Welcome to York Festival of Ideas 2023! 

From 2 to 15 June the Festival invites you to 'Rediscover, Reimagine, Rebuild'. Enjoy an exciting programme of over 150 inspiring in-person and online events, the majority of which are free to attend.

Featuring world-class speakers, exhibitions, music, guided walks, family-friendly activities, and much more, the Festival offers something for all ages and interests.

Below is some information that will help you make the most of your Festival experience.

Calendar of Events 

All our events are listed in date order in our Calendar of Events so you can plan which to attend each day of the Festival. Don’t miss the self-guided audio trails taking place throughout the Festival.


To help you find the events that are right for you, all our events are grouped into 15 broad themes, such as 'A Date with History', 'Performances' and 'Of Women'.


Families are warmly welcomed to York Festival of Ideas! Many of our activities, such as Discovery Zone, Indoor Dig, The World at Your Feet and Zombies in York, have been designed specifically with the young in mind. Find out about these and other family events


Events are taking place at various venues across the city of York. Find details of all Festival venues.

A large number of our events take place at the Tempest Anderson Hall at the Yorkshire Museum in the heart of the city and at the University of York’s Campus East and West. 

Tempest Anderson Hall, Yorkshire Museum, is located in the Museum Gardens. Next to Lendal Bridge, it’s just a 10 to 15-minute walk from York Railway Station.

The University’s Campus East and West are located to the southeast of York, a short bus ride from the city centre. 

Booking your tickets

To avoid disappointment, please check if your chosen event requires booking. To reserve your ticket, simply follow the instructions given for each event. Most events will be bookable online.

In-person events

Although there are currently no restrictions in place regarding COVID-19, our events may be subject to change. Please check the event entry on the Festival website and our social media channels for the latest information. Ticket-holders will receive an email to alert them to any changes after booking.

Online events

This year’s festival programme includes over 30 online talks as well as a small number of hybrid events that you can either join in person or online.

Some talks are livestreamed on YouTube, but most events take place via Zoom. In order to watch talks live using Zoom technology, you need to download the free app/software. Please also be aware that online sessions provide automated live-captioning that may not be 100 per cent accurate and can vary in quality. 

Admission to in-person events

For ticketed events, please print and bring your ticket(s) to the event entrance or show your ticket on your smartphone via the Eventbrite app.

Admission to events is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be aware that as not everyone who asks for tickets uses them, and to make sure we have a good-sized audience, we send out more tickets than there are places. We do our best to get the numbers right, but unfortunately we occasionally have to disappoint people. Entry may be refused if the event has started or if the venue is full, so please do arrive on time.

By the same token, sometimes spaces become available at the last minute. If you are interested in an event that is fully booked, we suggest you come along 15 minutes before the start of the event and make yourself known to a member of the Festival team. Once all ticketed guests have been admitted, you may be offered a place. Please note that this is at the discretion of the event organisers, as not all venues operate this system.

Food and drink

Many city venues have cafes serving refreshments. Please check the venue’s website for details.

On the University of York campus, enjoy hot and cold snacks at the Ron Cooke Hub on Campus East. With an impressive lakeside setting, the Hub Café offers an excellent selection of snacks and drinks, including Grumpy Mule coffee, delicious homemade cakes and pastries, gourmet sandwiches, salads, panini, and much more. Ask about the YORCUP scheme and find out how you can save money and reduce the number of disposable cups on the University campus.

Travel and transport

To plan your journey by public transport, consult the York Journey Planner or visit the Travel York website for more information. You can also use the city’s park and ride service.

The nearest car parks to the Yorkshire Museum are on Marygate and Bootham Row. Find out more about city centre car parking.

Car parking on the University of York campus is free after 6pm and on weekends, and frequent bus services run between the city centre and campus. For events held on Campus East, please park in Field Lane car park. Download maps and directions.


Information on wheelchair accessibility for in-person events can be found on the venues page. If you need any assistance to access our events, please contact the Festival team at yorkfestivalofideas@york.ac.uk. As mentioned above, please be aware that our online talks provide automated captioning which may not be 100 per cent accurate and may vary in quality.

Photography and videography

Photography, filming and/or recording will be taking place at some of our events. Please inform a member of the Festival team before the event if you do not wish to be photographed, filmed or recorded. If you have any questions about photography/videography, please take a look at the University of York Photography and video privacy notice.

Watch again

Missed an event that sounded fantastic? Want to see an event you enjoyed once more? Good news! We are recording many of our Festival talks - you can watch these and a lot more from previous years on our YouTube channel.

Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too.