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About the festival

York is an incredibly exciting, vibrant and diverse city, rich in heritage, discovery and an overriding sense of curiosity – in short a city where ideas spring to life and flourish and where collaboration is celebrated.

The York Festival of Ideas returned from 12 - 22 June 2014, exploring ideas of order and chaos. There were talks from world-class speakers, performances, exhibitions and interactive experiences for people of all ages.

Donors and supporters

Thank you to our donors and supporters:

  • Holbeck Charitable Trust
  • Institute of Engineering and Technology
  • Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Prospect Magazine media partner
  • Quorn Foods
  • Santander
  • Shepherd Group
  • Wellcome Trust

Thanks also to our anonymous donors.


There were over 120 events to choose from across diverse themes ranging from religion and science to empire and trade.

Explore the festival themes



Everything from the science of afternoon tea to the future of democracy.

Performances and films

Performances and films

Theatre, music, film, dance and more.



Several exhibitions were on show around the city throughout the festival.

Community events

Community events

From creative writing to hands-on science.

Events at a glance

Full list of events

See everything that took place during the festival.

Latest tweet

Festival round-up

Science out of the Lab.

Catch up on what happened at the festival on Storify.

Festival brochure‌‌