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Classic FM joins forces with York Festival of Ideas

Posted on 9 May 2016

The York Festival of Ideas has struck a major partnership with Classic FM in its sixth year of operation.

The 2016 Festival programme will take place between 7 – 19 June, with a packed programme of diverse and stimulating events delivered under the overarching theme of ‘Tick Tock’.

Classic FM’s More Music Breakfast presenter Tim Lihoreau launched the Festival programme live on air on 9 May and free tickets are available to download on

Tim will also be a keynote speaker exploring the invention of a brand new language for classical music at a talk on Friday 10 June, while Sam Jackson, Classic FM’s Managing Editor, will interview Sir Karl Jenkins at the final festival event on 19 June.

More than 150 events will take place across the city of York, featuring world-class speakers, exhibitions, performances and interactive experiences. The annual festival aims to educate, entertain and inspire people of all ages and interests.

The Festival’s opening night is inspired by the publication of the US Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock report 3 Minutes to Midnight - measuring humanity’s close proximity to global catastrophe. Speakers including Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Board Member, Professor Sivan Kartha, Nuclear Arms expert, Dr Beyza Unal from Chatham House and Oliver Morton, author of The Planet Remade and Briefings Editor of The Economist will explore report’s assessment of the rising threat of climate change and nuclear arms proliferation.

A series of seven focus days will further delve into some of the most complex global challenges, including the forthcoming EU Referendum, the causes and consequences of the refugee crisis, living with floods, securing sustainable food sources, and health and wellbeing.

Headline speakers will include: former Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Lawson; former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Yvette Cooper MP; comedian Sara Pascoe; composer Sir Karl Jenkins; Justice Brenda Hale; economist John Kay; journalists Owen Jones, Zoe Williams, David Aaronovitch, Stephanie Flanders and Rachel Sylvester; former Consul-General, Jerusalem, Sir Vincent Fean; Sicilian humanitarian, Princess Vittoria Alliata, and the Director General of Amnesty International Italy, Gianni Rufini.

Joan Concannon, Director of York Festival of Ideas, said: “Each year, the Festival showcases the power of ideas and research by York academics and brings fantastic speakers and performers to York. We are really proud that the Festival has become a key part of the cultural and intellectual life of our city and region and thanks to our incredible sponsors is able to provide so many wonderful free events. I would like to encourage everyone to come along and help us celebrate the rich and diverse strengths of our amazing city and the incredible power of ideas.”

Sam Jackson, Managing Editor of Classic FM, said: “Classic FM is delighted to be partnering with the York Festival of Ideas. We’re very much looking forward to sharing the Festival’s inspiring and entertaining ethos with our 5.5 million listeners, and to welcoming Classic FM listeners new and old to the many free events being held this year.”

The Festival is led by the University in collaboration with more than 60 city and national organisations, including The Holbeck Trust, The Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders, The Morrell Centre for Toleration, Classic FM, Aviva, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Shepherd Group, Quorn Foods and Virgin Trains. In 2015 the Festival attracted more than 30,000 people.

Further information:

Media enquiries

Saskia Angenent
Press Officer

Tel: 01904 323918