A new pop-up festival packed with exhibitions, events and activities for all ages will run in York Minster’s Dean’s Park this summer.
The Heart of Yorkshire Festival will see the space transformed for a range of events, including an international stone carving festival, open air cinema and a tipi bar with sculpture exhibition from the team behind the popular THOR’S tipi bar.
Other highlights from the summer in the park programme, which runs from 4 July to 2 September, include family music, dance and storytelling workshops, talks and activities for adults and the return of the Minster’s popular children’s craft activities.
The festival is themed around sustainability, the environment and conservation, reflecting the completion of the 10-year, £11.5m project to restore the cathedral’s East End and Great East Window, and the ideas of life and restoration which sit at the heart of the Christian faith.
The centrepiece of the festival will be the international York Minster Stone Carving Festival – the first the cathedral has hosted since 2010 – which will run from the 17 to 19 August. More than 70 stonemasons and carvers from across the UK and Europe will showcase their skills during the three-day festival, which starts with the popular annual Stoneyard Open Day, followed by two days of carving in Dean’s Park.
Throughout the two month festival, pop-up tipi bar SÓL ÁST, from the team behind THOR’S tipi bar, will provide street food and drinks with a summery vibe, including their signature cocktail the ‘Minster Martini’. A large outdoor garden and terrace will host an exhibition of contemporary sculptures by renowned Yorkshire artist Michael Lyons, paying homage to the bar’s theme of sun and light.
To conclude the festival, the country’s leading producer of open-air cinema, The Luna Cinema, will screen three blockbuster films between the 28 and 30 August, allowing viewers to enjoy a film under the stars with the Gothic cathedral as a backdrop. The films are Pan’s Labyrinth (28 August), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (29 August) and The Greatest Showman (30 August).
Family workshops include ‘Trashbang!’, an interactive music workshop from Billy Hickling, previously performer and rehearsal director with international stage hit STOMP, and a song-writing workshop with award-winning songwriter and musician David Gibb.
Hands-on children’s craft activities will run throughout the school holidays celebrating the theme All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Creatures Great and Small, with the chance for youngsters to earn stickers towards the Arts Award Discover certificate.
Adult activities include flower arranging workshops with York Minster’s flower arrangers, willow weaving sessions, urban beekeeping demonstrations and interactive displays with the cathedral’s broderers. As part of the programme, York Minster’s flower arrangers will take centre stage on 7 July demonstrating their skills as part of the BLOOM festival – a city celebration of the 250thanniversary of The Ancient Society of York Florists – the oldest florist society in the world.
Kathryn Blacker, Chapter Steward at York Minster, said: “We’re hugely excited to launch this new summer festival in Dean’s Park, which lies at the heart of the city, in collaboration with the team behind THOR’S tipi.
“The Heart of Yorkshire Festival programme has been created to celebrate and pay thanks to the depth of skill and dedication which goes into caring for this sacred place, and we look forward to welcoming people throughout the summer to experience it for themselves.”
Co-Founder of THOR’S Bars Ltd, Amanda Monaghan, said: “We are thrilled to be invited by the Minster to host our very first summer bar in such an iconic location. Dean’s Park is a hidden gem and our pop-up bar within the Heart of Yorkshire Festival offers residents and visitors alike the opportunity to come and enjoy the gardens.
“Our summer theme will offer the perfect setting to enjoy the sunshine with a terrace, large garden and an amazing summer drinks menu carefully designed to ensure there is something for everyone. With street food dining, alfresco drinking, day beds, summer tunes and contemporary sculptures to view, SÓL ÁST tipi bar at the Minster is the sunny and summery place to be in York.”
For full details of all events, including how to book tickets, visit www.yorkminster.org.