Harrogate International Festivals celebrate a huge milestone this year, as it is 50 years since the first Festival back in 1966.
We are proud to present this year’s theme – Discover, Explore, Experiment. It is no wonder Harrogate is consistently voted the happiest place to live in the UK, with an offering this summer including music, crime and literature galore, space travel with BBC Stargazing’s Mark Thompson, and the joy of walking with Julia Bradbury. Visit Harrogate, and we’ll take you on a journey all around the world!
We can’t wait to welcome Celtic legend Van Morrison on Thursday 9th June, on stage at the magnificent Harrogate International Centre, which was the home of Eurovision back in 1982! As a treat for our 50th year, we also have Nicola Benedetti with Manchester Camerata on Wednesday 1st June, with a whole evening themed around musical genius Mozart.
The Harrogate Music Festival runs across five long weekends in July. Commencing with the ever-popular John Wilson Orchestra, we are thrilled to present three events hosted by our artist-in-residence over the first weekend of the Music Festival. The closing finale will be provided by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, with a programme including Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Dvorak. In between, there is everything from Jack Liebeck and the Black Dyke Band to our Guest Curator this year, Sir Willard White, and The Unthanks, who have just won a BBC Radio 2 folk award.
The Raworth’s Literature Festival is on from Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th July, and boasts a whole host of special guests this year. From High Street champion Mary Portas and former Royal Press Secretary Dickie Arbiter to Vince Cable and Jeremy Bowen, there is something to suit every cultural palette. We also have events to mark 400 years since Shakespeare’s death, and 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl.
During July, we also present the world famous Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, which attracts the likes of Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Peter James, Martina Cole and Linwood Barclay. It’s like an A-Z of the genre, and readers get to mingle with the authors in the Old Swan Hotel’s bar in between events ; the perfect setting, where Agatha Christie was discovered after mysteriously disappearing in December 1926. Over 80 crime writers will be in Harrogate this time round, for that perfect combination of books and beer.
Not forgetting the return of Berwins Salon North in June, July and September at the Crown Hotel, scroll down for a full list of the events we have lined up for you this summer. Dip in, immerse yourself, and if you’re visiting Harrogate for the first time, we especially hope you enjoy!