Unintentional biases affect almost every aspect of our lives – from racial profiling by those in authority to the ill-fitting men’s PPE worn by female doctors throughout the pandemic. At a time when partisan political ideologies are taking centre stage, it is crucial that we understand why we act the way we do. Behavioural scientist, activist and writer Pragya Agarwal (Sway) and novelist and women’s rights advocate Elif Shafak (How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division) discuss how we can open our eyes to our own biases, consider how they affect the way we communicate and perceive the world, and examine how, by exposing them, we might work towards a fairer, more inclusive society. Chaired by Manveen Rana.

In order to manage audiences safely into each of our venues, we ask that you arrive up to 40 minutes before the event starts. See the Plan Your Visit section for detailed venue arrival times.

Click below to buy the book from our Waterstones Cheltenham Literature Festival bookshop. Every purchase supports Cheltenham Festivals.

Sway: Unravelling Unconscious Bias How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division


Town Hall, Pillar Room

The Town Hall, situated on Imperial Gardens in the centre of Cheltenham comprises of a Grand Main Hall, distinguished by its Corinthian styles columns and coved ceiling. The Main Hall is accompanied by dining and drawing rooms, as well as the Pillar Room bar.

The venue’s early 20th century Edwardian elegance makes it the classic ‘shoebox’ concert hall. With a seating capacity of 900, the Town Hall is perfectly suited to grand symphony orchestra performances with a thrilling impact.


*Fees & Booking Info

Our booking fee

As a registered charity Cheltenham Festivals charges a booking fee to cover the costs associated with providing our booking facilities.

Our charges are in line with the rising costs of this service which includes the cost of staffing, banking, developing, and maintaining our booking software and postage.

Our booking fees are as follows:

  • Online sales £2.00

We endeavour to keep our booking fees as low as possible and charge on a per order basis rather than per ticket to ensure this. We also clarify our booking fees before any transaction is completed.

For more information about your booking click here

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