Stepping into Spring

A full house at Berwins Salon North

Every day it seems like we’re returning to normal at a rate of knots. February saw our first really bonkers week of Festival planning, delivery and comms for a while….and for the first time in a long time, we were making announcements in the normal timeframe!

We had a bumper few days of delivery with a sell out Sunday Series with the Trio Balthasar performing last Sunday at the Old Swan Hotel, meanwhile Berwins Salon North had its biggest audience ever over at the Crown Hotel as we launched our new season with three great speakers.  We learned about sleep, fashion and eugenics – a mix that shouldn’t go together but all I know now is I shouldn’t wear so much black, to stay away from shift work and cornflakes should really be avoided.

We also announced our Programming Chair for the 20th Anniversary of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, with award-winning author Vaseem Khan taking the reins in programming a Festival that is celebrating two decades of welcoming the giants of the genre and building some bestsellers along the way.  Lee and Andrew Child, as well as Jeffery Deaver, are all in town as is our co-founder Val McDermid, who is opening the Festival with a Special Guest appearance. Ruth Ware, Lisa Jewell and Lucy Worsley will all be headlining along with SA Cosby, Chris Hammer & Ann Cleeves. If you want to know more about what’s in store, watch our video featuring Vas here, where he’ll tell you all about what he has planned himself! It’s worth it, I promise.

Suffice to say the launch was greeted by our audiences with much excitement, and although we’ve only announced the headliners, we’re keeping the rest of the programme under wraps right now. You can be reassured that there are some fabulous, household names, bestselling authors in their droves and some diamond debuts to watch out for. And I can guarantee that the hotels and bars of Harrogate are sure to be busy over our celebratory crime weekend. We can’t wait!

All of this has been delivered by a truly amazing team, most of whom are approaching their first year in post, in their first roles in the industry. From music programming to artist liaison, sponsorship and fundraising to marketing and operations, this top team has turned its hand to a host of new skills, developed and trained and pushed themselves to deliver a busy 2022 summer season, and what is shaping up to be an incredibly exciting 2023 if the last few events and announcement are anything to go by. They’re all superstars.

Worried that you’ve missed out so far? Don’t panic. The Sunday Series returns for two more concerts on the 26th February with Jeneba Kanneh-Mason, and 26th March with Coco Tomita. The next Berwins Salon North takes place on the 20th April with Robin Dunbar exploring the importance of friendship, whilst Jude Roger will be asking why and how music plays such a deep rooted role in our lives.

Tickets can be purchased via our website here or through the Box Office on 01423 562303.

Sharon Canavar, CEO of Harrogate International Festivals