Arts festival is back in Harrogate district with all-star line-up including Lesley Garrett and Richard Coles

One of the Harrogate district's most exceptional arts festivals is back this year with some big names.
Northern Aldborough Festival star - Singer Lesley Garrett.Northern Aldborough Festival star - Singer Lesley Garrett.
Northern Aldborough Festival star - Singer Lesley Garrett.

Northern Aldborough Festival is promising a spectacular line up in 2021 to mark its return to live events to the beautiful village of Aldborough near Boroughbridge this June, following its cancellation in 2020 owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The prospect of a return to live music has been eagerly embraced by the Northern Aldborough Festival which has pulled out all the stops with an impressive line-up.

Northern Aldborough Festival star - The Rev Richard Coles of BBC Radio 4 fame.Northern Aldborough Festival star - The Rev Richard Coles of BBC Radio 4 fame.
Northern Aldborough Festival star - The Rev Richard Coles of BBC Radio 4 fame.

Headline performances include an appearance by one of Britain’s most loved sopranos, Lesley Garrett, an entertaining evening with the former Communard turned cleric Reverend Richard Coles of BBC Radio 4 fame and a spellbinding performance from the Russian virtuoso violinist Viktoria Mullova, who appears with her son, rising jazz star Misha Mullov-Abbado.

The Festival will launch on June 21and is anticipated to be one of the first live events taking place in the region following the Government’s anticipated removal of restrictions. A shorter programme has been prepared, with the festival running across six days rather than its customary ten, and all events will be held at Aldborough Church.

The much-loved and hugely popular Last Night outdoor pop concert will also take place on Saturday, June 27 in the grounds of Aldborough Manor.

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Robert Ogden, festival director said: “It’s such a pleasure to be able to plan for the Festival. We have an incredible line up of artists, including some of the music industry’s biggest names alongside up and coming talent from around the region.

“From the opening night performance by oboist Nicholas Daniel’s Haffner Ensemble to the Last Night’s ‘80s themed revelry the 2021 Northern Aldborough Festival promises an exhilarating ambience, all the sweeter for the novelty of the live, shared musical experience.”

Alongside the household names are younger musicians who will have their opportunity to shine on Wednesday 23 June in a Young Artists’ Showcase.

The event supports the important role the Festival has taken since its inception in 1994 in nurturing and providing a platform for young talent.

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Despite the expectation that Covid restrictions will have been removed by the time of the Festival, the safety of the performers and audience remain a priority and reduced capacity and distancing measures will still be in place.

Robert Ogden said: “While the quality of the musical offering will be ensured, so will the welfare and comfort of the audience, and therefore numbers will be limited and other measures taken to allow for safe, social distancing and with that in mind we are inviting people to book their places early.”

The general box office will open on May 4.

Northern Aldborough Festival Friends receive priority booking from April 26-Monday, May 3.

More information at

Northern Aldborough Festival 2021: Full programme

(All performances take place at St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough, YO51 9EP)

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Monday 21 June, 7.30pm: The Haffner Ensemble: Joy Farrall (Clarinet), Sarah Burnett (Bassoon), Martin Owen (Horn) & Danny Driver (Piano)

Tuesday 22 June, 7.30pm: Kindred Spirits: 4 Hands, 1 Piano: Emma Abbate & Julian Perkins (Pianists)

Wednesday 23 June, 11.00am: Young Artists Showcase: Emilia Jaques (Soprano), Alexander Abrahams (Piano), Annabelle Dowell (Flute), Puyuan Ge (Violin) & Penny Stirling (Accompanist)

Wednesday 23 June, 7.30pm: Speaker, Richard Coles (Musician, Journalist & Church of England Parish Priest)

Thursday 24th June, 11.00am: William Bracken (piano)

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Thursday 24th June, 7.30pm: Lesley Garrett CBE (Soprano) & Anna Tilbrook (Piano)

Friday 25th June, 7.30pm: Music We Love, Viktoria Mullova (Violin) with

Misha Mullov-Abbado (Bass, Composer & Arranger)

Saturday 26th June, 6.00pm: Last Night Outdoor Concert, The Rozzers & So 80’s

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