Midsummer Madness at the Essex Book Festival

  • Date

    Fri 16 Jun 23

A man dressed up telling a story to children and a parent in a field (an event at Essex Book Festival)

This year, Essex Book Festival’s family fun day focuses on nature and the environment as well as creativity and storytelling.

Called Midsummer Madness, the day-long event on Sunday 25 June (from 11am until 4pm) includes workshops, storytelling, theatre and eco-crafts.

There is also the chance to make a giant Peter Rabbit sculpture out of rubbish, or follow a fairy door trail in a walled garden.

Highlights include a theatre performance called 'The Puddle at the End of the World' by theatre group Ensonglopedia, and a performance by the legendary playwright, poet and children’s writer, John Agard.

Taking place at Cressing Temple Barns in Braintree, organisers hope the day will be popular with local families.

Festival Director Ros Green said: “We are hoping it will be a fun, and affordable, day out for the whole family.

“We are encouraging everyone to bring their own picnics – we will have a Teddy Bear's Picnic area for that – and to enjoy taking part in crafts, workshops, and storytelling.”

Many of the events are free, including entry and parking, and organisers have aimed to keep the cost of bookable events to a minimum to help with the cost-of-living crisis.

The workshops which need to be pre-booked include sessions on how to draw or write a story from children’s authors, a create your own climate show, and an eco-podcasting workshop.

The free drop-in events include writing for nature workshops, eco-writing, a mud kitchen, a pop-up storytelling armchair, flower weaving, and a fairy door trail. There will also be eco-crafts, dance workshops, storytelling, woodland crafts, and weaving and rewilding workshops.

The theme of the day ties in with the Manifesto for Essex, which was set up by Essex Book Festival in 2020. The Manifesto for Essex is a creative platform for young people living in Essex and beyond to express their thoughts and ideas about tackling climate change.

The University of Essex sponsors the annual Essex Book Festival.