About Bradford Literature Festival

Bradford Literature Festival is an annual arts event and year-round cultural outreach programme that hosts respected authors, poets, speakers, musicians and artists from Bradford, the UK and around the world. Founded in 2014, BLF is now a key event in the UK cultural calendar and the most diverse literature festival in the country.

A young festival, BLF has grown rapidly in size and popularity. The festival takes place annually over 10-days at the end of June and the start of July, with a programme of over 400 events stretching from the heart of the city and across the district. BLF’s signature mix of topic-led events, which include author talks, world-class poetry line-ups, live music, film, theatre and more, attract more than 70,000 people to Bradford each year.

Bradford Literature Festival operates an extensive Ethical Ticketing Policy, offering free or discounted tickets to those who might otherwise be unable to attend the festival. Combined with low tickets prices overall (a standard priced ticket is as little as £7) BLF attracts audiences more socio-economically diverse than any other literature festival in the UK.

In 2019:

  • 57% of audiences attended the festival with a free or discounted ticket
  • 65% of audiences reported incomes below the national average
  • 55% of audiences identified themselves as BAME

Schools & Education

The BLF Schools and Education Programme is an integral part of the festival and runs year-round in schools across Bradford.

The programme is dedicated to offering all young people the opportunity to engage with life-changing literature and is built upon a belief in the power of words to open minds and raise aspirations.

The programme is free for schools and education groups in Bradford and offers a wide range of literature-based events and workshops for students from Early Years to Sixth Form.

To date, the BLF Education programme has reached more than 70,000 students and educators and engaged 70% of all schools in Bradford.


BLF is rooted in local communities and operates a year-round Community Programme, working with grassroots organisations to develop their creative practice and support cultural engagement.

The BLF Community Programme is as diverse as the communities that is serves, working with refugees, children in care, women’s centres, homeless services, hospice care, mental health providers, hospitals and more, with events tailored to the needs of each community.