THE finale to York’s six-day online festival, That Jorvik Viking Thing, will be an ambitious afternoon and evening of live-streaming on Saturday.
Ancient meets ultramodern in the challenging task faced by the team behind this week’s event, who will play host to a “truly international and extraordinary Norse-themed broadcast from 12 noon”.
Billed as the world’s largest-ever online Viking festival, That Jorvik Viking Thing has been organised by the Jorvik Viking Centre as an alternative to the Coppergate visitor attraction’s usual February half-term activities.
Introduced by York Mix Radio presenter Ben Fry and three members of Jorvik Viking Centre’s interpretation and collections teams, Lucas Norton, Rachel Cutler and Becky Sampson, the day will mix live presentations and Q&A sessions from Jorvik, with links to other Viking attractions around the world, including Dublinia in Dublin and Lofoten Viking Museum in Norway.
York’s Viking village at Murton Park will feature in the day too, contributing a live wood-working project that will be revisited throughout the broadcast, alongside some pre-recorded films being worked into the show.
Event manager Gareth Henry says: “We were fortunate to be able to film a host of videos for the Thing while lockdown restrictions were lifted in the autumn, including our fun film, Arnor’s Adventure, and our daily chapters of the Saga Of Revr The Sly, which have been released each day during the Thing since Monday.
“We had hoped to be able to broadcast this day live from a fully populated Viking village; sadly the Norns* were against us, but we are pleased that we can still manage some socially-distanced filming from the village.”
The live-streamed day will be the penultimate event in That Jorvik Viking Thing’s programme that will conclude at 7.30pm with international Nordic folk musician Einar Selvik deep in conversation with music journalist Alexander Milas.
Selvik composed the music for the History Channel’s Vikings series and the Assassins Creed: Valhalla game soundtrack, and his latest album with his band Wardruna, Kvitravn, topped the iTunes chart on release in January.
On Saturday, Selvik will discuss Norse music, demonstrate assorted instruments and perform acoustic versions of a selection of his songs. Tickets cost £15 at jorvikthing.com.
In a last-minute addition to the Thing’s programme tomorrow (19/2/2021), Selvik’s Wardruna bandmate, Lindy-Fay Hella, will be joined by Christina Oakley Harrington, founder of London bookshop Treadwells, and herbalist Johanna Elf to discuss scents, plant essences, myths and storytelling in a free live-stream at 8pm, accessible through jorvikthing.com.
So far, That Jorvik Viking Thing and its educational preview during Schools Week, have drawn more than 20,000 visitors to the website to watch more than 2,500 hours of video content. Some live-streams are still attracting audiences, not least the fun Poo Day, prompting Twitter to be flooded with images of home-made Viking worm-infested poo.
The most popular video is a free 360-degree tour of Viking-age Coppergate that can even be viewed using a VR headset for a fully immersive experience.
For more information, or to access the array of video-on-demand resources, visit jorvikthing.com.
*Who are the Norns?
In Norse mythology, the Norns are female beings who rule the destiny of Gods and men.