Harrogate arts coup as it hosts major conference for UK's festival organisers

Harrogate is to welcome arts festival organisers from around the country this week for a major industry conference in which the town's own leading arts festival will take a key role.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 12:27 pm
Recent months have seen successes for Harrogate International Festivals with the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival and the 1571 The Waters That Made Us light installation (pictured).

The British Arts Festival Association, the leading network and development agency for UK arts festivals whose members include The BBC Proms, is holding its first in-person meeting since before the Pandemic struck.

Being held on Tuesday, November 16 and Wednesday, November 17 at The Crown Hotel in Harrogate and hosted by Harrogate International Festivals, speakers at the event include Gary Briggs from Manchester International Festival; Mary Burch from the creative arts mental health charity, Industry Minds; and Harrogate International Festivals Chief Executive Sharon Canavar.

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Subjects being explored over the two days include re-imagining the arts during the Pandemic, diverse recruitment, reconnecting with audiences, festivals and mental health and the future of festivals.

Sharon Canavar, who takes to the speakers’ podium on the second day of the conference, said: “It’s an honour for Harrogate to be chosen as the destination for The British Arts Festivals Association, and we are delighted to be hosting it at The Crown Hotel.

“Festivals and live events were decimated during the pandemic, and the industry is still very much in recovery mode. Nervousness still surrounds hosting and attend events, and it’s going to take many months for normality to return.

“Whilst we might have held a number of events this year including live outdoor installations with ‘In Memoriam’ and most recently ‘1571’, alongside our traditional literature events, the planning of them was incredibly challenging.

“However, being back doing what we do best was just fantastic, and it was appreciated by all concerned, from performers and authors to the technical crews, host venues and of course festival goers.”

Harrogate International Festivals is best-known for its summer season of international music, and producing the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, alongside a host of events across the year including Berwins Salon North, chamber coffee concerts, and the Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival.

Further information about Harrogate International Festivals – and its calendar of activities – is available from its website, https://harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/