Bloomsbury Radio’s Extensive Coverage Shines a Light on 16th Annual Bloomsbury Festival

Monday 8th November 2021

With sponsors including The Bedford Estates, The University of London and the National Lottery’s Heritage Fund, the 16th Bloomsbury Festival took place between 15 and 24 October with 130 events celebrating Bloomsbury’s unique contribution to London’s cultural, academic and residential communities. This year’s theme, ‘Shining Light’, was conceived in the long, dark days of the winter lockdown and speaks to the Festival organisers’ ambitions to create ever stronger links between local people and the artists, thinkers, academics and boundary pushers who have defined – and continue to define – the area.

For the second year in a row, Bloomsbury Radio teamed up with Bloomsbury Festival to bring coverage of the festival’s events to audiences across London, the UK and around the world. The station produced 57 hours of recorded programmes and over 60 hours of live chat and analysis, giving listeners access to the full range of ideas, experiences and conversations on offer.

Festival highlights

Highlights of all of our Festival Coverage and conversations can be found on our SoundCloud page, but here’s a taste of what you can find:

  • Bengal to Camden – an exhibition of photos and archives telling stories of migration from Bangladesh to Camden told by the young people of Bloomsbury and Kings Cross (covered by Bloomsbury Radio in our series of Bangladesh Conversations)
  • Lights, Banners, Tigers – dance, music, sculpture, light projections, and a live video projection from street artist Mohammed Ali
  • London/Londre: Invisible City – a journey into 1970s LGBGT+ London with queer artist Gabriele Uboldi

Over the ten days of the festival, Bloomsbury Radio reporters covered drama, concerts, public lectures, debates and walks. And world-class experts on climate, economics, politics, diplomacy and the arts made their way to the station’s studio on Bedford Square to chat and share their passions and insights.

Whilst it may be impossible to pick a single highlight, Victoria Onofrei, third year Business student had this to say,

“The walking tour in honour of William Blake was the highlight for me. Here we have this man, born in the 18th century, who had a vision of a better world and expressed his vision in art and verse set in the streets we walk along each day. This is why Bloomsbury is so important. We walk in the footsteps of giants whom we can learn from and Bloomsbury Festival reminds us of this.”

Speaking about the station’s enhanced production capabilities, Anca Iacob, third year law student and host of the station’s Late Show said, “We have been incredibly lucky this year to grow the team of reporters and producers from 12 to 31. This, and the relaxation of COVID restrictions, meant we were able to get out there and meet some of the amazing minds behinds this year’s events. The conversations that flowed from this are truly incredible.”

Festival Director, Rosemary Richards was full in her praise of our partnership with the Festival: “The theme of this year’s festival was Shining Light and no would could accuse Bloomsbury Radio of not doing just that. The quality of their programming was excellent, they helped to make events accessible and they once again showed the important role they play in the life of Bloomsbury and beyond.”

The station’s next big project will be their coverage of Global Entrepreneurship Week 8-14 November. Tune in each day from 10am and keep up to date with our social media posts to see what’s coming up.