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York Festival of Ideas 2020 moved online

The online festival still aims to entertain and educate people by hosting online talks from experts and world-class speakers

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Due to restrictions caused by the current COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 York Festival of Ideas has moved online. The online festival began yesterday, 2 June, and will continue until 14 June. This year, the festival will take place under the fitting banner of ‘virtual horizons’.

As always, the festival is run by a partnership between the University of York, York Theatre Royal, York Museums Trust, the National Centre for Early Music and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Additionally, the aim of the festival remains to, now virtually, “enhance York’s reputation as a city of ideas and innovation through offering the highest calibre of public events to local, regional and visitor audiences.”

To achieve this, the festival provides a diverse selection of talks and programmes on topics ranging from music to community trails. Its goals of education and entertainment are not hindered by the movement to the online platform, as the festival still has a full calendar of events. As stated by the organisers of the festival, these events can be used to help entertain children at home during lockdown, as well as provide engaging exercise opportunities as well.

Some of the talks are designed in line with the current global pandemic, with events such as ‘Post Covid-19: Building a Better Society’ taking place on 5 June. However, many of the other events will hopefully distract from the current crisis, musing on topics such as literature, history and the city of York itself. On the latter topic, the festival is running various thematic walking trails through York, wherein listeners can see York under new and unseen lights.

Those who wish to listen to these online talks need only visit their website: and book tickets to the events of their choosing, most of which are free.

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