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The Idler Festival at Fenton House

The garden at Fenton House and Garden, London
The garden at Fenton House and Garden | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

The Idler magazine is again holding its popular three-day festival of talks, debates, comedy, music and merriment at Fenton House this summer. 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

The Idler is once again taking over Fenton House, from Friday 5 July to Sunday 7 July, bringing together a carefully curated line-up of artists, wits, performers and characters.

The Idler Festival 2024 will include 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.

Headliners include Zadie Smith, Rowan Williams, Tim Key, Olivia Laing, and Dominic West, among many other writers, comedians, artists, and philosophers.

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

- Michael Palin

The garden from above at Fenton House and Garden, London
The garden from above at Fenton House and Garden | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

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 has marked a new phase of programming delivered by partner organisations, bringing new audiences to the 17th century London property and its beautiful walled garden.

‘Fenton is the 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 Gardens Manager

Booking and festival times

For further information and to book tickets, go to the festival organisers’ website at Idler Festival

Festival times:
Friday 5 July: 6pm-9pm
Saturday 6 July: 12pm-7pm
Sunday 7 July: 12pm-7pm

Exterior view of Fenton House and Garden, London. The gardens include an orchard, kitchen garden, rose garden and formal terraces and lawns.

Discover more at Fenton House and Garden

Find out when Fenton House and Garden is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

Visitors exploring inside Fenton House, London

Things to see and do at Fenton House 

Explore Fenton House, one of London’s hidden treasures, a 17th-century house with vibrant ceramics, early keyboard instruments and intricate needlework.

Visitors in the garden at Fenton House, London

Explore the garden at Fenton House 

Discover formal lawns, herbaceous borders, exotic planting, a sunken rose garden, kitchen garden and a 300-year-old orchard in Fenton’s garden: a haven in the middle of Hampstead.