Cambridge Literary Festival

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Statement on Baillie Gifford sponsorship

Cambridge Literary Festival is a small charity. Baillie Gifford has sponsored the Cambridge Literary Festival for many years. Support for the arts is hard to secure, and we are grateful to those companies, trusts and foundations for their sponsorship and donations as well as our many Friends and audiences.

Literary festivals offer a platform for open conversations on a broad number of topics including climate change and politics. We know of no other entity that offers a stage for balanced and democratic discussion.

This does not mean we accept support regardless of the activities or history of our supporters.

We share the concerns of authors, activists and campaigners around fossil fuel investment and investments in Occupied Palestinian Territories. We have been encouraged by Baillie Gifford’s response to the concerns raised and the explanations offered.


We have seen that Hay Festival have suspended their sponsorship from Baillie Gifford. We have been contacted by a number of organisations and some of our supporters urging that we also end our relationship with Baillie Gifford.  The issues will be treated with the high importance they deserve and carefully considered by the trustees at the upcoming board meeting in June.

We strive to operate in the most sustainable way possible. Many high-profile climate campaigners and writers continue to speak in Cambridge. This past year we will have welcomed Caroline Lucas, Helen Macdonald, Robert Macfarlane, John Vaillant, Ali Smith, Tony Juniper, Clayton Aldern, George Monbiot, Peter Wohlleben and Gaia Vince.

We hope to be able to still provide a platform for informed debate in the future.

Thank you.

27 May 2024

elif shefak

Spotlight on Elif Shafak

We are delighted to offer a Spotlight on one of our Honorary Patron’s, Elif Shafak. Timed to coincide with the publication of an essay in the New Statesman, we are making available to you the full A Room Of One’s Own Lecture to watch and enjoy, filmed at our Spring Festival.

Elif has graciously taken part in a number of festival events over the years, celebrating some of the wonderful books that she has written as well as hosting and chairing events.

We are very lucky to have recordings of several of her events which are available to watch or listen to in our CLF Player.

New Statesman 50% promo

Subscribe to the New Statesman | 50% off !

Enjoy some of the finest cultural and political writers of our time including John Gray, Andrew Marr, Ali Smith, Elif Shafak and Rowan Williams.

T&Cs Offer is for an annual digital subscription for £49, renews at £89.99 thereafter or print & digital subscription £69.99, renews at £139.99 thereafter. Limited to UK subscribers, offer expires 31.06.24.

One-Off Events in May

We had a wonderful Spring Festival

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Spring Festival 2024 now available to watch online

Don’t worry – you can watch and listen to all the events recorded at the Spring Festival plus over 350 events from previous festivals.

For just £15 a year you can listen or watch award winning authors anytime, on any device from anywhere in the world.

Thanks to our supporters and partners