Free concert tickets for young people in new Harrogate scheme

Sharon Canavar, chief executive of Harrogate International Festivals.
Sharon Canavar, chief executive of Harrogate International Festivals.

A ground-breaking initiative to change the way young people engage with the arts is being launched by Harrogate International Festivals.

The aim is to give young people free of charge opportunities to experience and participate in live arts performances.

Sharon Canavar, chief executive of Harrogate International Festivals, said: “We want young people to believe that access to the arts and live musical experiences are open to everyone, regardless of background.

“In the same way you can walk into a gallery or museum for free, we want the same opportunity to be available with music, allowing young people the opportunity to try out a live classical performance for themselves.”

Called Library of Live, the pilot programme will run throughout the year and offer children and young people new opportunities to engage in Harrogate International Festivals’ live arts delivery.

Supported by Arts Council England, the Festivals will offer a ‘library’ of free performances, open rehearsals, free books and digital downloads to young people in the Harrogate District.

Those aged eight to 18 will also have the opportunity to attend high quality national and international artist performances for free, and 18-35 year-olds will receive bespoke ticket offers and digital engagement.

Sharon Canavar said: “We believe Library of Live can radically change the way young people engage with our arts programmes.

“It’s something we feel passionately about after our 50th anniversary year to take steps to develop future audiences for the next 50 years.”

Throughout the year, Library of Live will engage younger audiences in the Festivals’ literary events and develop partnerships with schools in the region to attend performances at reduced costs.

Its music delivery will be supported by NYMAZ – a youth music development charity that operates across North Yorkshire, and a key strategic partner in the North Yorkshire Music Hub.