Festival themes

The main theme for the Festival of Ideas in 2016 is Tick Tock, but within this subject there is broad scope for a wide variety of topics and events. Each of our events is categorised into one of several themes; these are listed below.

a-moment-in-music-226

A Moment in Music

From classical music to pop, experimental jazz to Jewish cabaret, this year's Festival offers a huge array of musical events.

economy-equality-226

Economy and Equality

Experts examine the economy and equality, from social mobility to the future of banking.

food-226

Food and Drink

Meet the Cobra Beer founder Lord Bilimoria or find out more about brewing Eoforwic Ale and mixing the perfect cocktail.

managing-our-land-226

Managing Our Land for Now and Tomorrow

Test your irrigation skills with a game of water management, or find out more about how we can prevent future flooding.

rebellion-reconstruction

Rebellion and Reconstruction

New perspectives on rebellions, wars, diplomacy and reconstruction, from the 1916 Easter Rising to the myriad popular revolts of 1956.

snapshot-of-time-226

Snapshot of Time

Develop your understanding of photographers past and present and explore fashion through the ages.

the-future-226

The Future: What's Next?

Explore ideas about how we might live our lives in the not-so-distant future.

crime-and-punishment-226

Crime and Punishment

How has the nature of crime and our responses to it changed over the centuries?

eoforwic

Eoforwic: Anglian-era York

Learn about this fascinating period of the city's history through poetry, talks, artefact handling, quizzes and more.

fragile-heritage-226

Fragile Heritage

Discover the common cultural roots shared by Western society and the Islamic World, and hear reactions to the destruction of cultural heritage.

mmbb-226

Mysterious Minds and Bothersome Bodies

Learn more about our bodies and brains from international experts in the fields of medicine, health sciences and the arts.

revealing-ancient-world-226

Revealing the Ancient World

Learn more about myths, ancient Mediterranean atheism and the origin of the Celts.

sparks-226

Sparks

Events designed to spark children’s imaginations. Join us for Lego sculpture, performances and hands-on activities.

timeless-creation-226

Timeless Creation

Prepare to be inspired by the work of new and experienced poets and writers, and learn how to write without time.

digital-futures-226

Digital Futures

Look into the future and learn how advances in technology could change our lives.

eu-referendum-226

EU Referendum

Should we remain in the European Union or leave the organisation and go it alone? Join us and take part in the debate.

fragile-states-226

Fragile States

Refugees and migrants are desperately seeking political and economic sanctuary. What are the causes of such despair?

performance-through-time-226

Performance Through Time

From Shakespearean England to the Jewish ghettoes of WWII, discover more about the context of concerts, plays, films and poetry.

science-final-frontier-copyright-stephen-falk-226

Science: The Final Frontier

Join us for a mind-boggling trip through the philosophy and physics of time, or the chance to touch a meteorite as old as the Solar System.

the-curious-evolution-of-us-226

The Curious Evolution of Us

Why do men skim stones? Enlightening and entertaining talks about humanity's curious evolution.

york-past-226

York: Pathways to the Past

Learn about York's rich history and its remarkable people, take a tour of the city's prize-winning buildings or handle excavated pottery.