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The Fforde Festival
Please note that Jasper has nothing whatever to do with the running of the conference/ffestival, so I cannot answer your questions. Please direct all inquiries not to me but to the Fforganisers
What is it?

A celebration and exploration of the world created within the Thursday Next literary crime novels by the author Jasper Fforde, and taking place in Swindon - the place "where anything can happen - and often does"

The idea for holding a convention of Fforde Ffans, organised by Fforde Ffans, was first mooted during a Jasper Fforde-authorised rendition of Shakespeare's 'Richard III' that took place in Swindon during May 2004.

The Ffestival has the full support of not only Jasper Fforde himself but also Swindon Borough Council's "Swindon Initiative" (Tourist Development Department), and is anticipated to be a great hit with Fforde fans worldwide.

What's actually happening?

The following events have been arranged for the Ffestival:

Friday 16th September, 6.30pm

* 'World Superhoop Match' on the Lawns, complete with tea party, rhododendron bushes, a garden roller and Italian sunken garden, with a chance to dress up and compete
Interspersed with a Grand Barbeque and Bar (NB this replaces the Gala Dinner, which not everyone would have been able to attend)

Saturday 17th September, 10.30am to late / early(!)

* An open-top guided bus tour of the key places around Swindon mentioned in the Thursday Next books, to include stops to view:

1. St. Zvlkx's Cathedral,
2. Goliath Headquarters,
3. Thursday's Mum's,
4. Swindon's concrete museum and double-helix car park,
5. Pete & Dave Dodo's Emporium,
6. Will-Speak Machine,
7. Site of Cindy Stoker's death by Grand Piano,
8. The Ritz,
9. Church of The Global Standard Deity,
10. SpecOps Headquarters.

In addition to the places the bus will visit, the town will be 'decorated' with the help of Swindon Borough Council, Swindon Art College, various local businesses and local amateur dramatics groups, with 'Dodo Crossing' and 'Temporary Time Distortion' signs, advertising boards for the Goliath Corporation, the Toast Marketing Board and the Chronoguard, plus character look-a-likes and classic cars (including Thursday's Speedster Porsche) will be placed around the town to coincide with the passing of the bus tour.

* Richard III at the Ritz Performance & / or Hamlet at the Odium By the audience for the audience (with a little help from the Western Players)

* Author Reading A reading by Jasper Fforde of an exclusive piece of work written especially for this Ffestival (on stage in the main hall)

* Character fancy-dress party (Saturday night)

* Name that Fruit quiz Hosted cheesily by Adrian Lush himself

* General competition and quiz type events & stalls (in the Main Hall at the Hotel) Including:

1. Battenburg Cake Bake Competition
2. Guess the number of grains in the Entroscope
3. Toast Marketing Board stall
4. Pete & Dave's Dodo Emporium stall
5. Goliath Corporation stall
6. Thursday Next stall - books, mugs, t-shirts, caps, etc..
7. Lola Vavoom Appreciation Society stall
8. Mycroft's Shed - Inventors competition
9. Inventive ways to smuggle Cheese competition

Plus, bookstalls and other appropriate vendors

Note: Check back here on a regular basis as the committee have several other ideas up their sleeves as well!

Will Jasper Fforde be there?

Yes, both Jasper and Mari will be there.

Who is organising it?

Principal officers:
Director: Phil McMullen (aka Ptolemy)
Management: Sarah Courtney-Green (aka Flo)
Treasurer: Jo Foster (aka Jo)
Plus a General Committee of 12

How can I contact them?

Via e-mail at: The Fforganisers.
Alternatively, questions can be passed to the organisers via Swindon Tourist Information Tel. (00 44) (0)1793 530328

When is it happening?

Friday 16th September 2005 - 4pm until bedtime
Saturday 17th September 2005 - all day until bedtime

Where is it happening?
The Fforde Festival

The Goddard Arms Hotel.
High Street, Old Town, Swindon, Wiltshire, England SN1 3EP

Telephone: (00 44) (0)1793 692313

Web: www.goddardarmshotel.co.uk

Email: goddard.arms@forestdale.com

How do I get to Swindon?

* Swindon is only an hour away by train from London Paddington and The Goddard's Hotel is only 1.5 miles from the station.

* Nearest airports are Heathrow or Bristol but trains or buses can be caught to Swindon from most major South West UK airports.

* Junctions 15 and 16 take you to Swindon town centre - Jct 15 is preferable for access to Old Town.

Tourist Information can help out with most travel directions and arrangements:

Phone: (00 44)(0)1793 530328)

Web: www.visitswindon.co.uk

Email: infocentre@swindon.gov.uk.

Where can I stay?

* We have arranged Preferential Weekend Rates at The Goddard Arms Hotel for Bed & Breakfast:
Single room @ 35 per night - SOLD OUT
Twin / double - single occupancy @45 per night
Twin / double @ 70 per room per night

Price is inclusive of car parking (subject to availability). Contact the hotel direct and mention Fforde Ffestival.

Once all rooms sold in the Goddard's, alternative arrangements will be made with hotels close-by.

In all instances, please contact either the Goddard Arms Hotel or Swindon Tourist Information Centre
www.visitswindon.co.uk (00 44) (0)1793 530328.

The Goddard Arms Hotel.
High Street, Old Town, Swindon, Wiltshire, England SN1 3EP
Telephone: (00 44) (0)1793 692313
Web: www.goddardarmshotel.co.uk
Email: goddard.arms@forestdale.com

IMPORTANT NOTE: When calling the Goddard Arms Hotel to book rooms for the Fforde Ffestival, please ask specifically to speak to the Booking Manager Steve Goulding. Mr Goulding can then ensure you receive the appropriate preferential rate for your booking.

* Swindon Tourist Information www.visitswindon.co.uk can help out with alternative accommodation requirements.

Can children attend?

Other than bizarre, nothing that is being arranged is either offensive or rude. Tickets can therefore be bought for children, although we are not consciously catering for children. There is no reduced ticket price for children or concessions. The convention hotel is "children friendly". You will need to check with Swindon Tourist Information about other hotels in the area.

Are there disabled facilities?

Please note, Goddards is a listed building of historic interest and there is unfortunately NO lift ("elevator") to the upper floor. Although the bars, lounge and reception area is on the ground floor on level access, the main ballroom that the convention is taking place in is at the top of a short flight of stairs. Goddards staff are trained and available to help if required.

How many people are attending?

The maximum number of people we can allow in the main hall at any time is 250. We are currently expecting about 200 people to attend throughout the weekend.

Do I have to buy a ticket in advance?

Yes. Tickets are only sold in advance so that we can gauge interest and numbers and cater appropriately.

I can only attend on Saturday and not Friday. Will there be 1 day tickets available at a reduced rate?

No. There may be some tickets available on Saturday at the venue, but only if we have not previously sold out our maximum allocation of 250.

How much do tickets cost?

Tickets are 25.00 per person.

What does that funny little symbol mean?

It's a pound sign. It's what those crazy Brits use instead of $

Here's a handy online currency converter: Currency Converter

What do I get for my 25.00?

* An Individually numbered, laminated and collectable ticket pass

* Unlimited access to the event over the 2-day period

* A signed, commemorative and collectable printed programme of events

* Free entry on the Guided Bus Tour(s) of the Nextian Sights of Swindon

* Ring-side seat for the Croquet match

* The chance to participate in competitions and win fabulous Fforde / Next related prizes

What don't I get for my 25.00?

Your accommodation, transport and food will all cost extra.

When can I buy a ticket?

Tickets go on sale on April 4th 2005

Where can I buy a ticket?

Telephone bookings via Swindon Tourist Information (00 44)(0)1793 530328.
You can also call in person at Swindon Tourist Information's offices:

Swindon Tourist Information Centre
37 Regent Street
Swindon SN1 1JL (England)

Tel: 01793 530328 or 01793 466454
Fax: 01793 434031
Web: www.visitswindon.co.uk
Email: infocentre@swindon.gov.uk.

Online bookings via PayPal - use this LINK or email the Fforganisers

Can I help promote it?

Of course! There are three main ways:

1: Spread the word using the standard voice method;
2: Download a poster from HERE, print it out and ask your kindly local bookseller to put it in their window;
3: Contact the Fforganisers and ask them for more details.

and Finally...

The Ffestival 2005 committee would like to thank the following organisations for their support:

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Swindon Initiative:

Swindon Firnge*:
*"Like a fringe but not so high brow"
Thanks to our sponsors, the Goliath Corporation
The Fforde Ffestival 2005 is sponsored by The Goliath Corporation (A wholly owned subsidiary of TOAST, inc.) Enjoyment is mandatory.