I'm at the Brisbane Writers Festival doing crazy things (scroll down to Sunday) on the first weekend of September. Come say hi and ask me why Literarium isn't live yet (it's looking good, does that help?)
The growth of literary festivals in Australia and globally is a cultural phenomenon that deserves more discussion. India’s annual Jaipur literary event attracts over 100,000 people in a frenzy of debate, colour and energy. When I spoke in Jaipur in 2011, there were “only” around 50,000 visitors. The event’s reputation and stature has grown exponentially since then.
Writing Festivals are a really great place to connect with your colleagues and discover new friends, or even meet online friends in meatspace!
Why do we love these annual institutions? Founder of The Hoopla, Wendy Harmer, launching the Newcastle writers’ festival in April characteristic style, argued that a communal need for spiritual and intellectual nourishment, along with disillusionment with the political process and its media followers, draws populations to discover new places to share ideas.
Worth a read if you're going (or thinking about going) to any events: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/07/writers-festivals-are-a-place-to-connect-during-a-time-of-global-insecurity