Swaledale Festival





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Everyone knows the Yorkshire Dales are a great place for walking - but in May to June visitors can combine their walking with a whole range of live music at the Swaledale Festival. And with over 50 events spread over a fortnight, all of them individually and affordably priced, visitors can dip in or out as they like. 

The Swaledale Festival's programme of guided walks explores the magnificent scenery of the northern dales, and takes in local flora, geology, lead mining, Georgian architecture, social history, bronze- and iron-age archaeology, the Wensleydale Railway, and a nature reserve hidden within the largest military garrison in Europe. Walks range from slow and short (and they don't get any shorter than the always-popular Stationary Walk) to a moderate 9-miler in the wild fells above Low Row.

Fancy a day off walking? The Swaledale Festival offers dozens of concerts - classical, folk, jazz, world, choral - in small, characterful venues. And when visitors are neither walking nor doing culture, the stunning northern Dales offer treats of the gastronomic kind, from tea shops to fine restaurants, plus the chance to visit the homes of Theakston's Old Peculier beer, and Wallace and Gromit's favourite, Wensleydale Cheese.

2017 Programme& Information

The 2017 Swaledale Festival dates are Sat 27 May to Sat 10 June. We’ve got a great line-up planned. Highlights include: John Williams, John Etheridge & Gary Ryan, Stephen Hough, Red Priest, London Mozart Players, VOCES8, Fidelio Trio, Albion String Quartet, Sheku Kanneh-Mason (the reigning BBC Young Musician of the Year), Jess Gillam & Anthony Hewitt, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, The Unthanks, Urban Folk Quartet and Northern Monkey Brass Band. The full list is at the end of this newsletter. I hope you’ll block out the dates in your diary and come and enjoy these fabulous artists.


Our Angels’ donate an amount of money to the Festival to support a specific event of their choice, and in return they receive a ‘thank-you’ in our brochure and other benefits such as complimentary tickets and programmes. Details of events for ‘Angels’ to support, and the price list, will soon go out to previous Angels. If youve not been an Angel before and you are interested in becoming one, please see our website. The income we receive from Angels is extremely valuable to the Festival and we would be delighted if you were to support us in this way.

Last year several potential Angels were disappointed because we ran out of events, so this year we have decided to accept up to three Angels for most events, although we may offer exclusive association for a more substantial donation. Please note that, in order to limit the number of reserved seats, we have decided only to reserve seats for Angels themselves this year.

Friends of Swaledale Festival

Those who subscribe to our ‘Friends’ scheme provide another valuable source of income for the Festival, and in return they receive benefits including a three week priority booking period from 6 to 26 March. If you are not already a Festival ‘Friend', now is a good time to join. You can do this via the Friendspage on our website.

White Rose Award

Swaledale Festival was one of the six Finalists in the Arts and Culture Category of the Welcome to Yorkshire White Rose Awards this year. We were awarded a Highly Commended certificate, not quite the winner, but very close.

New Festival Staff

The Festival has appointed Heather Hodgson and Emily Rowe Rawlence to manage our box office and help with our marketing activities. We all look forward to working with them in the New Year.

New Chairman

The Festival also has a new Chairman of the Board; Sue Miller comes with a background in both business and academia and is already proving to be a good guiding hand.

Programme information and tickets for Swaledale Festival events are available at www.swalefest.org. Telephone ordering opens in April, at 01748 880019.








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