Bloomsbury Festival was created in 2006 when Allied London commissioned local resident and cultural programmer, Roma Backhouse to lead a celebration of the local area to mark the re-opening of the Brunswick Centre. Bringing together over 50 local partners it was a huge success with Allied London repeating their support of the Festival in 2007.
Allied London sold The Brunswick in 2008, and the Festival’s funding disappeared. Roma Backhouse and Maddy Jones (the current Festival Producer) took the Festival under the wing of their company Hidden Cities, and spent two years working to re-establish the Festival with a new set of partners from across the broader Bloomsbury area (and a certain anonymous individual without whom, the Festival would not be here today). And on a beautiful, crisp October weekend in 2010, the Bloomsbury Festival was re-born. Tens of thousands of people filled Bloomsbury’s streets, parks, galleries, libraries and museums to enjoy a colourful celebration of contemporary Bloomsbury.
Against the backdrop of funding cuts to the arts, the Bloomsbury Festival continued to grow, both in visitor numbers and in reputation; quickly becoming known as one of London’s best-loved free Festival. Two more fabulous Festivals followed in 2011 and 2012 and at the end of 2012 the Festival achieved charitable status.
The Charity is now governed by a stellar board of Trustees from the local business, cultural and academic communities, and at its helm is Cathy Mager, the new Festival Director (who succeeded Roma Backhouse in December 2012). Find out more about the current team here.