Culture and entertainment
Whether you want to play, watch, listen or perform - there are lots of ways to enjoy culture on campus. You could spark a lifelong passion or you could have a once in a lifetime experience, like performing an opera or taking a comedy sketch to Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
If you'd prefer a less formal, non-audition ensemble, you could join one these groups:
- Concert Orchestra
- Concert Band
- York Revelation Choir
- Gilbert and Sullivan Society
- Central Hall Musical Society
You could also be part of the University Choir which performs every term in venues such as York Minster.
We also have regular live music and occasional club nights on campus including:
- jazz and folk nights at Vanbrugh College. It's also a venue for music lessons and workshops
- a varied programme of concerts from folk to classical in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall on campus
- Big D is an annual music festival on campus at
- The Courtyard and The Glasshouse host our campus club nights three times a term. Timewarp at The Courtyard travels back from today's chart toppers through the '00s to the classics of the '90s and '80s, whilst Marmite at The Glasshouse is a cheesy pop night
- The Courtyard also hosts regular fun karaoke nights.
Fun fact: Jimmi Hendrix played a gig on campus in 1967! We've named 'Hendrix Hall' after him. If you come to an Open Day you might have a talk in there.
- perform medieval re-enactments with the Re-Enactment Society
- if dancing is your thing, there is a wide variety to choose from such the Dance Society and the Swing Dance Society
- if you'd prefer to be a spectator you could join the Theatregoers Society to see plays across the city and beyond.
Fun fact: Comedian Harry Enfield is a York graduate!
Express yourself or simply be inspired by the art on offer around campus:
- the Norman Rea Art Gallery in Derwent College is run entirely by students. They showcase the art work of students and professional artists in exhibitions throughout the year.
- the Art Society runs life drawing classes, workshops, holds termly exhibitions and trips to art galleries.
- you can also get creative in our painting, printmaking and ceramics art studios on campus.
- our annual Langwith Scott Awards celebrate the art of students, staff and members of the public
- the Creative Writing Society (also known as York Inklings) provide opportunities to write and share ideas
- you can also share your love of poetry with Slam.
Fun fact: The sculpture out the back of James College is made from bits of the last steam train in York.
York Student Cinema is a student-run cinema on campus that is open to everyone.
They usually show films around three times a week during term time and it's the cheapest cinema in York at just £4 per ticket (or £3 if you become a member!), or you could get an annual pass for £20.
Ideas and inspiration
Ideas come to life in York, where there's inspiration around every corner:
- York Festival of Ideas showcases some of the innovative research we're leading on, with a diverse programme of free events including talks, performances and exhibitions
- YorkTalks is a day full of inspirational short talks about the world-leading research happening at York
- every term, we organise free open lectures on a wide variety of topics and aimed at a general audience.