York Festival of Ideas

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor
York Festival of Ideas
York Festival of Ideas

York Festival of Ideas is a cultural festival in York, England, that aims to educate, entertain and inspire. Hosted by The University of York, it takes places in for two weeks in June each year, in venues across the city centre and at the university.

The festival incorporates various elements, including Open Lectures, YorkTalks, and York Researcher’s Night. The 2020 Festival programme involved 97 online events over 13 days and scored an audience of over 41,00 in 135 countries.

Year-round events include York Symphony Orchestra’s Peter and the Wolf performance and an app that takes a ‘digital magnifying glass’ to the stained glass in York Minster. There’s also a walking trail to follow on your device, introducing you to key points of historical interest in York as well as some less well-known figures and events.

York Festival of Ideas is a cultural festival in York, England, that aims to educate, entertain and inspire

Previous years have seen York visited by military history experts James Holland and Robert Lyman to give a talk on the battle of Kohima, and Guardian stalwarts John Crace and Tim Dowling to discuss the question of cynicism. Diane Atkinson has spoken on the Suffragettes, and the University’s Corps of musicians have put on unmissable classical performances.

Meanwhile, Martin Carver, filmmaker Louis Carver, and artist Laura Elias plus a team of scientists from the University of York’s BioArCh Laboratory put on a multimedia tour of 700 years of Sicilian history. It’s an eclectic mix, but the common theme is expertise combined with entertainment value, and there’s so much on your visit is bound to coincide with something fascinating.

These events are ideal for parents visiting students at the university, or for creatives on the lookout for inspiration. Parents will be pleased to know there’s also a round of events for children of all ages.

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