Moved not cancelled – that’s the message from organisers of JORVIK Viking Festival who have announced that this February’s event will be moved to May, as concerns over large gatherings and availability of staff prompt the change. The new dates for the Festival will be Saturday 28 May until Wednesday 1 June 2022.
JORVIK Viking Festival normally takes place during York’s February half term week, and indeed tickets for two highlight events sold out after they went on sale in November. Last year’s event was replaced with an online Viking event – That JORVIK Viking Thing – which will take place again this year from 19-27 February as planned.
“We have been working on plans for the Festival since last summer, so we are determined that it will still take place in 2022, but with parts of the UK still under restrictions on public gatherings, we consider it would be unwise to host events that draw crowds of thousands at this time,” comments Festival manager, Gareth Henry. “As we experienced in 2020 when we had to cancel our evening event due to high winds, weather can also impact on the event.”
It is hoped that the full programme of events can be released by the end of February, following That JORVIK Viking Thing. Popular events, including the living history encampment, Strongest Viking Competition, Best Beard contest, have-a-go activities and Traders Market are set to return, many of them free of charge thanks to support from City of York Council.
The Battle Spectacular will take place on the evening of Saturday 28 May, although will start later so that the pyrotechnics can be seen to best effect given the later time of sunset. The March to Coppergate will also take place on that date, subject to approval from the city’s safety bodies. The Viking Banquet will take place on the evening of Wednesday 1 June, and those who hold tickets for February’s sell-out event will be given priority places.
February half term will not be entirely without a Viking presence, as a host of livestreamed events and on-demand videos are planned for the week. “We had always planned to continue hosting That JORVIK Viking Thing alongside the Festival, so we’re just finalising a revised programme now – we will be announcing more details in the next few weeks,” adds Gareth. “We also have a couple of exciting plans within JORVIK Viking Centre for anyone still keen on a face-to-face Viking encounter – including the arrival of the Silverdale Hoard for a year-long display from 9 February, and more to be revealed soon.”
Those who have already purchased tickets to the Viking Feast and Battle Spectacular will be contacted directly.
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