Highgate Festival 2020 Launch

Lauderdale House is among the venues taking part in the 2020 Highgate Festival. Picture: Nigel Sutto

Lauderdale House is among the venues taking part in the 2020 Highgate Festival. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

A dead poets event in Highgate Cemetery is part of a week of walks, talks, music, food and fun in June with a call out for volunteers to make it all happen

The Highgate Festival is holding a poetry reading in the historic cemetery as part of a week of community events in June.

Now in its third year, the festival will run from June 20-28 and include live music, garden jaunts, history, art, food, literature, workshops, dancing, walks, heritage events, and open house tours.

New for this year is a Dead Poets Live event in Highgate Cemetery's courtyard, honouring writers with connections to the area including Andrew Marvell, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, A.E. Housman, Christina Rossetti, John Betjeman, Mary Matilda Betham, and T.S. Eliot.

Actors and celebrities will bring their verse to life in the historic suroundings of the burial ground.

In a drive to highlight sustainability, there will be cycling and running challenges, a mini eco fair and local schools will be invited to create furniture from waste materials.

Run by a Community Interest Company, spokeswoman Kathleen Molnar said the festival celebrates the "breadth and variety" of the area's history, residents, buildings, gardens, businesses and local talent.

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Last year there were more than 70 events run by local volunteers.

"Our aim is to bring together and connect the community, boost Highgate's economy and support our local artists, cafes, pubs, restaurants and shops in a joyful celebration of Highgate," she said.

"It's about growing existing and creating new relationships in the community. with no age limits. This is top, bottom and sideways Highgate at its very best, a joyful time to come together, connect and toast Highgate, its provenance, offerings and people."

Organisers are looking for people to make a donation, become a sponsor, volunteer their time or host an event "whether immersive, conventional, unpredictable interactive, quirky... size doesn't matter."

With Lauderdale House, Highgate School, Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Heath managers the Corporation of London, OmVed Gardens among the local groups taking part, there will also be themed days for the shops, cafes and businesses along Highgate Road, Swains Lane, Highgate West Hill and Highgate High Street to get involved.

To volunteer or sign up to the newsletter contact highgatefestival.org