Swaledale Festival is now over for 2016, but the planning for 2017 is well underway
First of all, a huge 'thank you' to all those who supported the 2016 Festival as ticket-buyers, sponsors, Festival Friends, Angels, donors and volunteers. Every one of you helped to make the 2016 Swaledale Festival a resounding success. Details of the 2017 Festival programme will be posted on this site in January.
If you are a business that would be interested in joining our sponsorship team, we would be delighted to hear from you. The Support section has details of what we can offer. If you are an individual who would like to help the Festival financially or as an active volunteer, please also see the Support pages and feel free to contact us at any time.
The award-winning Swaledale Festival is an annual celebration of music and arts in the beautiful landscape of the three northernmost Yorkshire Dales - Swaledale, Wensleydale and Arkengarthdale.
The two-week Festival, which started in 1972 and is a registered charity, begins on the Saturday of the late May Spring Bank Holiday each year. Venues are mostly charming churches, chapels, village halls, and heritage sites such as Richmond's Georgian Theatre Royal, and Gayle Mill near Hawes.
The Swaledale Festival attracts the finest artists from all over the world, and regularly commissions new work. There is a strong Young Artists Platform at the Festival, and there is an extensive programme of education and community activities which has resulted in several awards, including the Prime Minister's Big Society Award in 2014.
Malcolm Creese is the Artistic Director, having taken up the post in 2007. Malcolm's programme for 2016 featured some of the world's top classical music artists, including the Hallé Orchestra, Dame Emma Kirkby, pianists Benjamin Grosvenor and Richard Uttley, vocal group Stile Antico, the Heath and Fitzwilliam String Quartets, violinist Adam Summerhayes, Florin Ensemble and 21st Century Baroque featuring the young recorder player Charlotte Barbour-Condini. The year's equally impressive list of non-classical performers included folk supergroup Lau, jazz singer Christine Tobin, fiddle and concertina player Niamh Ní Charra, guitarist Antonio Forcione with kora player Seckou Keita and percussionist Adriano Adewale, the Hut People, Fourum, People Show and art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon. There was an all-day choral workshop directed by the popular composer Will Todd about which there is more information on our News page. Finally, we gave a platform to a large number of talented local performers, including brass bands, choirs, soloists, poets and actors.
Swaledale Festival receives support from Arts Council England and from generous sponsors including Hebridean Island Cruises, Sherwoods (Vauxhall) of Darlington, Purple Creative Studio, T. & R. Theakston Ltd, Brymor Ice Cream, Tennants Garden Rooms, Millgate House B&B in Richmond, the Burgoyne Hotel in Reeth and the Bridge Inn in Grinton. We are grateful to Dawn Clarkson Associates who examine the accounts, and to Holiday Home Yorkshire in Reeth who provided staff accommodation for this year's Festival at AD Coach House Cottage. We are also supported by a number of Local Businesses shown here.
In 2015 we were granted the prestigious 'Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe' (EFFE) label recognising Swaledale Festival for the quality of its programme, for its involvement with its local community and its open-minded acceptance of human values. We are delighted to be a member of this select group.
We are proud of our location within the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park. Each year the Festival programme includes a series of guided walks led by a variety of experts who point out and explain features of this fascinating area to the walkers.
Swaledale Festival was awarded the Highly Commended rating at the Welcome to Yorkshire White Rose Awards ceremony on 21 November. This means that although we didn't actually win the award for the Arts & Culture category, we were very close. The judges commented particularly on the Festival's long-standing success, its reach and its passion for its Yorkshire heritage. We were pleased that the organisation that pipped us to the post was Yorkshire Young Sinfonia, the county's equivalent to the National Youth Orchestra which gives talented young instrumentalists a chance to do a residential course with top professional players, rehearse a concert including a stellar soloist in a concerto and then perform it to a large public audience. This year the soloist was pianist Stephen Hough - of whom there will be more on these pages very soon. We do like to see young people being involved in classical and other good music at all levels from being an audience member to being a young prodigy. Our Education work and Young Artists Platform are strands that we are very proud of, along with our £3 ticket price which we have offered to under-19s for several years but which we are changing for 2017. In 2017 the £3 ticket will be offered to anyone aged under 25 attending the Festival.