Cries of disbelief rang round the office when the Four Colman Getty team heard that I was planning to glamp at this year’s Hay Festival. Concerned colleagues asked how I thought I would cope with sleeping in a tent… and all that mud!
In the event, the tent turned out to be the last word in luxury, with a double bed, a duvet and even an electric fridge. So once we’d got over our rain- sodden Bank Holiday journey, glamping certainly turned out to be more glam than ping.
The Hay Festival itself - certainly over the first weekend I was there - was a sheer joy, packed with must-see, must-hear events. A number of our clients were on stage, starting with Steve Silberman, winner of the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize, talking about his research into autism in the first public activity for Baillie Gifford as the new sponsor for the UK's leading non-fiction prize.
Sharlene Teo, winner of the first Deborah Rogers Foundation’s Writers’ Award, was there to celebrate her £10,000 prize with Peter Carey. And as well as Peter, there were numerous previous winners of the Man Booker Prize in evidence – Salman Rushdie and Graham Swift for starters - as well as the 2015 winner, Marlon James. Marlon continues to be a major draw and his visit to Hay marked the end of yet another round of appearances for him in the UK.
Those few days away at Hay marked the end of an action-packed May for Four Colman Getty. The month started with our brief visit to New York to celebrate the Man Booker prize in the presence of Marlon James and Amanda Foreman, chair of the judges of this year’s Man Booker Prize for Fiction. As the month unrolled we celebrated the arts in various forms all over the UK: Week 53 at the Lowry in Salford, Max Porter winning the International Dylan Thomas Prize in Swansea; the launch of Estuary, an exciting new festival coming to Essex and Kent in mid-September.
May also saw the announcement of South Korean author Han Kang and translator Deborah Smith as joint winners of the newly- evolved £50,000 Man Booker International Prize, for The Vegetarian. There has been a universally positive reaction to the prize which is now awarded annually and honours the author and translator equally.
May of course brought RHS Chelsea and with it, a spectacular project, 5,000 Poppies, which proved to be the talk of the show. And finally last week we heard that we too had won a prize – the 2016 Sabre Award for our innovative work last year on the Man Booker 2015 podcast series.
You can read more about all of these projects here – and I’ll be back with more news of the world of culture and Four Colman Getty next month
All the best till then