Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival 2024 | FAQs

Thursday 18 to Sunday 21 July 2024

The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is an immersive and busy experience; with events on the hour, nearly every hour and book signings in between there’s a lot going on.

All of our main events, unless otherwise stated, will take place in the Theakston Old Peculier Stage Live Tent at the Old Swan Hotel, where seating is unreserved. You may be required to queue to enter events, but we would like to reassure you that due to the quick turnaround time between events, queues should move quickly!

After each event, we open the doors quickly and the authors will be in the bookshop for signings.

Whether you’re coming for one event or for the whole lot, explore the bookshop, say hi to authors at the bar and see what books and events people are talking about.

Still have some questions? That’s what we’re here for…!

Where is the Old Swan Hotel?

The Old Swan Hotel is located on Old Swan Road, Harrogate. For those using SatNav, just enter the postcode HG1 2SR.

You can use our handy Google Maps tool to help plan your journey to the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate below:

What exactly are the events?
That depends! Some of our events may be more of an interview-style, and some may be more conversational, but all will feature authors drawing on their life experiences and speaking about their published works.

How long do the events last?

All Special Guest and Panel events last 60 minutes unless otherwise stated.

Our Author Dinner events are expected to last 2 hours.

Publisher-organised events may vary in timings; please check with our Box Office team.

Is there a dress code?

There is no dress code at any of our events, but we recommend dressing for the weather! The Old Swan Hotel can get quite warm during the summer months so please ensure you are wearing sensible footwear and dress appropriately.

I’ve booked a Weekend Break Package/Rover ticket; does this include tickets to all events? Which events?

All Weekend Break Packages include either a Classic or Essential Weekend Rover Ticket, which entitle you entry into all our Special Guest and Panel events.

There’s a few events that your Weekend Break Package won’t cover, which can be booked separately:

  • Creative Thursday Workshop
  • Author Dinners on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 July
  • Publisher-organised events which will be announced as we get closer to the Festival

I haven’t received my tickets yet, should I be worried?

All Festival tickets can only be collected from our onsite box office, which will be open from 3pm on Thursday 18 July and open all weekend.

So if you’ve booked a Weekend Break Package, Classic or Essential Rover Tickets, Site Passes or Individual Event Tickets, come see us at the box office where we’ll have your tickets waiting for you.

For guests joining us on our Creative Thursday course, further information will be sent to you with regards to ticket collection time and location (this will be at the Old Swan Hotel)

Where is the Box Office / sign ins on arrival?

Our Box Office will be in a tent just outside the front of the Old Swan Hotel.

What time are the lunches? Can I buy lunch on-site?

Lunches are included in with Classic Weekend, Friday and Saturday Rover tickets. Lunch will be served in the Wedgwood Restaurant from 12.00pm-2.00pm on Friday 19 July and Saturday 20 July. Please be advised queues are expected so we recommend attending lunch early if you are able.

If you hold a Rover pass, you can also pick up a quick lunch from our on-site Tuck Shop or BBQ, included in your ticket.

Lunch is not included for Essential Rover passes. You can purchase lunch and refreshments on-site from our BBQ or our Tuck Shop.

Do I get a reserved seat to my event?

Seating for all events at the Old Swan Hotel is unreserved. Doors will open approximately 10 minutes before each event. We kindly ask that queue etiquette is observed prior to each event.

As many events will be sold out, we ask you to help us accommodate all ticket holders by making use of every seat in the auditorium and not leaving gaps.

Please note our Friends of the Festival get priority access to the events upon showing their Friends of the Festival membership card.

Find out more about Friends of the Festival here.

Can I stay in the Live Event Tent between events?

We kindly ask that you leave the Live Event Tent promptly when the event is finished to allow us to set the room for the following event.

Can I take pictures?

The use of photographic, video or audio equipment is strictly prohibited in all of our events.

Outside of our events, please feel free to snap, post and upload! Our hashtag is #TheakstonsCrime and we love seeing you get involved.

Do you take card payments?

Yes! Harrogate International Festivals take both card and cash payments at the Box Office. The Old Swan Hotel only takes card payment.

Where are the main events held?

All main events are held in the Theakston Old Peculier Stage Live Event Tent at the Old Swan Hotel, except for any Publisher events or event that are clearly indicated to be held elsewhere – check our onsite event guide for details.

Where are the Author Dinners held?

Both our Friday and Saturday Author Dinners will take place in the Wedgwood Restaurant from 6.15pm onwards.

I’m a Friend of the Festival, can I access the Friends Lounge?

The Festival Friends’ lounge is located in the Rose Room (exact location may change), with a screen and a live link through to all Special Guest and Panel events.

Valid tickets and membership cards must be shown in order to access the lounge.

Please note that new Friends membership cards cannot be issued on-site so please do bring your card with you (unless you sign up to our membership between 1-21 July, your membership card will be issued to you on site).

What is a Friend of the Festival?

Becoming a Friend of the Festivals is one of the best ways to enjoy all that the Harrogate International Festivals have to offer, from big name stars, to intimate concerts and hidden gems. As a charitable arts organisation, we rely on the generous support of our Friends of the Festival to create the quality and range of work we do. Not only can you support Harrogate International Festivals year-round, but each level of membership unlocks more perks!
You can find out more about our Festival Friends and the benefits of membership here.

Will there be tickets on the door available?

Tickets will be available to purchase from the Festival Box Office at the Old Swan Hotel from Thursday 18 – Sunday 21 July, subject to availability. As many of our events sell out before the Festival, we cannot guarantee that tickets will be available to purchase on the day. Early booking is recommended.

Tickets for publisher-organised events: Publisher-organised events may vary. Please speak with our Box Office team on 01423 562 303 for further information.

I want to return my ticket, how do I get a refund?

The Box Office cannot refund money or exchange tickets, except in the case of a cancelled performance. We are happy to try to re-sell returned tickets for sold-out performances for a small charge.

How does the waiting list work?

If you wish to attend a specific sold-out event, we will run a waiting list until Wednesday 17th July which you can join should any tickets for that event become available for re-sale. Please contact the Box Office on 01423 562 303 to join.

From Thursday 18 July there will only be an onsite waiting list which will open 10 minutes prior to the start of each event as we will be able to assess availability. Any onsite waiting list will supersede any previous waiting list.

Is there priority access for patrons with additional needs?

Here at Harrogate International Festivals we are committed to ensuring all customers can enjoy our events equally. To better serve our patrons who have specific access needs we have our Access Scheme. The list is free to join and once you qualify as a member you may be entitled to a complimentary ticket (excluding food) for a Personal Assistant/Carer and/or priority entry into unreserved events. Please call the Festival Office on 01423 562 303  to obtain a blue badge to allow priority entry into unreserved events.

Please speak with our Festival Box Office team on-site at the Old Swan Hotel if you have any questions at all related to your access needs.

Please be advised that we cannot offer retrospective discounts on tickets already purchased.

Is the Old Swan Hotel wheelchair accessible?

The Old Swan Hotel is fully wheelchair accessible. We offer special provisions where we can for visitors with additional access needs. Please call the Festival Office on 01423 562 303 before Friday 12  July or visit the Box Office tent on-site if you have any questions at all related to your access needs.

Where can I park?

If you are using Sat Nav you can use the postcodes below, or click on the name of each car park for more information including opening and closing times.

The Old Swan Hotel – HG1 2SR (Drop off only)

Jubilee Car Park – HG1 1DJ  

Victoria Car Park – HG1 5LQ

West Park Car Park – HG1 1HS

Please note that there will be no parking available at the Old Swan Hotel.

For guests staying at the Old Swan Hotel, we recommend using the above car parks, or there is on street parking around the hotel (York Road, Duchy Road). You will need a parking disc and the restrictions are from 8.00am to 8.00pm. You can park there to unload the car, drop your bags at the hotel and then go and park your car in the long stay car parks – restrictions are usually 3 hours.

If you do not have a parking disc, there will be some available to collect at our Festival Reception Desk.

Please remember to check the closing times of your car park and any on street parking signage as Harrogate International Festivals takes no responsibility for any additional fees incurred.

Is there a book shop?  Are there book signings after every event?

Yes! Waterstones are kindly providing a Festival bookstore at the Old Swan Hotel and they will host book signings after each event. The bookshop will be located in the Garden Room, and signings will take place in the Red Lounge adjacent to the Ballroom.

Do you need a ticket for book signings?

Yes, you will be required to a show a ticket for each event to have a booked signed. Due to high demand there is a limit of 3 books per person.
If you do not hold a ticket for the event, you will be able to join the back of the book-signing queue once all ticket-holders have gone through, but we cannot guarantee that the author will have time to see you.

I’ve booked accommodation through the Festival. How do I check in?
You don’t need to pick up your welcome pack from the Old Swan Hotel before checking in at your hotel; all you need is your name. However, if you have any concerns, then you can show the Hotel staff your confirmation email which you should have received at the time of booking.

You will also receive a welcome email a couple of weeks prior to the Festival reconfirming all your accommodation details.