The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival returns to the Old Swan Hotel on Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd July 2023!

For one long, sultry, summer weekend the temperature in Harrogate rises whatever the weather as the world’s hottest celebration of crime writing swings into town. Once tasted, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival leaves you on the edge of your seat, waiting for the next exciting chapter.

The 2023 Festival guarantees thrills, and perhaps a few spills at the hotel bar, at the gathering of the crime writing industry’s self-appointed Annual General Meeting, with a difference! Grab a pint of Yorkshire’s finest ale, relax in the hotel gardens, and dip into an intoxicating mix of comedy, cabaret, heated debate, and scintillating socialising. It would be a murderous misdemeanour to miss it.

It’s the friendliest Festival with its feet firmly on Yorkshire ground. Hang out with your heroes, get an exclusive insight into the Next Big Thing, rub shoulders with the UK’s leading agents, editors and publishers. Be inspired and join in the drama at Agatha Christie’s old haunt: the luxurious Old Swan Hotel.

“Harrogate: a town defined by the Festival” Luca Veste

What are the ticket options?

We have a number of different ticket options, from spending the whole weekend with us to choosing just to catch your favourite author. Tickets are released in stages, so we’ve provided some details below:

Don’t miss a minute of the drama with one of our exclusive Classic Weekend Break Packages, which includes

  • 3 Nights accommodation with breakfast at a Festival hotel
  • Lunch at The Old Swan Hotel on Friday and Saturday
  • Access to all events in the Live Event Tent
  • Priority booking for additional events, including the Author Dinner and publisher events (additional fees may apply)
  • A Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival goody bag.

Weekend Break Packages on sale now | Click here for more details!

Be up close to the action with access and a guaranteed seat to all events in the Live Event Tent on the day(s) of your choosing, with tickets available from just the one day to the full weekend. And of course, access to our bars, signing room and book shops, as well as going home with your own Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival goody bag.

We have three Rover Tickets available:

Friday Rover Tickets: Access to all events on Friday 21 July 2023 in the Live Event Tent

Saturday Rover Tickets: Access to all events on  Saturday 22 July 2023 in the Live Event Tent

Weekend Rover Tickets: Access to all events from Thursday 20 – Sunday 23 July 2023 in the Live Event Tent

Rover Tickets will go on sale Early Spring. Make sure to sign up to our newsletter to get regular updates.

Just want to catch a few of your favourite authors? In this case, you can purchase tickets just for the events of your choice, whilst still being able to soak in the Festival atmosphere, pop along to the book signing and enjoy a pint of Theakston Old Peculier at the bar.

Festival Programme to be announced in Spring | Individual Event tickets will go on sale late Spring | Keep up to date with our announcements by signing up to our newsletter.

If you want to be part of the Festival spirit without committing to attending an event, then a Site Pass may be the option for you. Our Site Passes grant you access to the main Festival grounds of The Old Swan Hotel, including the bookshop and the bar.

Please note: Site passes do not give you access to any Live Event tent events – tickets for events must be booked separately. However, if you book a ticket for a Live Event Tent event on a specific day, you are automatically granted access to the site for that day, and so there is no need to purchase a site pass.

For example, if you book to see a panel event on Friday, then you do not need to book a Site Pass for Friday – your ticket to the event automatically grants you access to the site for the whole day. But if you want to meet a friend in the bar on Saturday and you don’t have a ticket for any events on Saturday, then you do need to book a Site Pass for Saturday to be allowed on site.

The cost of a Site Pass cannot be redeemed against the cost of any event tickets you choose to buy for that day, so please do consider carefully if you would like a Site Pass or an event ticket. If you need any further guidance, please do call our Box Office on 01423 562 303.

Site Passes are available to purchase for individual days or for the whole weekend | Tickets will be on sale Late Spring.

Looking for something special to do for dinner at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival? Then join us for our special Author Dinner, where you can get to know your favourite authors in a relaxed dinner environment. Tickets include a two course meal, a glass of wine and a copy of your table host’s book.

And because it would not be a true crime evening without a mystery to be solved, will your table be the team that finds out who did it?

Author Dinner tickets will be on sale Early Spring.

Creative Thursday will return on 20 July 2023. A day of writing workshops, panel discussions and pitching sessions which no aspiring crime writer will want to miss. They say every day is a school day, but if your favourite lesson is learning how to write a bestselling crime novel, then no day beats Creative Thursday.

Wherever you are in your writing journey, whether on the first chapter or the final draft, you’re guaranteed to pick up pointers which will help polish your prose and perfect your plot. Leading authors and industry professionals are on hand to share their secrets and arm you with everything you need to take that great idea and make it into a great book.

It’s a full day, packed with information, help, encouragement, and diabolically golden advice. Creative Thursday is immersive and unique, and is designed to give you the best chance of getting that publishing deal you dream of.

Hear from successful authors who took the plunge to attend Creative Thursday and subsequently found themselves on the path to publication! Who knows, one day that could be you.

Details and tickets will be released in the spring | To register your interest, please email sophie@harrogate-festival.org.uk 

Each year a number of publishers host their own exclusive events during the Festival weekend. Many of these events are free, but do require a ticket to be booked to reserve your space.

Tickets for Publisher Events are announced from Late Spring and in the lead up to the Festival.

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