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Good Grief - A virtual festival of love and loss

3 September 2020

A new free online festival exploring the many faces of grief will launch in Bristol from 30 October to 1 November, reaching thousands of people all over the UK. Broadcast from a studio in Bristol, Good Grief, founded by the Centre for Academic Primary Care's Dr Lucy Selman, will bring over 100 speakers together to help people to better understand and process grief and loss at this time of global crisis.

The festival programme will include panel discussions, talks and workshops with speakers including Robert Webb (Peep Show, That Mitchell + Webb Look), Cariad Lloyd (GriefCast), Julia Samuels (This Too Shall Pass, Grief Works), chef and food writer Valentine Warner (The Consolation of Food), best-selling author Nikesh Shukla (The Good Immigrant, Brown Baby), BBC anthropologist Alice Roberts, illustrator Gary Andrews (Doodle-A-Day) and palliative care doctors Rachel Clarke (Dear Life: A Doctor’s Story of Love and Loss) and Kathryn Mannix (With the End in Mind).

Grief experts, authors, bereavement organisations, researchers and artists will participate in panel discussions including The COVID Cataclysm: How do we Grieve for ‘Normal’; The Dead Parent Club with Cariad Lloyd; The Healing Power of Nature in Grief; Grieving for our Planet and Grief at the Kitchen Table.

Facilitated by bereavement experts, researchers, and those with personal experience, the festival’s Grief School will take a deep dive into different types of grief, with 15 sessions to choose from. The Grief School will examine grief after suicide, childhood bereavement, stillbirth, life threatening illness, substance misuse, pet loss, traumatic loss, grieving during Covid-19, and much more.

Good Grief’s full workshop programme will come in September but highlights include Writing Memoir to Heal with Nikesh Shukla, Making Friends with Your Afterlife and Self Counselling Through Art with Gary Andrews of Doodle-A-Day fame.

“Grief affects everyone, yet people often don’t know how to react when someone is bereaved, and those grieving feel isolated,” said Dr Lucy Selman, Founding Director of Good Grief, from the Centre for Academic Primary Care and Palliative and End of Life Care Research Group at the University of Bristol.

“We’re thrilled to be holding Good Grief online this autumn, when it is needed more than ever. The festival will provide many opportunities to explore this universal, yet so often stigmatised, human experience as well as offering ways to come together and remember those who have died.”

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, the festival is a collaboration between the University of Bristol and national charities and bereavement services.

Good Grief online events are all free to attend. To join a session, register in advance here. You’ll then be notified as the events open for booking.

The festival’s full programme will be announced in mid-September.

To find out more visit

Further information

About the Centre for Academic Primary Care
The Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) at the University of Bristol is a leading centre for primary care research in the UK, one of nine forming the NIHR School for Primary Care Research. It sits within Bristol Medical School, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for population health research and teaching. Follow us on Twitter: @capcbristol.

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