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Bradford Literature Festival popular with BAME audience

ACCESSIBLE: Ethical pricing has enabled more people to attend the festival (Image: Bradford Literature Festival)

BRADFORD LITERATURE Festival is proving popular among black and minority ethnic audiences with a significant number of this year’s attendees coming from a BAME background.

The 10-day event that takes place across a range of venues attracted around 70,000 visitors.

This year the festival’s BAME audience grew to 51%, an increase from 49% last year, according to The Bookseller.

The festival’s programme for 2018 included an audience with former boxer Frank Bruno and a spoken word poetry evening with Akala.

Mark Garratt, director of external affairs at the University of Bradford, which played a part in hosting some of the festival events, said: “This is Bradford...this is how to run an inclusive and diverse festival which is accessible to all.”

The festival has put its record attendance down to what it calls “ethical pricing”, The Bookseller reported.

Around half of the tickets for the event were supplied free of charge to refugees and asylum seekers, anyone receiving benefits or a state pension or living in social housing; or sold at a discounted price to the disabled, students and senior citizens.

The majority of attendees said they felt “a sense of inclusion” at the festival and 83% of the audience said they mixed with others from varying social and ethnic backgrounds.

Author Claire Heuchan said: “The brilliant Bradford Literature Festival did ethical ticket pricing. People of colour were the majority of their audience, which rose by over 40%. Proud to have been part of a literature festival for more than the white and middle-class.”

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