Idler Festival: See Very Famous People Talk In A Big Old Posh House

By M@

Last Updated 24 June 2024

Idler Festival: See Very Famous People Talk In A Big Old Posh House
Garden party for Idler Festival
Image: Monika S Jakubowska

A genuine Archbishop, a fake Prince Charles and one of London's greatest novelists are among the speakers at this year's Idler Festival.

Fenton House in Hampstead is the very fancy venue for 2024's event, a relaxed-jolly of ideas, activities... and inactivities.

The annual event, which this year takes place on 5-7 July, features some serious big-name speakers, but in a studiously laid-back environment. Festival goers are invited to do "as much or as little as they please".

You'll probably end up doing quite a lot, actually, because the speakers include (deep breath) Dominic West, Zadie Smith, Charlie Higson, Rowan Williams, Tim Key, Salena Godden, Rosie Holt and DJ Paulette. All unmissable.

The venue of Fenton House is a gorgeous 17th century mansion hidden away from the busier areas of Hampstead. The house and garden are overseen by the National Trust, but this weekend sees an Idler takeover.

Monika S Jakubowska

And because this is The Idler, we can expect something a little more idiosyncratic than your common-or-garden festival. Side activities include "beekeeping, ukulele, dancing, bibliotherapy, agony aunts, foraging, walks and plenty of time to loaf under the apple trees".

That's just the headline stuff, too. You'll find dozens of other diversions on the billing, including Sky at Night's Chris Lintott on extraterrestrial discoveries, Radio 3's Georgia Mann DJs in the orchard, and our old mate Henry "CurioCity" Eliot leads a literary lope around Hampstead. Not exactly idle, then.

The Idler Festival, Fenton House, Hampstead, 5-7 July 2024.