YORK’S new spring festival weekend will showcase the city’s musicians, performers, comedians and more besides on April 2 and 3.
Organised by Make It York, YorkLife will see more than 30 performers and organisations head to Parliament Street for a free open event from 11am to 9pm each day with no need to book tickets in advance.
The Saturday headliners will be Big Donaghy’s long-running York party band Huge; the Sunday bill will climax with The Howl & The Hum in their biggest home-city performance since gracing York Minster on May 25 2021.
Both bands will play the main YorkLife stage as part of a programme curated by York’s Music Venue Network, presenting such York acts as Bull, Kitty VR, Flatcap Carnival and Hyde Family Jam.
An array of interactive sessions will be held by York organisations, taking in theatre workshops, instrumental workshops, face painting, comedy and dance performances, plus fire performers and circus acts.
The main stage on Parliament Street will have an open viewing area with a 500 capacity, while a covered stretch tent will hold a York Gin bar and seating area for 90 people with a one-in, one-out policy.
YorkLife is supported by City of York Council’s ARG (Additional Restrictions Grant) funding, which aims to boost businesses impacted by Covid-19. The April 2 and 3 programme has been curated with York residents in mind and to support the city’s recovery from Covid.
Councillor Darryl Smalley, executive member for culture, leisure and communities, says: “Our cultural sector is the lifeblood of our communities. There is so much talent in York, from musicians to comedians and poets to performers, which makes our city so vibrant and unique.
“YorkLife is an excellent way to celebrate our home-grown musicians and performers, particularly after what has been a challenging few years for us all. I would encourage residents to join the festival and enjoy the best of York’s own talent.”
Sarah Loftus, Make It York’s managing director, says: “YorkLife is a celebration of York talent and culture, from our street musicians to our community groups. We want to really celebrate the sense of community in York and we’re encouraging residents to join the party and see some of the hottest talent York has to offer.”
Chris Sherrington, from the York Music Venue Network, says: “It’s wonderful to have this opportunity to showcase some of York’s amazingly talented artists who have developed their careers across the city of York’s many great grassroots music venues.
“As part of YorkLife weekend, we’re looking forward to celebrating the return of live music to the city and enjoying the wonderful variety of music for one and all. This event has been a true cooperative effort of York’s event industry and creatives and we look forward to working on future events.”
To find out more about YorkLife, head to visityork.org/yorklife. The full line-up will be announced later this month.
Confirmed acts and workshops
The Howl & The Hum; Huge; Bull; Kitty VR; Flatcap Carnival; Hyde Family Jam; Floral Pattern; Bargestra and Wounded Bear.
Mud Pie Arts: Cloud Tales interactive storytelling;
Thunk It Theatre: Build Our City theatre workshop;
Gemma Wood: York Skyline art;
Fantastic Faces: Face painting;
York Mix Radio: Quiz;
York Dance Space: Dance performance;
Burning Duck Comedy Club: Comedy night;
Henry Raby, from Say Owt: Spoken poetry;
Matt Barfoot: Drumming workshop;
Christian Topman: Ukulele workshop;
Polly Bennet: Little Vikings PQA York performing arts workshop;
Innovation Entertainment: Circus workshops.