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Tolkien 2019: What you need to know
Young attendee fascinated by one of the exhibits in the art hall at the Return of the Ring.

In a year’s time the Society will come together for Tolkien 2019, the largest celebration the Tolkien Society has ever held in honour of the Society’s 50th anniversary. This is everything we know so far.

About the event

Taking place at the Macdonald Burlington hotel in Birmingham from 7th to 11th August 2019, the event will bring together hundreds of fans, scholars and artists from all over the world. Tolkien 2019 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Society, and follows on from the successful events Tolkien 2012: Return of the Ring, Tolkien 2005: The Ring Goes Ever On, and the 1992 Tolkien Centenary Conference. We are currently planning for at least 500 attendees, which is twice the size of an ordinary Oxonmoot.

Daytime programming

The daytime programme will include talks, panel discussions, games, quizzes and workshops. We currently are planning for at least 144 hours of daytime programming, and our event in 2012 had over 100 talks, workshops and panel discussions, and we are anticipating a similarly comprehensive list. This all sits alongside the dealers’ room, a large art exhibition, and confirmed guests of:

  • Wayne Hammond
  • Alan Lee
  • Christina Scull
  • Tom Shippey
  • Brian Sibley

More guests will be announced as they are confirmed. If you would be interesting in delivering a paper, please visit our Call for Papers.

Evening events

Again, the evening will see games and quizzes, and all washed down with a bar open until 3am! The precise structure of the event is still being confirmed but will likely include:

  • Professional theatrical and musical productions
  • A banquet (which you can already book for)
  • Dancing
  • And a party the like of which you will have never seen


Tolkien 2019 will take place at the Macdonald Burlington Hotel in Birmingham, the childhood home of J.R.R. Tolkien.

The Macdonald Burlington Hotel is a four-star hotel in the heart of Birmingham that is fully accessible. Situated directly opposite Birmingham New Street train station, the Macdonald Burlington is located in the centre of one of the UK’s biggest and most vibrant cities with world-class shopping, culture and entertainment, and restaurants all within a short walk of the venue.

For the duration of the event — Wednesday 7th August to Sunday 11th August 2019 — we have exclusive use of the conferencing facilities at the hotel, meaning there will be a little bit of Middle-earth in central Birmingham.

How to book

We have already had around 150 bookings. To book your attendance at the event, register now on our dedicated website,

Members of The Tolkien Society should visit the Members’ Area of the website to obtain the discount code to access reduced registration prices. Members of the Dutch, Finnish, German, Italian and Spanish Tolkien societies can also obtain a discount code through their societies; please contact us if you would like your society to be added to the list.

About the Author: Shaun Gunner
Shaun is the Chair of The Tolkien Society. First elected in 2013, Shaun has overseen the Society's expansion from 600 to 3,500 members. Shaun regularly speaks about adaptations of Tolkien's works and the future of Tolkien scholarship whilst passionately believing the Society needs to reach out to new audiences. In his spare time he can be found playing video games and Lego, or on Twitter. He chaired another charity, Mankind, and is a local councillor.