The Dead Good Death Festival returns

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There will be a wide range of talks and workshops at the three-day festival which explores life and death.

A three-day festival which explores life and death is returning to Coventry next month.

Historic Coventry Trust has organised The Dead Good Death Festival with Coventry-based celebrant Lisa Dundas thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Heritage Community Fund, part of the Parks for People Programme.

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There will be a wide range of talks and workshops along with stalls at the Anglican Chapel at the London Road Cemetery off London Road near Coventry city centre from Friday, May 3 to Sunday, May 5.

Dead Good Death Festival in 2023Dead Good Death Festival in 2023
Dead Good Death Festival in 2023

Lisa is a local celebrant working in Coventry and Warwickshire who is passionate about getting people to talk more openly about death and their fears surrounding death and dying.

She said: “The Dead Good Death Festival resonated so much with the people who came along last year that it was decided to hold the event again.

“This may seem a taboo or difficult subject to discuss with your loved ones but all the talks and workshops we are holding are a perfect opportunity to explore what a good death means to you at our alternative death festival.

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“The festival covers a wide range of areas in a sensitive and thought-provoking manner and it is a chance to maybe ask questions you have but you are not sure where to turn to.”

Among the events taking place are a performance of Tell it to the Bees which is a storytelling and musical show weaving together folk tales, real life stories and bee folklore at 7.30pm on Friday, May 3.

The following day there will be talks lasting between 20-30 minutes including from Coventry and Nuneaton-based funeral director Daniel Devall, bereaved mum, therapist, author and podcaster Louise Bates and Myton Hospice’s Olivia Bowskill.

The free talks continue with Planning Ahead of Time with Dayle Adams, Jewish Funeral Rites and Rituals with Martin Been, How to have an Eco-Friendly Funeral with Emma Restall Orr, and What Mid-England Barrow can offer in today’s society by Sarah Smart.

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There will also be three free workshops on Saturday, May 6. The Art of Grief will give local artist Michala Gyetvai the opportunity to talk about using art to deal with grief and participants will have the chance to have a go at creating a piece of art between 11am and 12.30pm in the grounds of London Road Cemetery.

This will be followed by local crime writer Nicky Downes, who is theauthor of DI Jack Kent and DI Amelia Barton of the NCA series set in Coventry and Birmingham, who will be running a workshop in the atmospheric Mortuary Chapel called Murder in the Crypt from 1pm until 2pm.

Companion Voices, whoare singers based in the UK who gather to learn songs and prepare themselves to sing for people at the end of life, will then host an hour-long workshop from 2pm.

As well as talkson May 4, there will be stallsfrom Natural Burial Grounds, Funeral Planning, and Wildheart Coffins, where people can have a go at weaving a willow coffin, and The Coventry Family History Society will also be on hand to help people find their family’s graves.

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The Dead Good Death Festival will end on May 5 with Yoga for grief between 10am and 11am, and the Dead Good Death Café from noon until 2pm when people will be able to talk about anything and everything to do with death.

Jennie Rutte, of Historic Coventry Trust, said: “It can be difficult to talk openly about death and our fears surrounding death and dying.

“By being more open, we can tell our loved ones what our wishes are so that when the time comes, it is less stressful for them wondering if that is what we wanted.

“We hope this festival will help people to answer some of their questions about a topic which is often hard to discuss through the varied events that we are hosting.”

For more information and to buy tickets for Tell it the Bees, Yoga for grief and the Dead Good Death Café events, please visit: What's on - Historic Coventry Trust

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