Festival archive

From just 20 events in 2011, York Festival of Ideas has grown into a fortnight packed full of talks, workshops, exhibitions and performances. Explore previous years' festivals and find out about past events.

2018: Imagining the Impossible

In 2018, we were inspired by the idea of celebrating human achievement while also reflecting on the damage that humans can cause.

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2016: Tick Tock

With over 180 events to organise in 2016, time was of the essence!

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2014: Order and Chaos

From careful cartography to the turmoil of war, our 2014 festival explored humanity's Jekyll-and-Hyde nature.

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2012: Metamorphoses

In 2012 the Festival returned to explore change in the city and the world.

2017: The Story of Things

In 2017, we explored an array of topics ranging from the ancient and natural worlds, to science and creative writing, and from cycling to the human mind.

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2015: Secrets and Discoveries

In 2015, we explored the murky world of security and surveillance and asked the dead to give up their secrets.

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2013: North and South

In 2013 we explored diverse themes ranging from economy and equality to science at the poles.

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2011: pilot

Our very first Festival of Ideas attracted more than 8,000 people to over 20 events across the city.