6 September 2017: The second annual FT Weekend Live Festival attracted more than two and a half thousand people to hear from over 100 leading figures from art, music, literature, business, food & drink, fashion and politics including Simon Schama and Thomas Heatherwick.
Hosted by FT Weekend editors and columnists, the festival spanned eight stages in the grounds of Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath in London. The discussions ranged from lessons ten years on from the global financial crisis to the march of the robots, what is good taste, and how to create the perfect garden.
FT Weekend editor Alec Russell said: “It was the perfect blend of a summer festival and classy FT Weekend journalism. The FT Weekend tribe had come from as far as New York and Berlin to see their favourite writers and editors. I see this as a firm fixture in the London calendar: big ideas, arts and fashion in a stunning setting, setting up the autumn.”
FT editor Lionel Barber hosted the opening session on fake news, Facebook and “the post post-truth” era with Janine Gibson, editor of Buzzfeed UK, and BBC Newsnight presenter Evan Davis.
FT editorial director Robert Shrimsley moderated a heated Brexit debate between Lib Dem leader Vince Cable,Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan, one of the leading Brexiters, FT columnist Janan Ganesh, and FT EU correspondent Mehreen Khan. The panel discussed whether Britain could ever again be ‘strong and stable’, and what’s next in the cauldron of British politics -- with Vince Cable raising doubts about Brexit ever happening.
FT CEO John Ridding joined FT writers for a pop quiz to celebrate the launch of the first book compilation of The Life of a Song columns, where readers can find the behind-the-scenes stories of music classics.
FT columnist Merryn Somerset Webb and FT Money editor Claer Barrett discussed the pitfalls and uncertainties of investing when faced with low interest rates, high fees and the rising cost of living.
Other highlights included Lucy Kellaway on why she has given up one of the best jobs in journalism to be a teacher, and a mesmerising debate between one of the leading heart surgeons and brain surgeons of our age.