Booking set to open for 2023 Swaledale Festival

Connaught Brass.

Booking for Swaledale Festival, the annual celebration of music, arts and walking, opens on Monday, March 13.

During the festival fortnight 73 events will be brought to the chapels, churches, halls, schools, care homes, galleries and outdoor spaces of the northern Yorkshire Dales, from Saturday, May 27 to Saturday, June 10.

The festival, which is supported by Arts Council England, sees international artists performing on Dales stages – from Australia, the Middle East, India, Africa, Canada, the Americas, Japan, China and all over the UK and Europe.

Organisers say there is also a focus on place and community, with concerts by local choirs, bands and soloists, poetry walks, family puppet shows, late-night astronomy sessions, workshops, comedy, film screenings and exhibitions by local artists.

Astronomer Paul Clark will give a talk on the Northern Dales Night Skies in Reeth on May 27.

Paul’s astronomical, geographical and historical narrative will be accompanied by images and videos of the Dales dark sky.

The animation Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers will be screened at The Garden Rooms at Tennants on May 28, but with a twist – the film will be accompanied by live music from the acclaimed brass band WFEL Fairey Band.

WFEL Fairey Band will also do a special evening performance in which they will showcase a mixed programme of brass-band favourites such as film themes, marches and hymns, along with some exciting new arrangements.

The flute and percussion virtuoso, Eliza Marshall, who has worked with artists such as Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, will do a solo performance on May 29 in Reeth.

Using multitrack delays and loops to build up layers of sounds, Eliza’s solo performances combine African beats with her own melodies and harmonies.

The award-winning Dutch violinist and so-called ‘climate composer’ Tim Kliphuis and his ensemble will perform The Five Elements, an ode to the earth that embraces classical, gypsy, jazz and folk on May 29 in Richmond.

Lempen Puppet Theatre will bring Cardboard Carnival to the beautiful Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond on May 31.

Liz and Daniel Lempen are the tour-de-force behind Skipton Puppet Festival and regularly take their original shows to international festivals across Europe.

The show for all ages offers a celebration of the transportive power of puppetry with lots of cardboard, a little help from Charles Darwin – and an accompaniment of the magical Carnival of the Animals music by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Ronnie Archer-Morgan from the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow will give the Reeth Lecture on June 1.

For decades, Ronnie has brought to life the backstories behind heirlooms and household objects on television. Now he will tell his own unlikely story, talking about some of his favourite objects, his extraordinary life, and his new book, Would It Surprise You To Know…?

Award-winning vocalist Claire Martin OBE and Scottish guitar legend Jim Mullen will celebrate the Great American Songbook and their shared love of jazz on June 1 in Grinton.

British comedian Andy Hamilton will share an evening of comic reflection, reminiscence and revelation at The Garden Rooms at Tennants on June 3. Andy will look back over his 60-ish years on the planet and try to answer some questions.

Michael Messer’s Mitra – a collaboration between an British blues guitarist, a Hindustani slide guitar maestro from India, and a London-based tabla master – comes to Grinton on June 4. The fusion of blues and Indian classical music will be a musical journey running from the banks of the Mississippi, via London and Mumbai, to the Ganges delta.

The Dales poet Mary-Jane Holmes will lead a walking and writing workshop in upper Swaledale on June 6. There will be some moderate walking and fun writing exercises, and it’s open to anyone who’s interested in any genre of writing.

Connaught Brass, a young brass quintet, will perform Handel, Fauré and Rossini in Richmond on June 6.

These musicians form part of the festival’s Young Artists Platform, which aims to showcase musicians who will go on to be big stars.

Australian guitarist Craig Ogden will perform in Grinton church on June 7. Craig’s solo recital will include music by Dowland, Bach, Rodrigo, Coste, Sinesi and Villa-Lobos.

Browse the full programme and book tickets at www.swalefest.org or call the box office on 01748 880019 for assistance.