[See Updates under PAST CRIMEFEST WEBSITES for older newsletters.]
Tuesday, 4 September, 2019
A brief email before heading off to promote CRIMEFEST at Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, in Florida this weekend. If you’re attending, then do stop by the CRIMEFEST registration booth to say ‘hi’ and have a Quality Street and/or a sip of Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry.
As you will have gathered from the above, CRIMEFEST is returning in 2019! I’m pleased to announce that next year’s dates will be 9-12 May. Our new home is the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel.
Until 15 September, you can register for the Early Bird Special rate of £145 through our TICKETS page. (From 16 September onwards the cost will incrementally go up to £200.)
Delegates may also purchase tickets to the Gala Awards Dinner at an Early Bird rate.
We have already sold over 40 tickets for the Gala Dinner, and more than 140 Full Passes!
Authors who intend to register should note that we have temporarily put a hold on offering panel slots. This is to allow publishers – who support CRIMEFEST in many ways, such as providing books for the delegate bags – to register authors for the limited spaces we will be offering them. In the meantime authors who register are offered a place on the waiting list, and the slots not taken up by the publishers will be made available to them. As in previous year’s we anticipate accommodating a significant number of waiting-list authors on one or more panels once we start programming, or as spaces become available closer to the time of the convention.
The CRIMEFEST website has been updated, and it lists the authors and other delegates who have already registered. We anticipate sending out the discount booking codes for the Bristol Mercure Grand, the convention hotel, and the four-star Radisson Blu overspill hotel later this month. The email will also include details for nearby budget hotels. The budget hotels are listed on the WHERE TO STAY page on the website and do not require a discount code. The earlier you book at a budget hotel, the lower their rates are likely to be.
By moving to the newly refurbished Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel – one of Bristol’s two historic, four-star hotels – CRIMEFEST has been able to maintain 2018 prices. Another bonus is that, subject to their room selection, delegates will find that the cost of bedrooms at the Grand are up to 30% lower than in recent years. All this without giving up many of the conveniences they have come to expect. The Mercure Grand provides off-street parking, has a gym, swimming pool and many other facilities. And, as CRIMEFEST’s new home is less than a ten-minute walk away from its old location, delegates can continue to visit many of their favourite haunts.
We see the move as an exciting first step into a new decade for CRIMEFEST and look forward to welcoming you back to Bristol!
Please buy TICKETS before 15 September to support CRIMEFEST and beat the price increase.
With best wishes,
Tuesday, 7 August, 2019
I hope you are enjoying your summer.
It’s been almost two months since the last newsletter for this year’s CRIMEFEST, and in that time there have been some significant developments. (Visit the website for PAST NEWSLETTERS.)
The big news is that the CRIMEFEST organisers are close to finalizing a contract for a new hotel in 2019. Our ‘usual’ dates were already taken, so next year it will either be 2-5 or 9-12 May. We will confirm which weekend later this August, when we also reveal CRIMEFEST’s new location. Naturally, the new venue is one of Bristol’s top four-star hotels, but the room rates (depending on single or double occupancy) are 31% to 26% lower than the Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel’s 2019 prices. Our new home is less than a ten minute walk away from our old location, so you can continue to visit many of your favourite haunts.
Once we know the dates, this year’s delegates will receive an email which – for one week only – will offer the lowest sign-up fee. This will be followed by a time-limited ‘Early Bird’ registration rate for all newsletter subscribers. Following this, the rates will incrementally go up to £200. So book early for the best prices.
The decision to move to a new hotel was not taken lightly, but was forced upon us by the owners of the Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel. As this year’s attendees know, they decided to renovate the building during CRIMEFEST, and to convert three of the four floors of convention space we contracted into more bedrooms. To their credit, the venue’s management did everything possible to make the reduced space work, and they also tried to negotiate lower rates when the 2019 contract increased by more than 100%. We thank the Bristol Royal Hotel’s management and staff for making CRIMEFEST welcome for our ten years with them.
The CRIMEFEST team look forward to welcoming you to our new Bristol location in 2019, so please pencil in both sets of dates for now: 2-5 or 9-12 May.
Until I contact you again later this month, I leave you with a funny incident that happened to one of our delegates recently – see below.
With best wishes,
Rupert Howe wrote:
‘The eldest of my two daughters just found this dirty used syringe in our front garden in the dark. Everyone freaked out. My younger daughter wants to check it out. I have to say, “No, stay away from it!”, at least 3 times. We try to find gloves and a glass bottle to put it in. My younger daughter goes to check it out anyway. Just as we’re at the height of our OMG—USED NEEDLES IN OUR FRONT GARDEN frenzy with everyone shouting at each other about infection, she says, “Oh! I know what that is! That’s that pen you got from CRIMEFEST last year: I dropped it out of the window ages ago.”