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A new spring festival is being brought to York this April to showcase local talent in the city in the form of musicians, performers, comedians and much more. Organised by Make It York, YorkLife will see over 30 local performers and organisations join together on Parliament Street over the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd April for residents to enjoy.

Festival headliners include Huge, who for the last 30 years have been filling dance floors and theatres across York, will be bringing the party to Saturday night. Closing the festival Sunday night will be home-grown talent The Howl & The Hum, who recently graced the stage of York Minster and celebrated a sell-out 2 night residency at The Brudenell. They headline the main “YorkLive” stage which hosts a programme curated by York’s Music Venue Network showcasing local artists, including Bull, Kitty VR, Flatcap Carnival, Hyde Family Jam & many more.

There’ll also be an array of interactive sessions held by local organisations in the city such as theatre workshops, instrumental workshops, face painting, comedy and dance performances, as well as fire performers and local circus acts to really bring the festival feel to York this spring and celebrate York residents.

The main stage will be located on Parliament Street, with an open viewing area that holds a capacity of 500 people. There will also be a covered stretch tent, which will hold a York Gin bar and seating area. The stretch tent holds a further 90 people, on a one-in-one-out policy. This is a free event and there is no need to book tickets in advance.

YorkLife is organised by Make It York, with support from the City of York Council’s ARG funding - which aims to support businesses impacted by Covid-19. The programme of events for YorkLife has been curated with York residents in mind and to support the city's recovery from Covid.

Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, said: “Our cultural sector is the life-blood of our communities. There is so much local talent in York, from musicians to comedians and poets to performers, which make our city so vibrant and unique. YorkLife is an excellent way to celebrate our home grown musicians and performers, particularly after what have been a challenging few years for us all. I would encourage residents to join the festival and enjoy the best of York’s own local talent.”

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York said: “YorkLife is a celebration of local York talent and culture, from our street musicians to our local community groups. We want to really celebrate the sense of community in York and we’re encouraging residents to come join the party and see some of the hottest talent York has to offer.”

Chris Sherrington, Music Venue Co-Owner and a member of York Music Venue Network, said: “It’s wonderful to have this opportunity to showcase some of York’s amazingly talented artists who have developed their careers across the city of York’s many great grassroots music venues. As part of YorkLife weekend, we are looking forward to celebrating the return of live music to the city and enjoying the wonderful variety of music for one and all. This event has been a true cooperative effort of York’s event industry and creatives and we look forward to working on future events.”

Find out more about YorkLife at #YorkLife

The full line-up for YorkLife will be announced later in March

For more information, please contact:

Brittany Guymer

Communications Executive at Make It York

Notes to Editors

YorkLife is taking place on the 2nd – 3rd April between 11am and 9pm on Parliament Street. This is a free open event organised by Make It York, with the support of City of York Council’s ARG funding.

About Make It York

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.

These are:

  • City positioning and profile-raising

  • Ensuring an exciting city centre

  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy

Full line-up to be announced soon. Confirmed acts and workshop include:


Mud Pie Arts – Interactive Storytelling Cloud Tales

Thunk It Theatre – Build Our City Theatre Workshop

Gemma Wood – Art ‘York Skyline’

Fantastic Faces – Facepainting

York Mix Radio – Quiz

York Dance Space – Dance Performance

Burning Duck Comedy Club – Comedy night

Henry Raby from Say Owt – Spoken Poetry

Matt Barfoot – Drumming Workshop

Christian Topman – Ukulele Workshop

Polly Bennet – Little Vikings PQA Performing Arts Workshop

Innovation Entertainment – Circus Workshops


The Howl & The Hum



Kitty VR

Flatcap Carnival

Hyde Family Jam

Floral Pattern


Wounded Bear