Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Returns For 2021

Tents Landscape, Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has announced that it will go ahead this year.

The news, coming after the Government unveiled its roadmap out of lockdown, means the festival takes place in Harrogate, from 22-25 July. A date selected so that the country is well past the expected lifting of restrictions on 21 June.

The Festival will celebrate a return to live events after a difficult and uncertain year for Harrogate International Festivals. Forced to cancel the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, alongside their wider summer season in 2020, the arts charity moved online. In doing so, they welcomed new audiences by taking the experience of ‘Harrogate’ to the world.

Lady With Books - Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival


Audiences have also been pleased to hear about the return to a live event. With over 80% of early ticket bookers for the 2020 Festival having already transferred their tickets to 2021.

A soar in popularity of the genre was also seen in the bestseller charts after lockdown too. More and more readers turned their fiction interests to crime. And the 2021 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival will celebrate crime fiction in all its kinds. A programme will be curated by Programming Chair Ian Rankin alongside the Festival Committee and also the Harrogate International Festivals team.

Sharon Canavar is the Chief Executive of Harrogate International Festivals. She said: ‘‘Whilst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be extremely dynamic with rules and regulations changing constantly, the Government Roadmap suggested a return to normal by this Summer. We are adapting and evolving our plans to be able to deliver a safe and agile Festival in line with the government regulations at the time. With additional safety measures where necessary.”

“We remain optimistic about the year ahead. And like people across the UK, we are very much looking forward to the return of live events.”

Festival fans can also expect a range of live author talks, panels and special guests. There’ll also be some hybrid events to ensure that audiences who are unable to travel can access the Festival. The power of literature being brought to all in 2021.

The full author line-up, and ticket on-sale dates for the Festival will be announced in the coming months. More information can also be found at which will be updated regularly.


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