First Manchester is Getting on Board for Rochdale’s Literature Feast

First Manchester is Getting on Board for Rochdale’s Literature Feast

First Manchester is encouraging literature lovers to ditch their cars and travel to this month’s Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival by bus.

The local bus operator is supporting the six-day festival for a second year, which runs from 19th to 24th October 2016. With the events taking place across 22 different venues, First Manchester is encouraging customers to travel safely across the town, making use of the bus services and ticket purchasing options available.

With the increased use of customers using mobile phones on board the buses, First Manchester is also reminding customers that tickets can be purchased via the mobile Ticket App.

Dwayne Wells, Commercial Development Manager from First Manchester, said: “We’re pleased to be part of one of Rochdale’s most prestigious events again this year. At First Manchester, we aim to support our local communities, and the Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival provides the perfect platform to promote reading and learning, offering something for all ages and tastes.

“We’d also like to remind customers to travel safely during the festival and to take advantage of the bus services on offer. There are also lots of ways to purchase your tickets for bus travel in advance, including the mobile Ticket App. For anyone who hasn’t used this already, it’s easy to use and is available for free via the App Store and Google Play.

“We look forward to welcoming customers, and visitors to Rochdale, on board our services, during the festival period.”

It’s the second year the company have supported the festival, which this month features guests including actor Simon Callow, political commentator and journalist Owen Jones, former Downing Street director of communications Alastair Campbell, comedians Jenny Eclair and Mark Steel, internationally acclaimed crime writers Mark Billingham and John Connolly, and million-selling author Ann Cleeves, alongside Benet Brandreth and Chocolat author Joanne Harris MBE.  For children and families, there’s a Roald Dahl-themed programme of events.

Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for culture, health and wellbeing at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “All our festival venues are easy to get to via bus so this is the perfect partnership, especially with the Transport Interchange located next to our flagship venue, Number One Riverside. This festival is really establishing itself for writers and readers and is a real autumn highlight. Come along and festival-goers old and new will find a friendly atmosphere, a warm welcome and an exciting programme.”

Now in its fourth year and with more than 30 events covering workshops, music, theatre, readings, children’s shows, talks and more, the festival runs from Wednesday 19 to Monday 24 October and aims to excite audiences of all ages.

For young people, there’s an exciting Generation Z programme including one-man human beatbox Testament and theatre shows The Devil Speaks True and 21,000 Miles of Rail.

The festival celebrates and promotes the Maskew Collection of classic literature and philosophy at Rochdale Central Library, encouraging people to engage in reading and thinking. It will include events at venues in Rochdale town centre and borough-wide. It is funded through the generosity of Annie and Frank Maskew, a Rochdale couple who shared a passion for reading and thinking, who originally met in Rochdale Library. They left a sum of money to be used on resources and events related to literature, and philosophy to ensure classic works are available for future generations.

For the full line-up and to book tickets, visit the Rochdale Literature Festival Website. You can also book in person at Touchstones Arts and Heritage Centre. The programme is available in a variety of formats. You can view it day-by-day online. You can also order a paper copy by emailing or pick one up free from your local library.

The festival is organised by Rochdale Borough Council, funded by the Maskew Bequest, ticket sales and sponsorship from First UK Bus, JGM Agency, Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre and Hopwood Hall College.

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