Swaledale Festival

The award-winning Swaledale Festival is an annual celebration of music and arts in the beautiful landscape of the three northernmost Yorkshire Dales - Swaledale, Wensleydale and Arkengarthdale.

The two-week Festival, which started in 1972 and is a registered charity, begins on the Saturday of the late May Spring Bank Holiday each year. Venues are mostly charming churches, chapels, village halls, and heritage sites such as Richmond's Georgian Theatre Royal, and Gayle Mill near Hawes.

With a primary emphasis on classical music, the Swaledale Festival attracts the finest artists from all over the world, and regularly commissions new work. There is a strong Young Artists Platform at the Festival, and there is an extensive programme of education and community activities which has resulted in several awards, including the Prime Minister's Big Society Award in 2014.

Malcolm Creese is the Artistic Director, having taken up the post in 2007. Malcolm's programme for 2015 included the King's Singers, Royal Northern Sinfonia, James Gilchrist, Skampa Quartet, Tenebrae Consort, ZRI, Magdalena Filipczak, Leon Bosch, Bob Chilcott, Harriet Mackenzie, the Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments, Liane Carroll, Gwilym Simcock, Kathryn Tickell, Black Dyke Band, Adam Hart-Davis, Patricia Hammond, the Urban Folk Quartet, the Railsplitters, and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

Malcolm's post-Festival report can be seen in our News pages.

This year journalist John Bowness helped us to produce some audio clips about several of our concerts. These are short interviews with Malcolm and others to provide a little more background to some of the events. Look for the links on the event pages.

The Swaledale Festival receives support from Arts Council England and from generous sponsors including The Wensleydale Creamery, Sherwoods (Vauxhall) of Darlington, Purple Creative Studio, T. & R. Theakston Ltd, Tennants Garden Rooms, Millgate House B&B in Richmond, the Burgoyne Hotel in Reeth and the Bridge Inn in Grinton. Our thanks also to Dawn Clarkson Associates who examine the Swaledale Festival accounts

We are also supported by a number of Local Businesses and other organisations shown here.


During the 2015 Festival we were delighted to learn that we had been granted the prestigious 'Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe' (EFFE) label recognising Swaledale Festival for the quality of its programme, its involvement with its local community and its open minded acceptance of human values. We are proud to be a member of this select Europe-wide group.