York announces 2015 music festival line up

Announced today (18 November 2014), York’s line up of music festivals for 2015 includes an eclectic mix of big name acts, local artists and street performers, that promise to keep the ancient city walls alive with music, day and night.

  • York Spring Festival of New Music (29 April to 3 May 2015) this festival is all about taking the thrill of new music out into the city of York. Encompassing all genres, including pop, rock, jazz, music theatre, classical and world music, the York Spring Festival presents a unique opportunity to experience a wide range of genres in just one weekend. In 2015 the Festival will be dedicated to showcasing the work of women composers, as well as exploring the way in which ancient texts and customs can be refreshed by presenting them in brand new creative contexts

  • York New Musical Festival (30 May to 6 June 2015) – the only annual festival of new musicals (launched in 2013), it provides a showcase for writing and performing musical theatre and a launching pad for a diverse array of new musicals

  • York Early Music Festival (3-11 July 2015) – in 2015 this internationally renowned festival takes as its starting point the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt and features cross-currents between France and England from the Middle Ages through to the Baroque.

York also has some of the best summer music festivals on its doorstep:

  • The Yorkshire Cajun Festival takes place in Malton annually each March (13-15 March 2015). Mainly centring on the Milton Rooms the Festival brings musicians from all over the world to play; expect wild dancing and great food.

  • Ryedale Festival (mid July 2015) – this annual festival welcomes outstanding performers from all over the world, including internationally renowned soloists, chamber ensembles and orchestras, to perform a wide-ranging and distinctive programme in the many spectacular and historic venues of rural Yorkshire, including the great houses of Castle Howard, Hovingham, Duncombe Park and Sledmere, as well as in Ampleforth Abbey, Helmsley Arts Centre, Pickering Kirk Theatre and many other local venues. There is also a popular series of Coffee Concerts given in the many beautiful, often remote, country churches that characterise this part of Yorkshire.

  • Ryedale Jazz Festival (19-25 July 2015) takes place in venues across Pickering and is run by Ryedale Jazz Society, which was founded with the aim of introducing traditional jazz to younger audiences as well as ensuring that enthusiasts have opportunities to enjoy performers from all over the country.

  • The North York Moors Chamber Music Festival (16-29 August 2015) focuses on the purity of music within a beautiful environment. It takes place in historic churches across the North York Moors in August each year.

Apart from music festivals, York offers year round live entertainment in its host of theatres, with York Theatre Royal, the Grand Opera House, Friargate Theatre, and York Barbican regularly hosting plays, musicals, pantos and concerts, whilst the art deco Joseph Rowntree Theatre is a popular venue for York’s amateur performers.

Other musical facts of note about York:

  • One of the first musical notes you will hear in York, will be bells. York Minster has a total of 56 bells, the largest number of any English cathedral. It includes the heaviest bell in the country still rung by hand. The famous Great Peter of York chimes at noon every day, weighs a total of 10.8 tons, and is the deepest toned bell in the UK

  • There has been a tradition of choral singing at York Minster for over 1000 years, and today York Minster’s Choir is one of the leading UK choirs. York Minster was one of the UK’s first cathedrals to introduce girl choristers alongside the boys. The girls and boys share the singing of the eight sung services each week equally, joining forces for major events such as the great Christmas and Easter festivities.

  • National Centre for Early Music is home of the internationally renowned Early Music Festival, which attracts both audiences and performers from across the world every July/August. The national champion of early music (from 1250-1750) in England, with links across the world, building a European-wide reputation for its work with young people, including an International Young Artists’ Competition, and annual Young Composer’s Award supported by BBC Radio 3.

  • University of York - as well as being a top UK venue for chamber music, attracting international performers, the University’s music department is a world-leader. Its students and teaching staff are central to York’s music scene, regularly heard performing across the city in an impressive calendar of events.

  • Vibrant, lively music scene and 365 FREE days out - you can hear music – often for free – every night of the week. Within easy walking distance, you could even experience rock, folk, acoustic, jazz, classical on the same night! Notable venues include Fibbers, Basement, the Duchess of York and the Black Swan Folk Club (Folk Club of the Year in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2009), but many pubs and cafes around the city host live music throughout the year.

  • York also has a long tradition of street entertainment, stretching back to medieval times, and the city is proud of its busking musicians, many of whom take part in Buskival, York’s annual busking festival.

For more information about York’s live music scene and how to make the most of your visit go to visityork.org   ENDS

For more media information and images please contact:

Kay Hyde, Head of Communications, Visit York. Tel: 01904 554451. Email: kh@visityork.org

Katie Parsons, Senior Communications Executive, Visit York. Tel: 01904 554436. Email: kp@visityork.org

Notes to editors

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About Visit York

  • Visit York is supported by the City of York Council and over 700 tourism businesses and works in partnership with VisitEngland.

  • Visit York's aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure and business visitor, and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. Visit York is responsible for leisure and conference marketing, visitor services (running the city's Visitor Information Centre), training and ensuring a quality visitor experience.  

  • Visit York is the driving force of the city's tourism industry. Key facts:

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