23th January, 2018...
Beverley is picking up the mantle of Cultural Centre of the East Riding, determined there should be no let-up now Hull’s year as City of Culture 2017 has come to an end.
And it’s no surprise that the town is now enjoying an influx of visitors because in addition to the wonderful historical and architectural treasures all year round, Beverley can boast a festival line-up spanning the whole calendar and catering for all tastes.
Beverley is, in fact, the Festivals Capital of the East Riding. For 2018 there are 12 major festivals that locals and visitors alike can enjoy, so let’s mark your diaries now to make sure nothing is missed .
This five-day music and arts festival returns for a second year, bigger and better than ever. Based around the town’s East Riding Theatre, it runs from Wednesday February 14th to Sunday February 18th, bringing together leading artists from an eclectic mix of styles.
Festival events can be booked on an individual basis and include poet Ian McMillan, host of BBC Radio 3 show The Verb, appearing alongside composer Luke Carver Goss on opening night. Other attractions include Chris Difford, co-founder of Squeeze, who can claim to have made a lasting contribution to English pop music with hits such as Cool For Cats, Up The Junction, Labelled With Love, Hourglass and Tempted, plus acclaimed jazz diva Claire Martin.
It’s difficult to pick out highspots because of the festival’s exciting line-up, which ranges from actor and singer John Tams, composer of music for War Horse the stage show, to Mercury Music Prize-nominated Kathryn Williams to riotous gypsy folk-rockers Holy Moly & The Crackers.
Swinging The Lamp, on the Saturday lunchtime, is a tribute in words and song to Jim Williams, the Hull trawler skipper who fished the Arctic grounds during the hey-day of the industry and who was at the fishing grounds when the infamous triple trawler tragedy happened 50 years ago.
More info and tickets: www.eastridingtheatre.co.uk
Returning to Beverley for a third year and its biggest festival yet - four days packed with more concerts than ever before, featuring song, chamber music, organ playing, and choral singing.
Staged from 5th - 8th April it features a celebration of Nordic culture (our Yorkshire ancestors!), a “musical takeover” of Beverley with an entire day of music all over the town, and a world premiere of songs for mezzo-soprano, viola and piano by Diana Burrell in her 70th year.
There’s a musical exploration of poets, including Philip Larkin and W H Auden, plus a staged piece looking at T S Eliot from the perspective of his first wife, Vivienne Haigh-Wood. A high spot is bound to be the choir of Jesus College, Cambridge, singing in both Beverley Minster and St Mary’s Church.
More info: www.newpathsmusic.com
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, this is a fabulous festival designed to celebrate the best of early music set within some of Yorkshire and England's finest ecclesiastical venues - ranging from the majesty of Beverley Minster (known to millions as the wedding venue for ITV's Victoria & Albert) to the home of the White Rabbit - inspiration for Lewis Carroll's March Hare in Alice in Wonderland - in St Mary's Church, Beverley.
Staged from Thursday May 24th to Sunday May 27th, this year’s theme is “Celebrating the European Grand Tour”, featuring some of the UK’s most distinguished artists working alongside emerging stars from across Europe.
Highlights include internationally - acclaimed Exaudi directed by James Weeks; flautist Ashley Solomon and In Echo with countertenor Alex Potter. And the festival is particularly delighted to welcome the National Centre for Early Music's youth instrumental ensemble The Minster Minstrels to Beverley for the first time.
More information and tickets from www.ncem.co.uk
A three-day celebration of music, comedy and spoken word that is held in the fabulous surroundings of Beverley Racecourse on The Westwood. Established for more than 30 years, it is one of the country’s premier folk festivals, attracting major names playing in the festival big top, with a capacity of 1,200, and other neighbouring stages.
The 2018 festival, which offers camping facilities, is staged from June 15th to 17th and artists booked so far include Nashville country music star Gretchen Peters, Danish folk/rock/jazz band Habadekuk and two-time BBC Folk Award winners Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar.
More info and tickets: www.beverleyfestival.com
The award-winning Beverley Puppet Festival takes place every two years and having grown from just five puppet companies in 2005 it now attracts around 9,000 visitors and is the largest festival of British puppetry in the world. Boasting shows both indoors and outside for children through to adults of all ages, the line-up features giant puppets, creepy clowns, barmy birds, magical unicorns and a zoo full of strange beasts.
Prospective dates for the 2018 event are from July 13th to 15th.
More information from www.beverleypuppetfestival.com
The Beverley Chamber Music Festival is a jewel in the local concert calendar, taking place in late September every year since 1993. It’s centred on St Mary’s Church and has attracted attention nationally and internationally, with musicians appearing and returning to experience its special atmosphere.
These have included violinists, Tasmin Little, Matthew Trusler, and Jennifer Pike, pianists Peter Donohoe, John Lill and Jin Ju, clarinetists Emma Johnson, Michael Collins and Mark Simpson, and singers Joan Rogers, Clare Bradshaw and Julia Riley.
Chamber ensembles have included London Winds, the Opera North Brass Ensemble, the Trio Wanderer and among String Quartets the Sorrel, the Maggini, the Lindsay, Coull, Vertavo, Carducci and Ŝkampa Quartets have all visited us.
More information: www.beverleychambermusicfestival.org.uk
A two-day event based in the town’s Memorial Hall; with usually more than 50 ales, craft beers and ciders showcased. The 2018 festival is scheduled to take place once again in September, on Friday evening and all-day Saturday, with a programme of live music to keep you entertained between tastings.
More information: www.beverley.realalefestivals.co.uk
Soon to be in it's seventh year the Yorkshire Wolds Walking and Outdoors Festival, which is staged in September, has grown in reputation, showcasing the wonderful landscape and celebrating the rich heritage of the Yorkshire Wolds and including many events based either in Beverley or close by.
You can pick from an exciting range of outdoor pursuits including cycling, special interest and historical walks, horse riding, nature safaris, bushcraft, Nordic walking, specialist guided walks, boat trips or even a Buddhist experience.
More information: www.visithullandeastyorkshire.com
When Beverley Town Council organised the first Food Festival in 2006, little did they know it would go on to be an annual success enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors alike.
Now, 12 years later it has become an award winning event for early October, winning the 2017 North of England ‘Rural Oscar for Tourism’ and commendation at national level, and ‘Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Award for Best Large Event’ in 2016.
In 2017, approximately 140 food producers and stalls attended the event in the historic Saturday Market, alongside the well-loved Local Food Theatre Marquee, which staged live cookery demonstrations by the area’s top chefs, including Michelin-starred James Mackenzie, from the Pipe & Glass, as well as the annual Copper Saucepan competition to find the area’s top young chef.
More information: www.eyevents.co.uk
Run alongside the Bridlington Poetry Festival, this October highlight is a celebration of all things literary in the East Riding. 2017 highlights included appearances by Gyles Brandreth, playwright John Godber, Alys Fowler, Jenny Eclair and Spiders From Mars drummer Woody Woodmansey talking about “My Life with David Bowie”.
More information from www.litup.org.uk
The majestic Beverley Minster is the venue for this annual event, held in late November, showcasing the best of local produce, plus workshops and entertainment. It’s free admission and a great place to pick-up festive gifts as well as produce to make your Christmas extra special.
Run in conjunction with Beverley Town Council, there’s children’s activities and live music, too.
More information: www.beverley.gov.uk
Quite simply the biggest one-day festival in Beverley and now, one of the largest Christmas Festival events in the UK. Always held on the second Sunday in December, it brings four fantastic Victorian Christmas Market locations and a whole range of festive entertainment to Beverley Town Centre.
Taking place this year on Sunday December 9th, the town’s streets will be glittering with music, dancers, a display by Bernese Mountain Dogs, Victorian Fairground rides, Birds of Prey, marching and military bands, Victorian street entertainers and last but by no means least, Santa on his sleigh, drawn by live reindeer through the town.
More than 120 stalls were present in 2017 selling a wide variety of hand-crafted products, from Jewellery to Gin - the majority of which is made within the East Riding of Yorkshire. 2017 pulled in 55,000 visitors and 63 coaches attending from as far away as Edinburgh.
More information: www.beverleyfestivalofchristmas.co.uk