Jude Kelly launched Being A Man Festival in 2014, a major new festival exploring what being a man means in the 21st century, looking at the changing nature of masculinity and the lots of different ways that men are shaping what the future might look like for us all.
Being A Man is made up of talks, debates, keynotes, performances, workshops, installations, a marketplace and music, with extraordinary contributors and leaders in their field exploring all facets of masculinity and male identity. The festival covers everything from fatherhood to sport, sex and sexuality, addictions, feminism, education, friendship, gangs, men behind bars, lad culture, violence, the work/life balance, spirituality, race and politics with the aim of providing inspiration, insight and the tools to make change.
Contributors in 2014 included Billy Bragg, DJ Nihal, David Lammy MP, campaigner Michael Kaufman, Phill Jupitus, Alastair Campbell, Reverend Giles Goddard, actor Charlie Condou, Nick Hornby, designer Wayne Hemingway, Tom Robinson, former professional rugby player Bobby Goulding, Grayson Perry, Camila Batmanghelidjh of Kids Company, poet Simon Armitage and Hardeep Singh Kohli, amongst many others.
Being A Man brings together men and women, boys and girls from many ages and backgrounds - both speakers and audience members - for conversations and the sharing of stories, the serious and light hearted, and the mandate to discuss anything and everything about being a man today.
‘It sure is time to talk about men: men and change; men and women; and why many men fear both change AND women!’
Jon Snow – journalist and broadcaster
'BAM seeks to provoke debate on why it is that what ought to be one of the most edifying of human conditions is so often shot through with feelings of inadequacy and isolation.’
‘BAM offers a potential space to put to bed some myths, take men to task and celebrate, without gloating, half of the human species.’
Photo: David Baddiel - In Conversation