Category Archives: HULF 2021

HULF IS CHANGING

As you’ll probably have noticed, during the Covid pandemic we’ve had to cancel the 2020 and 2021 HULFs, which were meant to take place in April.

We had hoped that by the time the next Festival was due to take place, we’d be living in a world free of hand sanitiser, face masks and social distancing, but currently we’re not convinced that by April 2022, we’ll feel comfortable holding crowded book talks and workshops in the relatively small spaces of our village venues. We’re also not keen to bring vast crowds of strangers into the community.

Back to our Community Roots

Rather than cancel the Festival for a third time, we’ve decided to take HULF back to its roots as a small event designed to serve our community. We’ll do this by holding just one event at a time, in a single venue, for an afternoon, rather than what feels like taking over the whole village for the day and bringing in authors and visitors from far and wide. (For the cancelled 2020 event, We had authors willing to fly at their own expense from Sweden and France to take part, and a visitor from the US planning her whole holiday around HULF.)

We’re not quite ready for a return to packed venues yet (Photo of HULF 2019 by Angela Fitch)

Smaller Events at Greater Frequency

To offset the reduction in the size of the event, we will increase frequency to roughly quarterly. Where possible the events will be held on the last Saturday of the month to make it easier to remember when they are. We will of course avoid the last Saturday in August as that is always the day of the Hawkesbury Horticultural Show, at which we always have a stall.

The first HULF Talk, as we’re calling the new style event series, will be on Saturday 27th November on the theme of Travel and Adventure in the beautiful setting of the Bethesda Chapel. (Limited number of tickets still available here – admission is by advance booking only to help us control numbers.)

We would like to thank rare book dealer Peter Harrington of London (www.peterharrington.co.uk) for their kind sponsorship of this event. Their short film, One Hundred Seconds to Midnight (www.onehundredsecondstomidnight.co.uk), about a remarkable collection of rare books related to climate change, will be part of the programme.

Click image to book your tickets via Eventbrite (PhotoL Mark Horrell on the summit of Everest)

The second HULF Talk will be on Saturday 29th January, and as we’ll be in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, the theme will be the Romantic Novel. Speakers will include Katharine E Smith and Kate Frost, who write bestselling romantic novels set in Cornwall, Greece, Africa, and other alluring destinations. The full speaker line-up will be announced on the Festival website in December.

We look forward to welcoming you to the new-look HULF.

Photo of Edmund Weiner, Katharine E Smith and Rachel Amphlett at HULF 2019
by Angela Fitch

HULF 2020 Cancelled Due to Coronavirus

Debbie Young, Founder & Director of HULF, writes:

In happier times: Debbie at a previous festival with poets Dan Holloway and Shirley Wright (photo: Joanna Penn)

I am so sorry to announce that after taking extensive advice from medical and public health professionals I have made the very difficult decision to cancel this year’s HULF.

I know this will be very disappointing to our authors and audience alike, but I believe that it would be a reckless and irresponsible risk to hold a large public gathering, including authors and audience from all over the UK, with some flying in from overseas, just at the time when the virus is currently estimated to reach its peak in the UK.

I also believe that there is a strong chance that public meetings will have been banned by the government by then.

I was also anxious to avoid contaminating the village’s hubs of social contact: the village hall, the church, the chapels and the village school, which is right next door to our care home for the elderly, by definition a high risk group.

As I’m sure you can imagine, this has been a very difficult decision which I’ve taken much time to consider, but I feel strongly that it is my only option.

Here’s to HULF 2021!

save the date logo for HULF 2021My plan is to resurrect HULF in 2021 (Saturday 24th April – save the date!), and to use the programme that we had lined up for 2020, so that those who had already committed to this year’s event will have first refusal next year.

So far I have had nothing but messages of support and commiseration, for which I thank you all.

In the meantime, I’m hoping to keep the momentum going with some guest posts on this blog from our Festival speakers, so watch this space – and let’s start looking forward to HULF 2021!

Debbie