Voted one of the best places to live in the UK, Beverley is a hidden gem; on the doorstep of the rolling countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds and a short drive from the spectacular Humber Bridge. It is the perfect town for a festival – big enough to have a lot in it, compact enough to be practical – and oozing character and charm.
With its multi-layered history, beautiful architecture, real market, glorious venues, and marvellous array of pubs, eateries and independent shops, it’s the sort of place that people stumble across once and love forever.
Ultimately, though, it is the people who make a festival. From our very first year, our audience has been incredibly warm and loyal; and amongst our artists we are privileged to have assembled a truly world-class team of singers and players, who love coming to this wonderful, and slightly off-the-beaten-track, corner of the UK. The result is an incredible few days of music-making, and of friendship, and a real buzz.
Beverley and its people are a constant source of inspiration to us in programming the festival and it is a joy to celebrate the town we are proud to call home throughout the festival. Some highlights of Beverley celebrations across the first three years of the festival include a musical tour of the Minster, ‘A Maiden’s Garland’ (a concert inspired by the maiden’s garland in St Mary’s), a musical ‘takeover’ of the town (an entire day of free performances at venues throughout town) and ‘Inspired by Elwell’ (a concert inspired by the artworks of cherished local artist, Fred Elwell). In 2019 our commission was inspired by the Pilgrim Hare in St Mary’s, and the concert ‘Notes From Afar’ took inspiration from the wayfarer’s lamp in St Mary’s.
Here we highlight five features of the town we love. We hope that this tempts you to visit!
Beverley Minster is one of the finest gothic buildings in Northern Europe and is bigger than many cathedrals. Its graceful twin towers dominate the medieval skyline of the town. A place of pilgrimage since AD721, a notable visitor to the shrine of St John of Beverley was Henry V, who won the battle of Agincourt on the Feast of the translation of St John.
The Minster is a building of astonishing beauty and elegance. Among its many alluring and significant features are the Percy Canopy, the Frith Stool, and a collection of over 70 medieval minstrel carvings in the nave; the largest collection of its type in the world.
New Paths is dedicated to the late Alan Spedding who was Organist and Director of Music at the Minster for over 40 years, and nurtured generations of musicians. Known for his kindness and good humour, we hope that Alan is smiling on our endeavours.