Party with Grace Jones and David Miliband. Really.
Find Grace Jones, Richard Dawkins, and David Miliband all under one roof this summer at Tortoise Media’s Kite festival
Friday 11 March 2022 By Liz Moseley
Welcome to Creative Sensemaker, our weekly guide to all that’s best in culture and the arts – movies, streaming, books, music, galleries, and more.
With Kite, our new festival of ideas and music on 10 to 12 June getting closer, we’re excited to announce even more names that have been added to the line-up. It’s the perfect time to book your tickets.
I’m not very good at the Hollywood film pitch game – where you have to explain, in as few words as possible, a new idea in terms of an old one. The definitive example, I think, is ‘Jaws in space’ which is the *chef’s kiss* summary of Alien.
I’m yet to nail it for Kite festival. I toyed with ‘the thinking person’s Glastonbury’, but instantly judged myself for suggesting it, because who’d want to go to that? ‘More manageable than Edinburgh, and jollier than Hay’ captures the comedy and interactivity, but misses out the music. All I can say is that it’s a new type of festival, in the glorious surroundings of Kirtlington Park, Oxfordshire, that places equal emphasis on the Ideas programme of talks through the daytime and a barnstorming music line-up in the evening.
There’ll be familiar Tortoise touches across the weekend. Come and meet the team, watch how Tortoise podcasts come together in our pop-up newsroom, and take part in our biggest ThinkIns yet on the future of democracy, work, rural life, feminism and more. You can learn how to draw, how to be a poet, how to write a song and how to tell a joke. If you don’t fancy having a go at stand-up yourself, just enjoy the brilliant comedy from the safety of the audience.
Last year, we announced Grace Jones, TLC, Saint Etienne and Tom Misch in the Music line-up and Elizabeth Day, Sathnam Sanghera, David Miliband, Delia Smith, Jarvis Cocker, Tina Brown, David Olusoga and George Monbiot leading the charge on Ideas. Last week, we added some more amazing names and we’ll keep on adding new speakers over the coming weeks. Many of the speakers will be doing in-person book signings at the on-site Blackwell’s bookshop.
Tickets are selling fast so if you’d like to join us – for the day or the whole weekend – you can get 15% off tickets here. All Kite tickets include annual Tortoise membership.
Here are the acts that have just been announced:
Richard Dawkins on defying gravity
It’s no exaggeration to say that Professor Richard Dawkins is one of the world’s greatest living scientists. The Royal Society voted The Selfish Gene the most inspiring science book of all time, and we’re excited for his upcoming book, Flights Of Fancy: Defying Gravity By Design and Evolution, lavishly illustrated by Jana Lenzova, which he’ll be speaking about in his keynote address at Kite.
Bimini Bon Boulash in conversation with Jack Guinness
Boulash captured the hearts and minds of the nation as the breakout star of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 2. Following her Sunday Times bestseller Release The Beast: A Drag Queen's Guide To Life, she will take to the forum stage at Kite to share her extraordinary story with Jack Guinness, former model, fashion commentator and diversity advocate who founded The Queer Bible, which celebrates the works and lives of the global queer community.
Devi Sridhar on pandemic preventions
Devi Sridhar is a Professor at the University of Edinburgh where she holds a Personal Chair in Global Public Health. She has risen to prominence for her vital roles in communicating science to the public and speaking truth to power, especially during the pandemic. She’ll be at Kite to discuss her latest book, Preventable: How A Pandemic Changed The World & How To Stop The Next One, which exposes the varied realities of those affected and puts you in the room with key decision makers at crucial moments.
Armando Iannucci on Pandemonium
As the creator of Alan Partridge, The Thick Of It and Veep, Armando Iannucci is responsible for some of the funniest TV moments of the last two decades. A political commentator and comedy writer, he wrote and directed The Death Of Stalin and The Personal History Of David Copperfield. He will be at Kite in conversation about his latest book Pandemonium, an epic mock-heroic poem about Britain, Brexit and COVID-19 (see Creative Sensemaker, 4 November 2021).
Julia Hobsbawm on the future of work
The entrepreneur, writer, and consultant Julia Hobsbawm specialises in addressing the challenges of the hyperconnected age, in particular remedies of what she has called ‘social health for organisations’. At Kite she’ll be talking about her latest book, The Nowhere Office: Reinventing Work And The Workplace Of The Future.
Matt d’Ancona will be back next week with the usual recommendations.
Hopefully I’ll see you on 10 to 12 June at Kidlington Park.
Editor and Partner