Booking opens on 13 March

Booking opens on 13 March

Booking for Swaledale Festival, the annual celebration of music, arts and walking, opens on Monday 13 March. 

During the Festival fortnight 73 world-class events will be brought to the chapels, churches, halls, schools, care homes, galleries and outdoor spaces of the sublime northern Yorkshire Dales, from Saturday 27 May to Saturday 10 June.

The Festival, which is generously supported by Arts Council England, sees plenty of top international artists performing on Dales stages - from Australia, the Middle East, India, Africa, Canada, the Americas, Japan, China and all over the UK and Europe. 

This is also a special focus on place and community, with concerts by local choirs, bands and soloists, poetry walks in the rolling landscape, inspirational family puppet shows, late night astronomy sessions, workshops, comedy, film screenings and exhibitions by local artists. 

Astronomer Paul Clark will give a talk on the Northern Dales Night Skies in Reeth on 27 May. Paul’s astronomical, geographical and historical narrative will be accompanied by images and videos of the precious Dales dark sky, as well as some intriguing sights and sounds.

The legendary animation Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers will be screened at The Garden Rooms at Tennants on 28 May, but with a twist - the film will be accompanied by live music from WFEL Fairey Band, one of the most successful competition brass bands in history. The event will be ideal half term entertainment for all ages, and an upbeat way to introduce younger audience members to the thrill of live music. WFEL Fairey Band will also do a special evening performance in which they will showcase a mixed programme of brass-band favourites such as film themes, marches and hymns, along with some exciting new arrangements. 

The remarkable flute and percussion virtuoso, Eliza Marshall, who has worked with giants such as Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, will do a solo performance on 29 May in Reeth. Using multitrack delays and loops to build up layers of sounds, Eliza’s solo performances combine African beats with her own haunting melodies and harmonies, creating a glorious fusion of music from around the world.

The award-winning Dutch violinist and 'climate composer' Tim Kliphuis and his talented ensemble will perform The Five Elements, a rousing ode to the Earth that embraces classical, gypsy, jazz and folk. This show has toured internationally and united audiences round the world. Don't miss the chance to experience this special concert on 29 May in Richmond.

Lempen Puppet Theatre will bring Cardboard Carnival to the beautiful Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond on 31 May. Liz and Daniel Lempen are the tour-de-force behind Skipton Puppet Festival and regularly take their original shows to international festivals across Europe. This extravaganza for all ages offers a compelling celebration of the transportive power of puppetry with lots of cardboard, a little help from Charles Darwin - and an accompaniment of the magical Carnival of the Animals music by Camille Saint-Saëns.

The popular and hugely respected expert Ronnie Archer-Morgan from the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow will give the Reeth Lecture on 1 June. For decades, Ronnie has brought to life the fascinating, often surprising backstories behind our most cherished heirlooms and household objects on television. Now he will tell his own unlikely story, talking about some of his favourite objects, his extraordinary life, and his new book, Would It Surprise You To Know...?  

Award-winning vocalist Claire Martin OBE and Scottish guitar legend Jim Mullen will celebrate the Great American Songbook and their shared love of jazz on 1 June in Grinton. Expect stylish re-workings of much loved classics by Arlen, Porter and Gershwin alongside more soulful songs by Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway. 

The immensely popular British comedian Andy Hamilton will share an evening of comic reflection, reminiscence and revelation at The Garden Rooms at Tennants on 3 June. Andy will look back over his 60-ish years on the planet and try to answer some questions. Expect a hilarious and illuminating night out with a master of comedy.

Michael Messer’s Mitra - a unique collaboration between an innovative British blues guitarist, a Hindustani slide guitar maestro from India, and a London-based tabla master – comes to Grinton on 4 June. The exciting fusion of blues and Indian classical music will be a musical journey running from the banks of the Mississippi, via London and Mumbai, to the Ganges delta. 

The excellent Dales poet Mary-Jane Holmes will lead a walking and writing workshop in beautiful upper Swaledale on 6 June. There will be some moderate walking and fun writing exercises, and it's open to anyone who’s interested in any genre of writing.

Connaught Brass, a dynamic young brass quintet who are taking the chamber music world by storm, will perform Handel, Fauré and Rossini in Richmond on Tues 6 June. These talented musicians form part of the Festival’s Young Artists Platform, which has a track record of showcasing musicians who go on to be big stars. 

Australian guitarist Craig Ogden, a giant of the classical world, will perform in the beautiful acoustic of Grinton church on 7 June. Craig’s solo recital will include music by Dowland, Bach, Rodrigo, Coste, Sinesi and Villa-Lobos.

These are just a small selection of a whirlwind of diverse events, including film, guided walks, local bands, free art exhibitions and more.

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