The Bath Festival launches its 2019 celebration of music and literature with a diverse programme of more than 120 events over ten days from Friday 17th - Sunday 26th May.

Among the stellar line-up are Strictly Come Dancing judge Dame Darcey Bussell, leading film critic Mark Kermode, Last Night at the Proms sensation Jess Gillam, the original people’s poet, Pam Ayres and Radio 2's drive time presenter Sara Cox. Radio 2 is also in town with Friday Night is Music Night, the world’s longest running orchestral music show,  performing an evening of greatest hits from the world of musical theatre, presented by Ed Balls with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Clean Bandit and Van Morrison headline the Finale Weekend.

Historian Kate Williams will talk about her book Rival Queens which explores the relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots.| Chineke! stormed the Proms in 2017 and now its Bath’s turn to enjoy the first professional orchestra in Europe to feature mainly black and minority ethnic musicians.

The festival gives audiences the chance to explore some of the big issues of the day, including how we can save the oceans from plastic pollution, coping with anxiety and mental health, the state of our education system, living with dementia, and gender politics as well as enjoying some of the finest music to come to the South west.

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