Harrogate Crime Writing Fest Goes Online
by Sarah Morgan
Shops, pubs and restaurants may be reopening, but culture vultures are still starved of events to attend. Well, sort of. Seeing as festivals and the like are usually run by creative people, many organisers have put their thinking caps on and come up with inventive ways to keep people occupied.
Thanks to the internet, we can now be connected wherever we are, and so various events have moved online. The Harrogate International Festivals committee is doing just that by launching the HIF Weekender, which will take place from July 23rd to 26th, the same weekend as the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival was due to happen.
It should come as no surprise, then, to find that there’s a dedicated crime writing section, which kicks off with the announcement of the winner of this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.
Also popping up in various talks are Ian Rankin, who discusses his most famous creation, Rebus, and Lee Child, who’s set to talk about his extraordinarily successful career to date – and, of course, the mighty Jack Reacher.
Mark Billingham is set to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his series detective, Tom Thorne, while Steve Cavanagh and Luca Veste – organisers of the recent Locked Up Festival – host a special episode of their Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Genre legend Val McDermid also talks to Mark Lawson about her annual New Blood panel, which has helped launched the careers of several authors.
If crime fiction is a little too dark for your tastes, running alongside the above discussions is an amazing selection of musical performances, curated by jazz maestro Mischa Mullov-Abbado, including a specially commissioned new piece from Yorkshire-based composer David Lancaster.
Other performers to listen out for include former the BBC Young Jazz Musician of The Year finalists Sean Payne and Noah Stoneman, cellist Steven Isserlis, the Navarra String Quartet, multi-award-winning concerto violinist Tasmin Little, BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award nominees Granny’s Attic and former Hacienda DJ Graeme Park.
Still not impressed? Well perhaps the opportunity to hear conversations with Stella Duffy, John Suchet and Anthony Horowitz, as well as events to keep children happy.
“Out of crisis comes creativity, and Harrogate International Festivals is delighted to present a world-class line-up for our first virtual HIF Weekender,” says Sharon Canavar, CE of Harrogate International Festivals. “Whilst there is no denying that this is a hugely challenging time for the arts and for artists, festivals play a vital part in the creative industries ecology and defining our cultural landscape, and so we are extremely proud to be presenting this rich selection to our audiences world-wide for free, ensuring the arts remain accessible to all at a time when we need it the most.”
Find out more at: harrogateinternationalfestivals.com