York’s Parliament St hosted a new metropolitan festival last weekend celebrating the creativity and culture of the city, in an unprecedented special event curated by Make It York with the York Music Venue Network.
YorkLife featured over 30 acts, musicians and interactive workshops over Saturday and Sunday, including the YorkLive music stage, which brought together some of the best local talents from across the many grassroots music venues in the city, and all local production teams.
The festival arena, which had been created especially for the event, featured a YorkGin bar, stretch tent and poster barrels highlighting listings and gig posters for the 6 venues that make up York Music Venue Network – The Crescent, The Fulford Arms, National Centre for Early Music, The York Vaults, York Barbican & FortyFive Vinyl Cafe.
Despite varied weather, the event was busy throughout the weekend with both festival headliners Huge and The Howl & The Hum, playing to a packed Parliament St crowd who were enjoying the return of live music to the City’s streets.
Chris Sherrington from York Music Venue Network said “It’s been a truly wonderful weekend delivering an event that celebrates the amazing talent and creativity that York has to offer both on stage and behind the scenes. The event was made possible by City of York Council support and it has been wonderful to work with Make It York and Reel Productions to highlight that the local music scene is back and flourishing. Seeing families enjoy the workshops, audiences appreciating the wide programme of music and artists back on stage, playing in their home city was incredibly moving and I hope we can do it again soon. We would love to see everyone’s memories of the weekend on social media #YorkLife and thank everyone for their support.”
Big Ian from Saturday night headliner, Huge said “What a wonderful event to bring all generations together to sing with one voice. It shows the difference that people can make when venues all share their passion and expertise.This shows just how live music is so important. 32 years after first performing in York city centre it showed us why you should never hang up your guitar!”
Tom Beer from York Alt-rockers “Bull” said “The YorkLife event was a triumph! Well run by a team of excellent local dedicated music scene heroes, a free event for the people of York, an opportunity for York musicians to play in front of new and larger audiences. It was such a diverse audience, bringing the people of York closer together, & thoroughly enjoyed by all of us performing. State of the art sound and lighting, a professional experience which attracted many to York for a positive and celebratory reason as well as providing young and old York residents with an unforgettable weekend of fun and wonder!”
Bradley Blackwell from The Howl & The Hum said: “This festival was on par, if not better than, any festival, domestically or internationally, we’ve had the honour to play. The lineup, the setting, the organisation and the crew were all of the highest quality, and we’d love to play it again”
Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York says “We wanted YorkLife to be a celebration of local York talent and culture, from our street musicians to our local community groups and it definitely was! It was amazing to see our residents coming together to really celebrate the sense of community in York and see some of the hottest talent York has to offer. We thank the York Music Venue Network for working so closely with us on YorkLife and we’re looking forward to further opportunities where we can come together and support our local talent.”
Throughout the day, there was also an array of interactive sessions held by local organisations in the city such as circus skills, face painting, comedy, dance and talks from the Festival of Ideas, all to inspire creativity and showcase the amazing creative businesses around York.