THE 3rd York Blues Festival will be held on Saturday, April 2 2022 at The Crescent community venue, York, with live music from 1pm to 11pm.
Co-director Paul Winn says: “After the stresses involved with organising and rescheduling the 2nd York Blues Festival four times amid the pandemic, we were eventually able to hold the event on July 24, a whole five days after Government restrictions were lifted.
“Naturally, crowd numbers were down on the day but this did not detract from what was a fantastic occasion.”
Tickets for next spring’s festival are on sale at thecrescentyork.com. Head to yorkbluesfest.co.uk for further information.
ONLINE entertainment is still ruling the Stay Home world, but more promoters are announcing shows for the summer as the recovery roadmap begins to twitch our cultural satnav. Charles Hutchinson reaches for his diary.
Last chance to see: Michael Lyons’ Ancient And Modern sculptures, York Art Gallery Artists Garden and Edible Wood
THE free display of large-scale works by late Cawood sculptor Michael Lyons behind York Art Gallery will close on April 11.
On show in his biggest ever exhibition on York soil are nine sculptures created between 1982 and 2000, inspired by nature, myth and ancient cultures, with the central space dominated by Amphitrite, a large painted steel structure evoking the sea that he fashioned in 1993.
Opened in late-May 2019, Ancient And Modern originally was booked to run until May 2020, but has remained in place through these pandemic times.
Recommended resonant webcast of the week and beyond: The Machine Stops online
YORK Theatre Royal and Pilot Theatre’s 2016 co-production of The Machine Stops can be watched at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/show/the-machine-stops-webcast/ until April 5.
Adapted for the stage by Neil Duffield, E M Forster’s 1909 short story is set in a futuristic, dystopian world where humans have retreated far underground and individuals live in isolation in “cells”, with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the omnipotent, global Machine.
Director Juliet Forster says: “It’s even more striking today than it was at the time we staged it: things like human contact and human touch becoming something that’s almost taboo, things that didn’t seem relevant back in 2016 but are really, really striking and even more relevant now.”
Springtime celebration of music online: Awaken, National Centre for Early Music, York, Saturday and Sunday
THE NCEM’s Awaken weekend will present York countertenor Iestyn Davies and Fretwork, the all-male vocal group The Gesualdo Six, I Fagiolini and the English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble, Ensemble Augelletti and The Consone Quartet.
The six-pack of online festivities will celebrate the sublime sounds of spring, recorded in a range of historic venues to mark “the unique association between the City of York and the exquisite beauty of the music of the past”.
Among the architectural gems will be Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate, St Olave’s Church, Marygate, the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall and the NCEM. Full details can be found at ncem.co.uk/awaken.
Online youth theatre opportunity: Thunk-It Theatre sessions with Pocklington Arts Centre
POCKLINGTON Arts Centre’s youth theatre partnership with York company Thunk-It Theatre is to continue for a second series of online drama classes.
Becky Lennon and Jules Risingham’s all-levels drama sessions for children aged six to 11 will be held on Zoom every Sunday during term-time from April 25 to May 30.
The 10am to 11am sessions for Years 2 to 6 children will include fun games, exercises and storytelling, aiming to encourage confidence building, life and social skills, creativity and positivity. Participants will work collaboratively to create a short performance that will explore storytelling. To book, go to pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.
Live music returns to Knavesmire: Sounds In The Grounds at Clocktower Enclosure, York Racecourse, June 25 to 27
NORTH Yorkshire impresario James Cundall’s Sounds In The Grounds is adding a new location to its picnic-concert portfolio for summer 2021.
Complying with Covid-19 guidelines, the Clocktower Enclosure of York Racecourse will play host to the Beyond The Barricade celebration of musicals on June 25, Abba Mania on June 26 and A Country Night In Nashville on June 27.
The capacity will be capped at 1,400 for the fully staged productions with LED screens on either side of the stage. Tickets are on sale at: soundsinthegrounds.seetickets.com.
Here comes a dose of the blues: York Blues Festival, July 24, 12.30pm to 11pm
THE 2nd York Blues Festival will be held on Saturday, July 24 at The Crescent Community Venue, York, organised by Paul Winn and Ben Darwin.
No strangers to the British Blues scene, they present Blues From The Ouse on Jorvik Radio and are members of York band DC Blues.
Winn and Darwin have booked a bill of Robbie Reay; The Swamp Hoppers; Dori & The Outlaws; John Carroll; Dr Bob & The Bluesmakers; DC Blues and Nick Steed Five. Tickets are on sale at yorkbluesfestival.co.uk, thecrescentyork.com and earwormrecords.co.uk.
Sheds on the move…again: Shed Seven, Live After Racing, Doncaster Racecourse, May 14 2022
YORK heroes Shed Seven’s twice-postponed post-racing gig at Doncaster Racecourse will come under starter’s orders on May 14 202.
First diarised for August 15 2020, then May 15 this spring, each show was declared a non-runner under the Government’s pandemic lockdown restrictions.
Let Donny Races wax lyrical: “So don’t have your friends asking ‘where have you been tonight?’ We have ‘high hopes’ that ‘the heroes’ Shed Seven will deliver an outstanding night of music. ‘It’s not easy’ but you’d be stuck to find a ‘better days’ entertainment in Doncaster next summer.” To book raceday tickets, go to: doncaster-racecourse.co.uk/whats-on/
Gig announcement of the week: 10cc, York Barbican, March 26 2022
10cc will play York Barbican next spring in the only Yorkshire show of their 13-date Ultimate Greatest Hits Tour.
“It’s difficult to express just how much we have missed playing live and how much we want to be back playing concerts for you,” says Graham Gouldman, the one group founder still in the touring line-up. “We look forward to seeing you all again in 2022.”
Tickets are on sale at yorkbarbican.co.uk and ticketline.co.uk.
THE 2nd York Blues Festival will be held on Saturday, July 24 at The Crescent community venue, York.
This event was planned originally for April 4 last year and then rescheduled several times as the pandemic ground on. “All being well, fourth time lucky we can go ahead and bring you a day of fantastic blues in the great city of York,” say festival organisers Paul Winn and Ben Darwin.
No strangers to the British blues scene, they present Blues From The Ouse on Jorvik Radio and are members of York band DC Blues.
Winn and Darwin have booked a festival bill of Robbie Reay; The Swamp Hoppers; Dori & The Outlaws; John Carroll; Dr Bob & The Bluesmakers; DC Blues and Nick Steed Five.
Doors will open at 12.30pm; Robbie Reay will kick-start the live music at 1pm and the festival day will close at 11pm. Tickets cost £12.50 in advance (£15 on the door), available from yorkbluesfestival.co.uk and thecrescentyork.com or from Earworm Records, Powells Yard, Goodramgate, York, earwormrecords.co.uk.
“The first event in 2019 was a huge success and was completely sold out,” say Winn and Darwin. “So, if you fancy a full day of blues, we strongly recommend getting your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.”
THE Milton Rooms in Malton will reopen this month for its first events since lockdown began in March.
Ryedale Blues Club will host the first musical event with York’s DC Blues Band and special guest Nick Steed on September 24 at 8pm, followed by Kick In The Head’s production of Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat on September 27 at 2.30pm.
Venue manager Lisa Rich says: “The whole team is very much looking forward to opening our doors to audiences later this month.
“It has been a long, arduous seven months for everyone, so we hope that the return of live entertainment in Malton will go some way to putting a smile on people’s faces.”
Social distancing measures will be in place for both events and plans have also been developed for anyone who wants to hire the venue.
“The Milton Rooms team is working hard to ensure that everything is as safe as possible,” says Lisa. “Risk assessments are in place and the venue has achieved the Visit Britain ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard.
“Like every business in Ryedale, we will be following strict health and safety guidelines for anyone visiting the Milton Rooms, be they a volunteer, audience member or someone who has hired the building.
“That will obviously mean restricting the number of people who can attend an event. However, we are lucky in that the main hall is large enough to accommodate up to 100 people safely with ample social distancing.” Under those social-distancing measures, tables will range from two people up to groups of six.
Lisa was appointed venue manager of the Milton Rooms at the end of February, only to be faced almost immediately with the lockdown and the cancellation of a glut of events planned for 2020.
An urgent Go Fund Me appeal was launched in April to help to safeguard the Market Place community centre’s future and has raised £2,500 so far.
“It has been probably the most difficult year ever for the Milton Rooms and personally very frustrating as I was appointed just as the country closed down,” says Lisa.
“However, we have been busy behind the scenes preparing for reopening and exploring how the venue can be utilised by our whole community. Luckily, we have had amazing support from the public, who obviously value our lovely arts centre and want it to continue for future generations. We are very grateful to each and every one of them.”
In the first concert on September 24, Ryedale Blues Club founder Paul Winn leads DC Blues Band, who hail from “the mighty Ouse Delta in York” and have been playing their own take on the blues with original material and selected covers since 2012, opening for such acts as Dr Feelgood, King King, Sari Schorr and Marcus Bonfanti. Doors will open at 7.30pm; tickets cost £7.50.
Kick In The Head return to the Milton Rooms on September 27 to present Three Men In A Boat, a “rip-roaring barrel of fun” with Giles Shenton playing the part of writer Jerome K Jerome in this 95-minute one-man/Three Men show.
Shenton, who previously starred in Old Herbaceous, will take the helm for this delightfully ridiculous tale of men behaving badly while messing about in boats. He invites you to “join Jerome as he recounts the hilarious story of his boating holiday along the magnificent River Thames with his two companions, George and Harris, and Montmorency the dog. Come and join in the fun.” Doors will open at 2pm; tickets cost £15.