Final countdown to 2017 Swaledale Festival

Final preparations are being made for this year’s Swaledale Festival.

The two-week festival which features music, drama, dance, arts and walking begins on Saturday 27 May and runs till Saturday 10 June.

Organisers say there is still time to snap up tickets for some exceptional and exciting performances.

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On Saturday 3 June St Andrew’s Church in Grinton welcomes Zulu Tradition – a stage show from a company of young singers and dancers rekindling the spark of Zulu Culture.

On Sunday 4 June the same venue hosts Amores Pasados: two vocalists and two lute players performing a diverse programme of songs from the 17th century to now, including several by rock stars John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin and Sting.

On Thursday 8 June the Fidelio Trio comes to the Influence Church in Richmond to perform an evening of chamber music including the world premiere of a new commission by the revered composer Alexander Goehr.

The Young Artists Platform brings fine young musicians at the beginning of their careers to perform at the Festival from all over the UK.

This year the reigning BBC Young Musician of the Year and young man of the moment Sheku Kanneh-Mason performs with two of his equally talented siblings at St. Andrew’s Church in Aysgarth.

13-piece ensemble Arch Sinfonia, a sensational orchestra renowned for its boundless energy, travels from London to perform Wagner and Bruckner at St Oswald’s Church in Askrigg.

The Behn Quartet and Friends perform the world premiere of Home Field – Five Songs for the Dales by composer Adrian Rickard and Dales-based poet Ann Pilling.

And the National Youth Jazz Orchestra – twenty of the finest young jazz musicians in the country – perform classics from the big band cannon along with some new commissions at the Influence Church in Richmond.

There are also art exhibitions in a range of venues. Guy Carpenter, professional photographer based in Richmond, displays his photographs at Hudson House in Reeth.

These include impressive Yorkshire Dales landscapes, but also the people and activities that make it the fascinating place it is today.

Michael Bilton and Lesley Knevitt present new paintings that represent very personal interpretations of the landscapes that inspire them.

Their work can be viewed at the National Park offices in Bainbridge during office opening times.

Rachel Antill, Richard Barnes, Emily Harper and Freya Horsley – four northern artists – exhibit work using colour, line, texture and mark-making as a response to the Dales and Moors at Gunnerside Village Hall.

Joy and Friends is a retrospective exhibition celebrating the work of late artist and sculptor Joy Bently and many of her friends at East Windy Hall Gallery in Arkengarthdale.

And as part of the Festival’s community and education work, an exhibition of jazz-inspired artworks by students of Risedale Sports and Community College in Catterick and five other neighbouring schools is exhibited at The Station in Richmond and Catterick Library.

Exhibitions are free.

Tickets to other events can be booked online at  or through the festival box office on 01748 880019.