Novel way to support Rhythms of the World music festival

PUBLISHED: 15:13 11 August 2013 | UPDATED: 15:13 11 August 2013

Proceeds from Art to Die For by first-time novelist Laurence Cowley will go to support Rhythms of the World festival

Proceeds from Art to Die For by first-time novelist Laurence Cowley will go to support Rhythms of the World festival


A FIRST-TIME novelist is helping to support Rhythms of the World by donating half his royalties to the Hertfordshire music festival.

Laurence Cowley, from Hitchin, is donating £5 from each sale of his new crime novel, Art To Die For, to the music charity.

The 67-year-old retired businessman has helped organise the festival for the past six years, most recently running the Icehouse Stage, which focuses on youth and acoustic acts.

He wrote his novel in three months. Copies are being printed locally, and are also being electronically published by Author House, part of the Penguin Books Group.

Laurence has never attempted writing before, but said the book almost wrote itself.

He said: “As I started writing, the story took its own direction and became more intriguing as it developed.

“There are several side stories, including a couple of romances and interesting locations.”

He added: “Everyone should attempt writing – it is very therapeutic. As a story grips and often takes over your life, even though it becomes all consuming, it is still very enjoyable and very satisfying.”

Amy Hopkins, chair of the Rhythms of the World trustees, said: “We are enormously grateful to Laurence for donating 50 per cent of proceeds from all books sold by Rhythms of the World to the charity.

“The festival ticket price is never enough to cover the costs of putting on the event and so we rely on income – in the form of sponsorship, donations and clever fundraising ideas like Laurence’s – to keep the festival alive.

“Any additional monies we raise also fund the Rhythms of the World Community Outreach programme which aims to bring the essence of the festival to those who might not otherwise experience it.”

Art To Die For is available for the price of £10, with £5 to be donated to Rhythms of the World, by emailing

Rhythms of the World is one of the largest celebrations of world music and arts in the UK.

Although cancelled this year, ROTW organisers expect to run a full festival on a new site in 2014.

The festival had been held at Hitchin Priory for five years, but the 2012 event suffered very wet weather and the Priory’s owners asked Rhythms organisers to find a new venue.

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