“It’s like opening a box of magic that stays wide open for two weeks” – audience member 


Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to everyone who made the 2017 Festival such a rip-roaring success.

In our most ambitious Festival yet we featured young musicians at the beginning of sparkling careers alongside veteran supergroups. Intimate duets, explosive folk and reimagined baroque. Choirs, orchestras, woodwind, brass, strings, pianos, and also slaptops, santouris, nyckelharpas, gothic harps and the amazing tromba marina. Idyllic outdoor Shakespeare, poetry readings, film screenings, talks, inspiring art exhibitions and a series of guided walks to celebrate our magical landscape. Clog-dancing, Canadian step dancing, traditional Zulu dancing and the story of the world’s first ballet. World premieres and commissions by, amongst others, the composer Alexander Goehr. 

It all took place in village churches, tiny chapels, heritage buildings and large halls, with audience members ranging from infants to 90+ year-olds. Top musicians performed in schools and care homes for the elderly, and our National Youth Jazz Orchestra children's concert in Catterick Garrison was broadcast to schools and British forces bases all over the world. And we won't forget the impromptu appearance of Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones and our double bass-playing Artistic Director Malcolm Creese with John Potter's 'Amores Pasados' (pictured).

Sincere thanks to everyone who attended our events this year. There were more of you than ever before in our 46 year history, and ticket sales reached an all-time high.

It’s over, and yet it’s so far from over. Our extensive community and education programme is rolling and we’re busy planning Swaledale Festival 2018 and 2019. 

The Festival is extremely grateful for the generosity of our sponsors, funders, donors, legacy givers, Festival Friends and Angels, as well as the tireless work and dedication of our loyal volunteers, our staff, and members of the Festival Board.  

Swaledale Festival receives support from Arts Council England and from generous sponsors including Sherwoods (Vauxhall) of Darlington, Handelsbanken, Latimer Hinks Solicitors, Kenneth Easby Accountants,  Purple Creative Studio, Tennants Garden Rooms, Millgate House B&B in Richmond, the Burgoyne Hotel in Reeth and the Bridge Inn in Grinton. We are also supported by a number of Local Businesses shown here.

Missing the Festival? You can live with Swaledale Festival all year round with our vibrant 2018 calendar. £10.00 including postage and packing (UK only). Order your copy here.


Recent News

Swaledale Festival online booking opens

Online booking for the 2017 Swaledale Festival opened on Monday 27 March. 

The award-winning festival of music, arts and walking, now in its 46th year,  takes place from 27 May to 10 June - mainly in charming village churches and halls dotted around the breathtaking landscape of the three northernmost Yorkshire Dales - Swaledale, Wensleydale and Arkengarthdale. 

Swaledale Festival, which is a registered charity, is attracting larger audiences each year. Around half of the audience members live in the area and the other half come on holiday especially for the Festival. 

Highlights include pianist Stephen Hough, vocal group VOCES8, London Mozart Players Chamber Ensemble, Red Priest, The National Youth Jazz Orchestra, The Unthanks, Urban Folk Quartet, John Potter’s 'Amores Pasados', Northern Monkey Brass Band, Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments, and a trio of stellar guitarists: John Williams, John Etheridge and Gary Ryan. 

Swaledale Festival’s Young Artists Platform this year includes the extraordinary cellist and reigning BBC Young Musician of the Year Sheku Kanneh-Mason who will perform with two of his equally talented siblings, as well as Jess Gillam, (the first saxophone player to win the Woodwind Final in the same competition), the sensational young chamber orchestra Arch Sinfonia, and the virtuoso classical accordionist Bartosz Glowacki.

There is outdoor Shakespeare, a celebration of the world’s first ballet, a film about Hieronymus Bosch, poetry, art exhibitions, Dales brass bands, talks and guided walks. And for the first time in the Festival’s history, under 25s can buy tickets to every event (except one) for just £3 each.

The Festival has won numerous awards for its artistic achievements, and also for its extensive community and education work. Every year the Festival sends top musicians into local care homes to play for those who are unable to attend the regular concerts. And this year the Festival has launched a major music and visual arts project entitled JAZZ! in which hundreds of children in the Catterick Garrison area will have the opportunity to hear and study jazz music and history, attend a special concert by the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, and produce artworks for a series of exhibitions during the Festival.

Artistic Director Malcolm Creese, now in his tenth year, says: “I’ve been fortunate to secure a fantastic line-up of world-class performers for 2017, and there really is something for everyone. It’s my strongest programme yet.”

Full programme details and tickets are available at: www.swalefest.org

 

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