Literature at Sea Change

Sea Change Festival has always had a strong literary presence and we’ve been thrilled to invite inspiring speakers and conversations to every edition. The very first two sessions at the inaugural festival, were an opening ritual from Rupert and Claire Callender with authors Luke Tuner and John Doran and Earth Recordings presenting a celebration of Bert Jansch’s 1979 ornithological-themed album Avocet. Out of interest, they were followed by a gloriously incongruous set from the mighty Membranes.

It was at that first weekend that we invited our good friend Nina Hervé to join us with the newly founded Rough Trade Books.

The new publishing venture is very much in the mould of the pioneering record label, bringing the same original spirit and radical direction to the world of book publishing and some thrilling guests to Sea Change. Collaboration is a huge part of our ethos and working in cahoots, the conversation aspect of Sea Change is ever growing and we are very proud to have welcomed journalists and broadcasters Laura Barton, Laura Snapes, Jude Rodgers, Emma Warren, James Endeacott and Michael Hann, authors David Keenan, Rob Young, Richard King, Sylvia Patterson, John Higgs, Roy Wilkinson and Simon Goddard, poets Salena Godden, Martha Sprackland, Belinda Zhawi, Ana da Silva, Will Burns and Charlotte Newman alongside distinguished guest speakers such as Shirley Collins, Peggy Seeger, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Stewart Lee and Billy Bragg.

The excellent Devon fest boasts a carefully curated blend of stimulating talks and slightly under-the-radar bands
— The Guardian

In 2019 we took over the historic High Cross House for the first time in partnership with Lush and used the space to document one-off conversations, performances and installations. Guests included The Pop Group, Stewart Lee, Adrian Sherwood, Steve Chandra Savale, Nick Luscombe, Babak Ganjei and the UK Poster Association.

Many of those sessions are able to be viewed in full online now:

In 2020, High Cross House will again be full of pioneering sessions and Rough Trade Books will be presenting a new space we’re all very excited about right in the heart of the festival site.