York Calling’s 2016

It’s a testament to us Yorkshire folk that, when in 2016 the world seemed to be going mad around us, we’ve just got on with things. It’s been a good year for music and culture in York and beyond this year, and we’ve had a privilege of covering a heck of a lot of it. Head Writer Jane Howkins and Editor in Chief Graeme Smith run down their highlights.

This year was a fantastic year for me at York Calling. The work certainly stepped up a bit but it was worthwhile, and I found it very rewarding. We started getting a lot more albums and EPs through to review, and discovering so many new bands and artists was especially fun for me. Our team also expanded further which was helpful, and it’s always great to get new writers and photographers and see the musical world through their eyes!

I also had some opportunities that I never thought would be possible, reviewing some festivals being high on the list. This year I managed to grab press tickets to the Leeds Slam Dunk Festival in May, as well as the Leeds leg of the Carling Festival in August, and being there in a professional capacity was excellent. I also managed to interview some bands that I really enjoy listening to, with a long conversation with Ian D’Sa from Billy Talent being a particularly surreal highlight! All in all it has been a great year for York Calling, and I am looking forward to helping the team expand further in 2017.

Jane Howkins

Nas (left) and Heck (right) at Leeds Festival – photos by Chris Mackins

York Calling’s year really got started in March when we launched our shiny new website, designed by local independents The Oslo Agency. It was around the same time we were invited along to the premiere of Jack Spring’s The Great Yorkshire Bank Robbery. This short film, shot in York, was a delight and only the beginning for this young director.

2016 also saw us foray into what the Internet calls ‘listicles’, which proved to be a hit with our readers. 7 Tracks from Yorkshire The Should Be in Your Playlist, 6 of the Best Things in York and, most recently, The 10 Best Albums of 2016  all seemed to pique the interest of folk in York and across the world.

Molotov Jukebox (left) – photo by Marc McGarraghy and Marc Radcliffe (right) – photo by Andy Argyle

But the best was left for last this year, with two epically enjoyable events happening in December. First, Molotov Jukebox came to York for the first time, turning Fibbers into a tropical party, then radio royalty Radcliffe and Maconie broadcast from Thor’s Tipi in a cosy early Christmas party.

And there was everything else: The Black Rose Ball, Lion Papers, Kymberley Kennedy, Lowri Evans, Illuminating York, too much to mention here. Maybe in 2017 this will have to be a two-parter!

Graeme Smith

We wish to thank all our readers for your continued support and all the best for 2017!