Originally due to take place in Bristol in May 2020, a new festival exploring grief will instead to take place will instead take place online for its inaugural year.
Good Grief will consist of 70 events, with panel discussions, webinars and interactive workshops broadcast from a studio in Bristol.
Led by the University of Bristol in partnership with organisations including St Peter’s Hospice, Creative Youth Network, Arnos Vale cemetery, Off The Record and Bristol Black Carers, more than 100 speakers will take part in the three-day, free to attend, event, which takes place from October 30 to November 1.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the ways that grief and loss affect our lives,” says Dr Lucy Selman, founding director of Good Grief.
“But although grief is universal, people often don’t know how to react when someone is bereaved, and those grieving feel isolated.”
Speakers including comedian Robert Webb, author Nikesh Shukla, BBC anthropologist Alice Roberts, illustrator Gary Andrews and Rachel Clarke, palliative care doctor and author of Dear Life: A Doctor’s Story of Love and Loss, are among more than 100 people billed for the festival.
The festival will be hosted by Linda Magistris, a former BBC presenter and founder of The Good Grief Trust. Events will include ‘The Covid Cataclysm: How Do We Grieve for ‘Normal’?’ and ‘The Dead Parent Club’ with Cariad Lloyd, presenter of Griefcast.
In addition, Good Grief Festival’s Grief School will examine everything from grief after suicide and substance misuse to stillbirth and loss of pets.
A workshop and webinar programme will include using memoirs, art and poetry to heal from grief, releasing grief through yoga and the literature of loss. The Good Grief Trust will also be hosting a Grief Cafe.
Despite being postponed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Good Grief Festival is arguably needed now more than prior: Since March 2020, there have been over 63,500 excess deaths in the UK – this is in addition to approximately 300,000 deaths that occur every six months in the UK.
“We’re thrilled to be holding Good Grief online this autumn, when it is needed more than ever,” says Lucy.
“The festival will shed light on the many dimensions of grief, provide time and space to share experiences, and provide opportunities to come together and remember those who have died.”
Main photo: Jon Aitken
Read more: New grief festival to take place in May 2020