Yorkshire Coast set to become a giant soundscape in a 365-day live music festival
From the planet’s hottest popstars to the best of UK grassroots indie, the Yorkshire Coast is set to become one of the top places in Britain to enjoy live music in 2017. As well as hosting BBC Radio One’s Big Weekend - at Burton Constable Hall near Hull - in May, the Yorkshire Coast is also being transformed into an epic 365-day living soundscape with hills, beaches, farms, forests, piers and parks, and Europe’s largest open-air theatre coming alive to the sound of music.
“The Yorkshire Coast’s live 365-day music festival is attracting the country’s and even the world’s favourite acts,” says Janet Deacon of Welcome to Yorkshire, “It’s such an important part of the area’s appeal as a leading holiday destination, with at least 30% of our coastal visitors enjoying live music during their stay, and many more returning year on year to the area’s celebrated annual festivals – all staged in some of the country’s most beautiful and historic surroundings. Whatever’s on the playlist at home, holiday-makers will discover the perfect living soundtrack on the Yorkshire Coast during 2017, with every type of music being performed from pop, rock, folk, sea-shanties, goth, steampunk, classical, Cajun, reggae, urban, soul, to everything in between.”
Musical highlights include twelve of the world’s top stars and legends of music, from Little Mix and Olly Murs to the Beach Boys and Tom Jones, in Europe’s largest open-air theatre; the world’s leading indie fest in Whitby, the home of gothic; two major classical concert series featuring international artists; seven major folk festivals; live music festivals from every decade from the 40s to the 90s; Britain’s largest indoor festival; and the UK’s biggest gatherings of Cajun and Zydeco musicians, gospel singers, and Sea Balladeers. With many festivals taking place over several days, it’s also a great excuse to book a trip to the seaside, with a huge choice of accommodation available right on the doorstep, whether chilling out in a tent, or living it up in a 5-star spa-hotel.
Peter Taylor, director of Scarborough Open Air Theatre (OAT) promoters Cuffe and Taylor, said: “2017 is shaping up to be an amazing year at Scarborough OAT - the response to this summer’s shows has been simply fantastic. We are looking to increase the number of shows from the 11 we held in 2016 to 18 this year. That means thousands more music fans coming to the Yorkshire coast which is fantastic for the local tourist economy. We can’t wait for the legendary Beach Boys to kick off the first OAT gig of 2017 on May 24. Following them we have such major acts as Little Mix, Jess Glynne, Olly Murs, Cliff Richard, The Jacksons, Tom Jones, Kaiser Chiefs, Madness, UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey Virtue, George Benson, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, The Human League and our 80s v 90s night and indie legends The Charlatans. Some of the shows are either sold out, or very nearly sold out, so I would advise any fans wanting to come and see their favourite act at the OAT to not delay in securing their tickets."
Janet adds: “It’s not just about the quality and diversity of the live music on offer: most of these events take place in stunning or unusual locations – in enchanting woodland or unspoilt countryside, in historic pubs or vintage theatres, or with views across the coast. The spectacular landscapes turn a listening experience into something truly memorable and magical, a multi-sensory soundscape perfect for sharing with family and friends.”
For more information about the Yorkshire Coast and North York Moors, including full event and festival listings or ideas for places to stay during a visit to the area, visitwww.discoveryorkshirecoast.com and www.yorkshire.com, or talk to the friendly, dedicated team at the Tourism Bureau on T: 01723 383636 or E:
, open all year, except 24-26 December and 1 January.
• 19 – 21 May, Whitby Gospel Music Convention: the UK’s top gospel music event, at Whitby Pavilion each May, with a Late Summer Special on 7 October. Artists in 2017 include the North Ness Boys from Shetland, the Amen Gospel Praise Band from Ireland and Tony Goodacre, Britain’s Mr Country Music.
• 24 May – 11 August, Europe’s largest open-air theatre, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, will be welcoming superstars and legends of music: Little Mix, Olly Murs, Jess Glynn, Kaiser Chiefs, Madness, the Beach Boys, Cliff Richard, the Jacksons, George Benson, UB40 and The Charlatans, alongside the ultimate 80s v 90s Face-Off, with chart-toppers including The Human League, and Midge Ure.
• 26 – 29 May, The Great North Folk Festival, a giant festival of folk in the tiny North York Moors village of Botton near Whitby, attracts the best folk and roots artists from across the world.
• 9 – 11 June, Robin’s Hood Bay Folk Festival: a free annual festival, with relaxed music sessions and sing-arounds across a range of venues in this historic and picturesque fishing village (there’s even a folk service in church on Sunday).
• 9 – 11 June, Whitby Sixties Festival at Whitby Pavilion, with some of biggest names of the 1960s performing live - including Marmalade, and the Searchers - alongside top tribute acts. There’s also a Whitby Sixties Spectacular in September.
• 16 – 17 June, the Flipside Rock n’ Roll Weekender at Whitby Pavilion: colourful and lively 1950s rock & roll dance with popular bands, attracting Teddy Boys & Girls from across the country
• 23 – 25 June, Dalby Forest Live: three giants of the British music scene perform live in the stunning surroundings of Yorkshire’s great forest, featuring Rick Astley (23 June) – one of the most successful British solo artists, selling out arenas across the continent; Elbow (24 June) – over the past two decades have become one of the most important contemporary bands, famed for story-telling lyrics and intimate live shows; and Craig David (25 June) – British R&B singer and songwriter, and one of the UK’s most successful male solo artists.
• 30 June – 2 July, Jazz & Blues Festival at Burton Agnes House & Gardens, near Bridlington: celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017 with over 25 of the UK’s hottest jazz and blues bands, this might be one of the smallest summer gatherings, but it’s recognised as one of the UK’s best, and classiest outdoor summer festivals, with posh camping, giant games and gourmet food.
• 7 – 8 July, Moonbeams Festival at Wold Top Brewery: bringing the UK’s best folk, acoustic and roots music to a world-class beer festival. Includes the Big Sky at Night marquee for midnight acoustic, and acts on the main stage including Seth Lakeman, Skippinish, Damien O’Kane Band, Chris While & Julie Matthews and many more.
• 7 – 9 July, Staxtonbury Family Music Festival: with over 50 of the north’s top acoustic bands, from folk to hard rock, performing in beautiful farm surroundings across 5 stages. An NME favourite, the event is also ideal for families, with a Northern Soul dance stage, an open air cinema, the biggest straw bears in the country, play areas, and a Children’s and Jammin’ Marquee.
• 7 – 9 July, the Yorkshire Soul Weekender at Whitby Pavilion: featuring the best Northern Soul, Motown and Modern Soul with the north’s best loved DJs – and a superb dancefloor! Quickly sells out, with daytime sessions and Soul nights.
• 14 – 16 July, Whitby Seafest: staging some of the biggest gatherings of sea balladeers, shantymen, folk musicians and singers in the UK, with local musicians alongside international artists - the cream of the folk, roots, sea music and shanty world.
• 14 – 30 July, Ryedale Festival: outstanding classical artists from across the world perform in some of the region’s most beautiful historic houses, churches and countryside, including a performance by the Orchestra of Opera North at Scarborough Spa on 21 July, featuring Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini with outstanding young Russian pianist, Pavel Kolesnikov; and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique.
• 21 – 23 July, Scarborough Seafest: a huge annual - and free - Maritime Festival for families, with live music, the very popular Seafest Food Theatre, and plenty of entertainment building up to the traditional Blessing of the Boats.
• 22 – 23 July, 60s Fest at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway: the entire 25-mile railway goes back in time to the Swinging Sixties, with 60s live tributes – from Elvis to the Beatles - and show bands, pop pirate radio show, fashion shows and 60s food and drink.
• 23 – 29 July, the 5th Ryedale Trad Jazz Festival, featuring a concert a day with spirituals, stompers and wiggles by acts from across Yorkshire.
• 11 – 13 August, Saltburn Folk Festival: featuring a spectacular guest line-up of over 50 top folk performers, including internationally-known Vin Garbutt, Jez Lowe, and The Bad Pennies, alongside an exciting range of local musicians, sing arounds, dance displays and street performers.
• 13 – 26 August, ‘Arcadia’ - the North York Moors Chamber Music Festival: two-weeks of exceptional UK chamber music concerts, performed by Europe’s leading musicians in beautiful historic surroundings.
• 19 – 25 August, Whitby Folk Week: a seven-day celebration of traditional music centred around Whitby Pavilion, with music, dance and songs of the British Isles in over 600 events from concerts, ceilidhs, workshops, sing-arounds, sessions and street entertainment, with top artists from across the UK.
• 22 – 24 September, Scarborough Jazz Festival in the Scarborough Spa, celebrating its 15th anniversary with top quality jazz, starring the New York Brass Band alongside rousing big band, swinging modern jazz, rising stars, superb vocalists and musical maestros.
• 1 October, Whitby Blues Festival at Whitby Pavilion, with full day of the best blues, rhythm and rock music.
• 20-22 October, 2017, MusicPort World Music Festival in Whitby: Britain’s largest indoor live music festival taking place in the legendary Whitby Pavilion, with favourite artists from across the world, including for 2017 Himmerland (Denmark), "Orchestra Of Samples" with Addictive TV, Fistful Of Spookies, Amaraterra (Italy) & Jamie Smith's Mabon.
• Whitby Goth Festival takes place in Spring and October / November each year (2017/8 dates tbc), and is the world’s leading goth festival, with live music and entertainment for the alternative lifestyle: goths, punks, steampunks, emos, bikers, metallers, and anyone who lives their life according to their own rules! The spring 2017 festival dates are 21 - Sun 23 Apr 2017.
• Throughout December, Christmas takes over the Yorkshire Coast’s towns and villages with Christmas Switch-Ons and carol concerts right across the region. Look out for special performances by the award-winning Kirkbymoorside traditional brass band – the pride of the region, and now over 200 years old; and also Victorian-inspired carols and street theatre at the Dickens Festival in Malton, the town that inspired Charles Dicken’s famous Christmas Carol.
• Scarborough Coastival (February 2018): a large annual Live Music & Arts Festival in February, with cutting-edge (and groovy!) live concerts by top UK and local musicians and DJS - many free of charge! - alongside a mini film festival, and an exciting array of street performers and artists.
• Yorkshire Cajun Zydeco Festival, in Malton’s Milton Rooms (March 2018 tbc): the UK’s largest festival of its type – this unusual music and dance extravaganza attracts top bands from across the UK and Europe, to turn this little corner of Yorkshire into the Deep South of America.
• Top Secret Blues Festival (March 2018 tbc) at Scarborough Spa: one of the worst-kept secrets in UK Blues, with the highest-quality line-up of international artists and UK talent, and late night jam sessions.
• May Bank Holiday weekend (end April – beginning of May), Filey Folk Festival: attracting over 100 acts in folk, blues, jazz, country, and acoustic performing in concert halls, and for free in pubs, cafes, restaurants, guitar shops and on the streets.
• Scarborough is the last seaside resort in Britain to maintain a professional orchestra, with daily concerts throughout the summer months in the Spa (5 June – 14 September), including a Teddy Bear’s Picnic, and a spectacular Grand Finale Concert.
• Pubs across the Yorkshire Coast host live music and open mic sessions throughout the year, with local bands also appearing at the region’s Food & Drink Festivals. One of the most celebrated band nights series is the Backyard Concerts in Whitby – a series of occasional folk (and food) concerts at Sanders Yard Bistro, featuring the country’s leading touring artists.
• The Yorkshire Coast has a long and magnificent heritage, so it’s not surprising that it revels in nostalgia, with regular 60s and 70s Weekends of live music in Whitby with some of the era’s biggest names. During the Railway in Wartime Weekend in Pickering in October, you’ll also experience live music and dance from the 1940s, while Bridlington’s Old Town 1940s Summer Festival (Sat 10 Jun - Sun 11 Jun 2017) will star great vocalists and entertainers including Lola Lamour, The Garnett Sisters, and Ruby Macintosh, hosted by Paul Casper of ‘The George Formby Experience’.
• The Band Room (or shed!) in Low Mill, Farndale – known locally as the ‘greatest small venue on earth’. Built for the local silver band in the 1920s, it now welcomes indie grassroots musicians from across the world.