Things to do

Festival season is finally upon us and Yorkshire is leading the way with a stunning array of festivals for you to enjoy this July!

Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre 25 June - 1 September

Following its inaugural season last year, when it played to 80,000 people, garnering critical and popular acclaim as well as awards for ‘Best Cultural Experience’ and ‘Best Attraction’, Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre returns to York promising Revenge, Heroism, Magic and Mischief with this year’s line-up of plays. 

Inspired by the famous London Rose Playhouse built in 1587 (12 years prior to The Globe), the theatre will combine state-of-the-art scaffolding technology, corrugated iron and timber with the historic 13-sided design of an Elizabethan theatre.  It will house an audience of 900, with 560 seated on three tiers around an open-roofed courtyard, and standing room for 340 ‘groundlings’.

Four of William Shakespeare’s most popular plays will be performed by two companies of actors in repertory over the 10-week summer season: Hamlet, Henry V, The Tempest and Twelfth Night.  Traditional in conception, yet fresh and fun in delivery, these enduring favourites will be directed by some of the UK’s leading theatre directors, led by Damian Cruden, Artistic Director of York Theatre Royal.

Bradford Literature Festival - 28 June - 7 July

Hailed as one of the most inspirational festivals in the UK, Bradford Literature Festival has over 500 events packed into iconic venues across 10 days. This is a celebration of the written and spoken word in all its wonderful forms. Every year world-renowned authors, poets, musicians and artists head to visit this spectacular city and share their expertise and passions with you, the audience.

York Early Music Festival - 5-13 July

The UK's largest festival of classical music written before 1750 takes the theme of Innovation as its inspiration for 2019.

Opening with a new production of the world's first truly great opera - Monteverdi's L'Orfeo - musical direction by Robert Hollingworth of I Fagiolini, stage direction Thomas Guthrie, and starring tenor Matthew Long, the festival closes 10 days later with the much loved biennial York Early Music International Young Artists Competition. 

Make it Harewood - Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters - 6-7 July

Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 July in partnership with Hole & Corner – will see Harewood's Courtyard transformed into a hive of creativity. With workshops and demos from throwing pottery, carving spoons, creating natural dyes or sculpting with paper, visitors will have the opportunity to get hands on and learn from some of the leading talents in their respective fields.

Pontefract Liquorice Festival - 7 July

Liquorice lovers rejoice this is the perfect festival for you!

Pontefract Liquorice Festival, held each July, celebrates the town’s historic link with the flavoursome plant.

Sweet lovers can enjoy a tempting array of liquorice food and drink while browsing the food, craft and gift stalls at the colourful street market. Dancers, musicians and street entertainers delight the crowds throughout the day, while craft activities, face painters and fairground rides keep the little visitors amused.

Great Yorkshire Show - 9 - 11 July

The Great Yorkshire Show takes place from Tuesday 9th – Thursday 11th July this year at the Harrogate Showground.

Some 100,000 visitors are expected to attend this farming and countryside showcase over the three-day event. The crowds will see some of the UK's finest cattle, sheep and pigs competing for the coveted championship rosettes, as well as 2,000 horses in the show jumping and equine classes.

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate - 18-21 July

The world class, award winning Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, now in its 16th year, returns to the magnificent Old Swan Hotel this summer from the 18-21 July! Celebrating the very best in crime fiction, the Festival is a firm date in the literary calendar and has achieved international acclaim for the programming, organisation and atmosphere.

Leeds Jazz Festival - 18-21 July

In the summer of 2017, the Leeds Jazz Festival began with a one-off, pop-up event in Leeds’ Millennium Square.

Fast forward two short years, and the festival, due to take place between 18th and 21st July this summer, has become a major four-day event, attracting thousands of attendees, with a week-long, build-up fringe festival. There’s set to be over 30 performances from established,  jazz greats, to emerging male and female talent. 

Great Yorkshire Fringe - 18 - 28 July

The Great Yorkshire fringe is quickly becoming a key summer event in York’s entertainment calendar, bringing the best in comedy, cabaret, theatre and music to Yorkshire. Building on the success of the first three festivals, The Great Yorkshire Fringe grows with the city of York, engaging residents and visitors, supporting local businesses and encouraging tourism for the wider area.

Yorkshire Dales Food & Drink Festival - 20 - 21 July

For those of you who haven’t visited before – you are in for a treat!  The Yorkshire Dales Food & Drink Festival has live celebrity demos by the Hairy Bikers, Brian Turner, Mary Berry & Lisa Faulkner, plus more live cookery demonstrations on the Yorkshire AA Rosette, Bettys and Local Chef Cookery Stages.

Fabulous workshops and masterclasses, a vintage funfair, spirits and cocktail hub, crafting demonstrations, lots fun to keep the kids entertained, tasting sessions, hundreds of exhibitors and the best street food and drink the UK has to offer!

Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival - 20 - 28 July

The Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival, supported by Sky Bet provides a whole week of racing with 10 meetings at eight out of the nine Yorkshire courses.  Starting on Saturday 20th July at Ripon and finishing on Sunday 28th July at Pontefract there will be a leading trainer and jockey competition as well as lots of events for racegoers to get involved with.

The Barry Sheen Classic at Oliver's Mount - 27-28 July

The Two Four Three Road Racing Association is proud to announce that road racing will return to Oliver's Mount this year, with the full backing of Scarborough Borough Council, Two confirmed meetings: the Barry Sheene Classic on 27th and 28th July and the Gold Cup from 27th and 29th September have already been agreed by the ACU and will take place this year, around the challenging 2.43 mile public road race track.

Harrogate Music Festival - Across July

The Hallé Orchestra return to Harrogate, bringing the quality and excitement they did under the baton of Sir Barbirolli, however, this time they’re accompanied by a new man in town. He likes it shaken, not stirred, and you will too as Casino Royale in Concert opens the season with Bond on the big screen supported by the full force of the Hallé.

Bond may travel the world, but you don’t have to as this year HMF is bringing a programme of exceptional international artists to your doorstep right in the heart of Yorkshire. From the Leeds International Piano Competition winner Eric Lu, to the youngest ever joint winner of the Junior 1st Prize at the Menuhin Competition in 2018, Christian Li, travelling all the way from Australia, this summer we are set to ‘welcome the world’.