Posted on 27 April 2017
With over 150 free events across the city, headline speakers include: Michael Rosen, novelist and poet; Harriet Harman MP; Ed Balls, former Shadow Chancellor and star of Strictly Come Dancing 2016; Peter Lord, Co-founder and Creative Director of Academy Award®-winning studio Aardman; Tim Dowling, Guardian columnist; cultural commentator Peter York; Reverend Richard Coles, cleric, broadcaster and former Communard; and the V&A curatorial teams.
Now in its seventh year, the Festival’s opening night features a special collaboration with BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) with talks from five ‘New Generation Thinkers’ and choral music by The 24.
Three Focus Days, tackling issues from the future of democracy and work to what history tells us about Europe’s future, gives audiences the chance to listen to in-depth discussions.
Through talks, exhibitions, theatre, music, films, guided walks, children’s activities and workshops on an array of topics, the Festival will offer something to interest everyone.
Joan Concannon, Director of York Festival of Ideas, said: “This year’s Festival is set to be the biggest ever, showcasing the power of ideas and research by York academics and bringing fantastic speakers and performers to the city. A huge thank you goes to the 60 plus city and national partners helping us deliver such a compelling Festival programme, which will educate, entertain and inspire tens of thousands of people from the Yorkshire region and beyond.
“Events will explore an array of topics ranging from the ancient and natural worlds, to science and creative writing, and from cycling to the human mind. We’re confident our packed programme contains something to interest everyone. York truly is a city of ideas, innovation and inspiration. Join us!”
Matthew Dodd, Head of Speech Programming and Presentation at BBC Radio 3, said: “BBC Radio 3 is delighted to be part of this year’s opening event at York Festival of ideas. The New Generation Thinkers are a group of academics at the start of their careers who Radio 3 supports and nurtures, providing a platform to bring their fascinating research to a broad public, both on-air and at events across the country.
"The York Festival of Ideas is an excellent place to carry out that task, because it shares Radio 3’s aspirations of engaging in discussion and opening the world of academic research to as many people as possible. The line-up of New Generation Thinkers for the first night bring stories intrigue, entertain and offer real food for thought.”
Now in its seventh year, the Festival has grown to become one of the largest free festivals in the UK, last year attracting over 19,000 people to over 150 events.
The Festival is led by the University in collaboration with more than 60 city and national organisations, including Aviva, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Morrell Centre for Toleration, the Shepherd Group, the British Academy, and IBM United Kingdom.