The Festival in a Factory – read all about it

The UK’s only literary festival held in a working, manufacturing environment, the ‘Festival in a Factory’, returns to Emma Bridgewater’s in Stoke-on-Trent from Thursday 4, to Saturday 6 June in 2020.


Featuring a diverse programme of award-winning authors, world-renowned experts and entertainers at the working pottery where Emma Bridgewater manufactures her iconic designs, the Festival is curated by trustees’ designer Emma Bridgewaterand Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum Tristram Hunt.


Now in its seventh year, it will once again feature author talks, panel discussions, hands-on workshops and live performances in surprising spaces all around the Victorian canal-side factory.


An eclectic celebration of culture and creativity it will take place in the inspiring surroundings of the Emma Bridgewater Factory in the heart of “The Potteries”, where Emma has manufactured her iconic handmade and hand decorated pottery for more than twenty years.


She says, “Since our first festival in 2014, our aim has been to bring the very best writers, commentators and thinkers to Stoke-on-Trent where there has always been a great appetite for debate, but also with the hope that we might inspire people to explore ideas, provide stimulating encounters with award winning authors, poets and playwrights and foster the joy of books and reading.  From a small conversation Tristram Hunt and I had several years ago we now have a truly established, very warmly received and joyful festival, busy with book lovers of all ages that attracts friends old and new to Stoke-on-Trent”.


Tickets for all events are £8 and will be available via the New Vic Theatre website, at their Box Office, or by telephone or via the Festival’s website.


Regular updates can be found at on Facebook and Twitter @SOTLitFestival.


Anyone wanting to stay overnight, or make a weekend of it all, will find a rapidly expanding range of hotel accommodation across Stoke-on-Trent & The Potteries in 2020.


Hilton Doubletree (formerly the Moat House Festival Park) is undergoing a major refurbishment, which started last September, at a cost of £6.5m.  Quality Hotel in the city centre, Hanley, has now become Best Western Stoke-on-Trent City Centre.  And 140-bedroom Hilton Garden Inn will be opening shortly after the literary festival, in July, at a cost of £20m.


For a full list of places to stay in Stoke -on-Trent, visit