Festival of Debate reveals 2019 progamme

Posted by: Ashley Birch
Festival of Debate reveals 2019 progamme  supporting image

The Guilty Feminist (left) and George Monbiot (right) will both take part in this year's event

'We need to talk' says the festival, as it returns to Sheffield for its fifth year

The Festival of Debate returns to Sheffield for its fifth year next month, bringing with it over 90 public events from 19 April – 1 June. It has grown into the biggest festival of its kind in the UK and is a non-partisan city-wide festival exploring, debating and discussing the key political and social issues of our time.


Following the success of 2018's festival – which saw appearances from Yanis Varoufakis, Ed Miliband and Reni Eddo-Lodge, among many others – the Festival of Debate 2019 programme features acclaimed podcaster The Guilty Feminist, environmental activists George Monbiot and George Marshall, broadcaster Afua Hirsch, radio presenter James O’Brien, economist Paul Mason and famed poet Roger McGough.



The Festival of Debate will also feature a wide range of smaller events delivered in association with over 60 partner organisations, from talks, panel discussions and workshops to film screenings, spoken word and stand-up comedy, all exploring ideas around society and politics.


For the first time the Festival will also include three ‘hub days’, day-long events comprised of a number of smaller sessions exploring three of this year’s key strands - Our Democracy, Our Planet and Living Together - and concluding with a larger performance or public event.


Sam Walby, programmer and producer at Festival of Debate, said: “In recent years, we have witnessed our democratic structures and systems of government stretched beyond breaking point.


“While it’s easy to see this fragmented battleground as frightening and without hope, it’s also a fantastic time to be exploring many of these issues, because once the dust settles, we will need new ideas more than ever.


“We hope Festival of Debate 2019 goes some way towards encouraging discussion, open-mindedness and active citizenship in Sheffield.”


Continuing in a rich vein of political activism and radical thought in the City of Sheffield, Festival of Debate was launched in the lead-up to the General Election in 2015 with a view to provoking thought and discussion as the nation went to the ballot box.


The Festival aims to combat political apathy by ensuring its events are led by the issues, rather than by party politics, which is so often divisive.


Previous festivals have even led to the creation of new voluntary groups in the city, including UBI Lab Sheffield, a local group of campaigners and activists making the case for a pilot of ‘Universal Basic Income’ in Sheffield.


For more details, head over to Festival of Debate’s Facebook page.

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