The Idler Festival at Fenton House and Garden

A view between flowers beds in the garden at Fenton House

The Idler magazine is again holding its popular three-day festival of talks, debates, comedy, music and merriment at Fenton House this summer, headlined by Jarvis Cocker! Find out everything you need to know about the event, from what to expect in its varied programme to how to book a ticket.

The Idler Festival programme 

After two years of cancellations the Idler is once again taking over Fenton House, from Friday 8 July to Sunday 10 July, bringing together a carefully curated line-up of artists, wits, performers and characters including Sally Phillips, Arthur Smith, Margaret Drabble and headliner Jarvis Cocker.

Others set to appear include Virginia Ironside, David Bramwell, John Lloyd and Oliver Burkeman. The 2022 festival will include other performances by Idler magazine contributors, Idler Academy tutors, and special guests from A Drink with the Idler. Favourite Idler activities Philosophy, Husbandry and Merriment will also be back. 

Festival-goers will be treated to classes, debates, workshops, music and the chance to step back from the frenetic pace of modern life and indulge in the pleasure of idle contemplation and learning. 

‘The combination of Idler and Fenton House is irresistible. Where better to open the floodgates of reflection?’ - Michael Palin

A valuable partnership with Fenton House 

For 25 years, the Idler magazine has been breaking the mould in terms of content and its alternative philosophy on life. 

And for Fenton House, hosting the festival marked a new phase of programming delivered by partner organisations, bringing new audiences to the seventeenth-century London property and its beautiful walled garden. 

‘Fenton is a place to feed mind and soul, and we continue to look forward to seeing the house being occupied in this new way.’ - Sara Nichols, Fenton House and Garden Manager 

Booking and festival times 

For further information, more on the line-up and to book tickets, go to the festival organisers’ website at   

Festival times: 
Friday 8 July: 6pm-9pm 
Saturday 9 July: 12pm-11pm 
Sunday 10 July: 12pm-7pm 

Please note, these times reflect the full programme, with some events taking place off-site.