The Show Goes On-line: Harrogate International Festivals’ At Home Experience

HIF 2020

Harrogate International Festivals has turned to technology and the internet to ensure this year’s show go on-line.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the arts charity has launched HIF at Home. HIF at Home is a free resource dedicated to its world-wide fan base. And despite most of its team being furloughed, the remaining staff members have been developing new opportunities and partnerships. They’ve been creating a revised online programme, featuring an array of top musicians, authors and inspirational speakers.

Unfortunately, one of the casualties has been the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. But for fans of this genre all is not lost. More than a dozen interviews with writers including Ian Rankin, Lee Child and Ann Cleeves, recorded at previous have been uploaded to the HIF Player. People can listen to these again, and many more will be coming over the next few weeks.

HIF 2020

“Showcasing young talent”

A veritable library of reading material has also been uploaded, and devoted readers will be able to delve into its contents in the new, “You’re Booked” section, which also features a “Book of the Month”, interviews and Q&As with well-known authors.

The team is working with key artists who were scheduled to star at this summer’s season to make online appearances. Leading rave-scene Hacienda DJ, Graeme Park is one of the highlights in this area. And already lined up as guest curator is jazz bass player, composer and arranger, Misha Mullov Abbado. In addition to launching his new album on HIF Player, he’ll be playing live. He’ll also be handpicking a number of young musicians to also deliver live, exclusive performances.

Its Young Musician of the Month will continue the tradition of showcasing young talent. This will be complemented by a series of interviews with international musicians. They’ll each have 40 minutes to speak about their careers, instruments, and their aspirations.

And HIF has just commissioned a new piece of music as well. A brass work for all by Prof David Lancaster with the opportunity for everyone to get involved. A top secret guest soloist comes as part of this one!

“Harnessed the creativity”

Harrogate International Festivals Chief Executive Sharon Canavar said: “Whilst the coronavirus pandemic has all but decimated this year’s programme, we are determined to deliver as much as we can, not on the ground, but online. We have harnessed the creativity and agility we are famed for to bring Harrogate International Festivals to life on the internet, including new commissions, exciting projects and a look back at some of the highlights of the last few years.”

“Made in Harrogate but enjoyed across the world – with HIF, we promise, you’ve got the best seats in the house.”

She added: “We have used the ‘lockdown’ to unlock our extensive archives for everyone to enjoy for free, which is helping us achieve one of our core aims to make the arts accessible to as wide an audience as possible.

“The months of March through to August are virtually non-stop for us, and this is where we derive most of our income from.”

“Our partners in the arts world are as keen to support us, and we are now pressing ahead with a revised summer season, that is enjoyable, informative, surprising and free to participate in. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors and supporters for their continued backing.”


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