Festival In The Shire

A new Tolkien-inspired event in Wales will celebrate all things Middle-earth

With the huge success of The Lord Of The Rings movies, and rumours spreading like wild-fire about who will take the helm for the two Hobbit films (Peter Jackson himself? Yay!), the time has never been more right for an event dedicated to the life and works of JRR Tolkien and all things Middle-earth.

This year, from 13 August until 15 August, Festival In The Shire is promising more than just your average fantasy convention. The festival is being held in Pontrhydfendigaid in Wales, and not only does it offer the usual community atmosphere and the sale of memorabilia, visitors will also have the chance to sit in on several conferences (titled “Welsh influences on the works of JRR Tolkien”) from respected Tolkien professionals such as Tom Shippey and Colin Duriez.

Organiser Mark Faith told the BBC: “There is a huge following for Tolkien [who] created his Middle-earth for academic reasons rather than for today’s commercial reasons. The fans … are enthusiasts but they have a certain amount of knowledge and expect an event that caters to their interest.”

There’s also an art exhibition and the chance to meet the artists themselves; renowned fantasy artist Rodney Matthews will attend the event to show off some of his Tolkien-flavoured artwork, along with a load of other artists such as Roger Garland, Ted Nasmith, Sue Wookey, and Jon Evans.

There will also be competitions, games, re-enactments, and various other fantasy-related performances throughout the three-day festival, where exclusive limited edition prints of Paul Raymond Gregory’s “The Great Goblin” will be going on sale, among other pieces of memorabilia.

Festival In The Shire is shaping up to be a very promising event. Find out more at the official site here.