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York Festival of Ideas

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Welcome to York Festival of Ideas

York Festival of Ideas presents over 200 mostly free events designed to educate, entertain and inspire. Taking place for two weeks each June, it offers a diverse programme of talks by world-class speakers, performances, exhibitions, guided walks, family activities, workshops and much more. And with topics ranging from art to archaeology, history to health and politics to psychology, the Festival promises something for all ages and interests.

The 2024 Festival took place from 1-14 June under the banner of ‘The Power Of…’ Many of our talks were recorded, so why not watch again or catch up on a talk that you missed on our York Ideas YouTube channel? You can also sign up to our mailing list to be among the first to hear about our exciting 2025 programme! 

'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

That we can access such high quality talks and events for free is extraordinary - it is one of the best things about living around York and an absolute gem in York’s cultural crown. 

Feedback from 2023 Festival