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Music and Entertainment in York

Your guide to York / Music & Entertainment in York

Music and entertainment in York

Music & Entertainment in York

When searching for what to do in York, events and festivals are an attractive option for locals and visitors alike. As a great example of an old English town full of history, York has medieval streets and fortifications, as well as plenty of food, music, culture and festival events to keep you busy however long you stay. York is known as the City of Festivals, as there is an event going on each month of the year.

For easy reference: Video transcript
For easy reference: Video transcript
For easy reference: Video transcript
For easy reference: Video transcript

Music Events

One of the most thrilling things to do in York is to take in a live music festival. York prides itself on showcasing important music for the masses, and these events should be at the top of your list during a visit.

York Early Music Festival

National Centre For Early Music, St Margaret's Church, Percy's Lane


The York Early Music Festival showcases U.K.'s largest festival of classical music. It has a wide array of artists from all over the world where music is played in Gothic churches and historical buildings that make York's city center a unique attraction. There are also lunchtime concerts, workshops and candlelight night concerts. Make sure to book accommodation and tickets in advance as this is York's most popular festival.

The Great Yorkshire Fringe

Parliament Street


A festival which brings a whole world of varied entertainment, you won't get bored trying to find something to laugh at, dance to or admire. There are comedy, theater, magic, music and cabaret shows, along with food and drink for two weeks. You can find something that interests you and enjoy a good time taking in the wide array of York entertainment.

Sporting Events

One of the major attractions in York involves some good, old-fashioned sports. If you're in the city during these events, be sure to grab a ticket and bring the whole family along.

Micklegate Run Soapbox Challenge

Micklegate Street


The Micklegate Run Soapbox Challenge is a fun and dynamic event that is family-friendly and packed with action. A number of homemade carts run down the cobblestones of Micklegate at fast speeds. There's also live music, a super-car exhibit, food and drinks and fairground rides.

York Races Dante Festival

Racecourse Road


If you are into sports, you will definitely enjoy attending the York Races Dante Festival, where you can enjoy spending time with friends and watch the very best horses compete. This is also a great place to go with the family as the Dante Festival takes place in a span of two days. These sports events usually call for a nice dress up to attend the event.

Food and Drink Events

When it comes to festivals in York, some of the best options involve food. These events are major York attractions for locals and visitors alike, giving people the chance to sample some outstanding cuisine (and beers) from all around England.

York Food Festival

Parliament Street


Foodies get ready to enjoy the York Food & Drink Festival where local food and drink producers showcase their best fare for the public. Located in York's historic city center, where stalls will line Parliament Street and St. Sampson's Square. Sample delicious produce and learn a new recipe as you wonder the many food options while sipping a drink.

York Restaurant Week

1 Duncombe Pl


York is known for its vibrant and eclectic food and drink scene. It offers a yearly festival known as York Restaurant Week where attendees can obtain savings to experience some of the best dining in York. This is a great opportunity to take your loved ones and/or friends and enjoy an intimate day together while supporting local businesses. Taste the best of York food and drinks in a particularly intimate festival.

City of Ale

Unit 6, Enterprise Complex, Walmgate


The City of Ale is a celebration of beer from around England and is a great place for beer lovers to unite in York. There will be around 100 different beers available to drink or try out, and there will also be live music and street food vendors. You can enjoy good food with good beer with the company of friends and/or loved one, and also enjoy the lively atmosphere. The entrance fee is also not very expensive but tickets are limited, so first come first serve.

Cultural Events

There are many cultural events in York throughout the year, and if you enjoy combining a bit of history, holidays and/or unique outdoor experiences, try to see if you will be in the area for these cultural happenings.

York Balloon Fiesta

Knavesmire Park, York 


The York Balloon Fiesta is a recent addition to the collection of York festivals and is located in York Racecourse. A mass balloon launch will start from the Racecourse and is accompanied by live music and York's biggest fun fair. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the balloons are lit up to a soundtrack.

York Christmas Festival

St Nicholas Fair 


This annual Christmas festival is always filled with quaint shops to look through. The festival is made up of stalls in Parliament Street, Sampson's Square, The Judge's Lodging and Coppergate. The festival also has plenty of good winter food where scents mix together to give that unique festive feel. Try some spiced mulled wine and enjoy the festive city of York.

Jorvik Viking Festival

Parliament Street


Vikings make up an important part of the history of York. Archeologists recently discovered an ancient Viking establishment. The Jorvik Viking Festival is the largest event of its kind in Europe and is a celebration of Norse heritage. There will be walks, talks, encampments, combat performances and tours of everything that has to do with Vikings. This festival is located in the city's historical center.

Whether you like everything music, know your way around good food, enjoy learning about the cultural history of a place, or want to watch some sports anywhere you are, you will find something enjoyable to do when you visit the lively and rich city of York. There are plenty of York events for you to choose from and no matter what time of the year you are visiting, there will be an event taking place.