Dear Festival supporters
We just wanted to let you know that with heavy hearts we have decided to cancel this year’s Festival.
Due to circumstances caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, we are unable to continue to plan such a big event effectively – we have seen our funding prospects severely reduced, our main venue has closed, and it is far from clear whether we will be able to hold gatherings of any sort safely by September.
We do hope to run several fundraising events later in the year to keep the festival afloat and ensure that it is in a positive position to plan for next year, and we will also be launching a Friends scheme this month – a great way to support us!
We also intend to run an Open Exhibition at the Court House if circumstances allow - more on this will follow very soon.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page, where we will be sharing online content by festival participants, and some authors specially picked out by Nairn Bookshop. And please sign up for our enewsletter if you haven’t already, to get all the latest news and announcements from us about special events and competitions later this year.
Stay safe, stay at home, and thank you.
The Festival Committee
We were saddened to learn of the death of George earlier this month.
George, along with his wife Alison, took a leap of faith around 1990 to open a bookshop in Nairn. Initially it was Alison who ran the shop day to day. When Alison decided she wanted to return to University, George took early retirement and came in to take over the day to day running of the Bookshop.
It was in April 2004 that George and Alison came up with the idea of organising a book festival. Six weeks later, in June, Nairn’s first Book Festival took place. The idea was to provide a catalyst for growth in High Street business, whilst at the same time promoting local and national talent, and to entertain Nairn.
George and Alison, along with others, helped set up the charitable company for the Festival, but after a few years they decided to step back allowing for fresh ideas and new volunteers to take the Festival forward.
George and Alison sold the Bookshop to the current owner, Mavis Macdonald, early July 2009.
Sixteen Festivals later, the current committee and the people of Nairn are indebted to George and Alison for having the imagination and confidence in 2004 that has given us today’s Nairn Book & Arts Festival. We think it is fair to say that George’s vision - ‘The idea was to provide a catalyst for growth in High Street business, whilst at the same time promoting local and national talent, and to entertain Nairn.’ is still relevant today.
The committee have taken the decision that the 2020 Festival will be dedicated to George.