival to make the environment a major pillar of its programming. What’s more, I seek to involve experts in East Anglian farming and agriculture in our discussions, in order to bring it home to audiences attending the festival: this is what is happening in our own back yard, not in some far-flung location. As for the panel “Let’s talk about sex”, the truth is, everyone is both fascinated and concerned about this subject. It is at or near the centre of mainstream cultural consciousness, so it felt both timely and natural to broach this subject at the festival.”
In order to launch this ambitious two-day event during the extraordinary conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person and livestream tickets will be available for all events; should the need arise, in-person tickets will be converted to virtual ones to accommodate social distancing or even Lockdown.
EA Festival seeks to invigorate the cultural scene in East Anglia by presenting exciting local luminaries alongside exceptional speakers and artists from the rest of the UK and beyond. It is hard to imagine a more idyllic setting for the festival than Hedingham Castle. Located in the heart of East Anglia, and now over 900-years old, Hedingham Castle is the best-preserved Norman keep in the United Kingdom. The Keep will host a curated marketplace and exhibition featuring brands, merchants and artists from the region.
The EA Festival runs from 31st July to 1st August 2021 at Hedingham Castle, Castle Hedingham, Halstead, Essex CO9 3DJ. Full programme and tickets available here