Welcome to York Festival of Ideas 2024. 

From 1 to 14 June the Festival invites you to explore 'The Power Of...' with an exciting programme of over 200 mostly free in-person and online events - all designed to educate, entertain and inspire.

Featuring world-class speakers, exhibitions, performances, guided walks and family-friendly activities, 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 self-guided walks and exhibitions 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, Hunt for Medieval and Tudor Masons' Marks and the Festival Fringe Family Fun Afternoon have been designed specifically with the young in mind. Find out about our family events.


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

A large number of our events on the weekend of 8 and 9 June take place at the University of York. The University’s Campus East and West are located to the southeast of York, a short bus ride from the city centre. 

Campus East - our main venues for 8 and 9 June.  Campus East map (PDF , 2,369kb)

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

Admission to our ticketed events operates on a first-come, first-served basis, ensuring fairness for all attendees. We want to make sure every seat is filled with enthusiastic guests, so we sometimes distribute more tickets than available spaces, taking into account those who may not use their tickets. While we strive for accuracy in our estimates, occasional disappointment may occur. We encourage you to arrive early to improve your chances of securing a spot and enjoying the event to the full.

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.

Ticket-holders will receive an email to alert them to any changes after booking.

Online events

Most of our online talks take place live via Zoom, so you’ll need to download the free app/software. Please be aware that our online sessions provide automated live-captioning but this may not be 100 per cent accurate and can vary in quality.

Food and drink

Many city venues have cafes serving refreshments. Please check the venue’s website for details. If you are attending events at the University of York, refreshments will be available to purchase at campus outlets. Please note that payment at campus outlets is by card only.

Travel and transport

Festival events are taking place at a wide range of venues across the city. You can plan your journey by public transport using the York Journey Planner. For those travelling to York by car, the planner also includes details of the city’s six park and ride sites. Information on central York car parks can be found on the City of York Council website. Parking facilities at venues outside the city centre will vary, so please see the venue’s website for information.

Many of this year’s Festival events are taking place on Campus East and Campus West at the University of York. The weekend of 8 and 9 June will be particularly busy and we would recommend cycling or using public transport if you are attending events on Campus East. First Bus runs a frequent service (bus numbers 66 and 67) between the city centre and University. These buses operate a tap on and off system which allows you to travel between the University's Campus West and Campus East for free. If travelling by car, you may find it easier to park on Campus West, then to walk (approximately 20 minutes) or to catch a 66 or 67 bus to Campus East. Parking on both campuses is free after 6pm and on weekends. 


Information on wheelchair accessibility for in-person events can be found on the venues page. Many of our venues have hearing loops. If this is available, this information will be given on the event page. Please be aware that our online talks provide automated captioning which may not be 100 per cent accurate and may vary in quality. If you need any assistance to access any of our events, please contact the Festival team: yorkfestivalofideas@york.ac.uk

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 a talk you enjoyed once more? Good news - we're recording many of our Festival events. Watch these and as well as previous years' content 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.