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York Festival of Ideas

York Festival of Ideas 2021 will take place from 8 to 20 June under the banner of Infinite Horizons.

Our Festival programme for 2021 will be launched on Friday 30 April - watch this space! 

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Welcome to York Festival of Ideas

2020 proved to be an extraordinary year in ways none of us could have anticipated. Initial disappointment at the postponement of the Festival’s tenth anniversary celebrations gave way to renewed optimism as we prepared to present events in a completely new way.

Working with 47 partners to deliver 97 online events over 13 days, our 2020 Festival programme was enjoyed by an audience of over 41,000 in 137 countries. Of over 1,300 attendees who responded to a survey circulated to ticketholders, 99% said they would recommend the Festival to a friend. We are very pleased that our rapid response to the unprecedented circumstances resulted in such positive outcomes, which are detailed in our 2020 Impact Report

But it’s not over yet…

We are delighted to welcome you to watch many of our fabulous events again for free. Enjoy talks on topics ranging from How to Grow a Human, to the history of the kimono, to the Secret Science of Superheroes. For live events, please see our open lectures programme.

We hope you enjoy exploring...

Inspire me...

Activities and walking trails to educate, entertain and inspire...

Discovery Zone

A range of science experiments you can do at home

Watch Again

Missed a live event that sounded fantastic? Want to see an event again? Don’t worry, we recorded many of our Festival events so there’s chance to watch them once more.

Support us

Thanks to the generous support of a range of individual donors, partners, charitable foundations and business partners, York Festival of Ideas is now one of the largest free festivals of its kind in the UK.

'Such a festival. Such a welcome. To be able to perform, to tell my story with my friends in one of the great buildings of the world [York Minster], and to do it as part of a festival that enables everyone to come who wants to come, I found hugely inspiring. I love the idea of a festival of ideas that is free at the point of delivery. In an ideal world that is how it should always be.  Long may this festival continue and may I be invited back from time to time to enjoy the place, the people and the idea.’ 

Sir Michael Morpurgo

Thank you @YorkFestofIdeas @JoanConcannon and team - another wonderful Festival - a huge enrichment to my life. 

Feedback from 2020 online Festival 

Festival archive

See previous festivals

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