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Issued by: Make It York - 13 October 2016

Fringe spreads even more light on the city for illuminating York

26 – 29 October 2016, 6.00pm to 10.00pm daily

Details have been released today about Fringe events taking place during this year’s illuminating York Festival, which runs from Wednesday 26 to Saturday 29 October, with twilight opening, candlelit tours, spooky films and even Gregorian chant planned across the city over the four nights.

The Fringe complements the six major commissions that form part of this year’s Festival, supported by Arts Council England, including a spectacular immersive architectural illumination of York Minster’s Nave by Jason Bruges Studio. Visitors can enjoy a different illuminated experience during each night of the four-day event, organised by attractions and local businesses.

“illuminating York welcomes around 50,000 visitors to the city during its run, including both local people and visitors, so it is wonderful to see so many businesses getting behind the festival and adding content to keep our experience fresh, new and completely engaging,” comments Kate McMullen, Head of Tourism for Make It York, which organises the festival on behalf of a city-wide steering group.

“Whilst our main commissions run throughout the four evenings, the Fringe events ensure that there is something different to do each and every night of the Festival, so you can discover York’s beauty in a new light.”

Highlights of this year’s Fringe events include:

• Tours along York City Walls, from Bootham Bar to Monk Bar (Wed 26 & Thu 27 October, 6-9pm). Not usually open in the evenings, organised by Friends of York Walls, this unique tour enables visitors to enjoy the walls after dark, and see the city from the elevated walls which encircle the city centre, normally closed to the public after dark. £2 per adult, and free for accompanied children. Bring a torch!

• Bursting the Speech Bubble, According to McGee, Tower Street (Thu 27 – Sat 29 October, 6-8pm). Text, images and animations from projects that interfuse young people with disabilities, professional artists, and algorithmic based AI. Aspirational stories told by the city’s supposed most vulnerable. Free entry.

• Fairfax House After Dark (Wed 26, Thu 27 and Sat 28 October, 7.30pm). Electric lights are banned for this candlelit experience, where visitors meet the Georgian inhabitants of the house for an exclusive, unvarnished, insight into 18th century life. £14 adult, £7 child, booking required or call 01904 655543

• Candle-light tour of York Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre (Wed 26 October, 7-9pm). See one of York’s best kept secrets illuminated by candle-light. Learn about our hidden history, visit the secret chapel by night, and hear the fascinating stories of our past brought to life by live performers. £6 per person, including entry to the exhibition.

• Locos in a Different Light at National Railway Museum (Wed 26 -Sat 29 October, 7-10pm) Alongside the Heinrich & Palmer artwork in the Workshop, visitors will see the return of Locos in a Different Light as part of the Fringe, with NRM’s huge halls and amazing locomotives transformed with colour and light. Free entry.

• Renaissance Unchained at St Michael le Belfry (Sat 29 October, 7.30pm) With the exterior of the building illuminated by the Society of Lighting and Light throughout the festival, on Saturday evening inside the church, Yorkshire Bach Choir explores the continent unlocking music from churches and the low countries, including Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices and music by Sweelinck, Lassus, Palestrina and Victoria. Adults £14, concessions £12, students £5 from National Centre for Early Music,, tel 01904 658338

• Talk and music at All Saints North Street Church (Sat 29 Oct, 5-8pm) An introductory talk on York’s finest medieval church including details of the current archaeological excavations takes place at 5pm and 6.30pm, whilst Vespers – Gregorian Latin chant with ‘Illuminations by Visions of York’ takes place at 5.30pm and 7pm. Free admission, no booking required.

• Vampyr at National Centre for Early Music (Fri 28 Oct, 7.30pm) One of the greatest horror films of all time screened in this atmospheric building! The evening includes a class of wine and a cheese platter. Adults £14, booking advised at

Other events in the Fringe include:

• The Bloody Tour of York from the Roman Column by York Minster, daily at 4pm, 6pm and 8pm
• Architectural lighting at York Theatre Royal, daily from 5pm to 9.30pm
• Late night opening at Hotel Chocolat, daily from 6pm to 9pm with chocolate tasting each evening
• Christmas launch evening at Plaskitt & Plaskitt, 6 Blossom Street, Fri 28 October from 6 – 10pm, revealing the stunning new Christmas window
• A Small Box of Night River (Sat 29 Oct, 7-9pm) An artist-guided river walk led by Jake Attree and poet Robert Powell along the banks of the Ouse, with candle-lit poetry and stories. Limited numbers, meet at Lotte Inch Gallery at 7pm.
• Twilight Cruises by YorkBoat, departing from Kings Staith Landing. Boarding at 7pm, sailing at 7.30pm daily.
• Illuminated displays at Its Your Bike Shed on Micklegate, daily 6pm to 10pm
• Lamps and candles exhibition at Blossom Street Gallery, daily from 9.30am to 5.30pm

Transforming aspects of the city through the use of light is the promise from organisers of the eleventh illuminating York, supported by Arts Council England, which returns to the city from Wednesday 26 to Saturday 29 October 2016. This year’s event features six newly commissioned artworks using light, a series of lighting designs by local schools and the Society of Light and Lighting, architectural lighting of Clifford’s Tower and Royal York Hotel by Lumenpulse and a host of ‘fringe’ events to create evenings to remember across York’s historic streets, as well as the popular Bunny Trail.

For more details on all events that form illuminating York 2016, please visit


Notes to editors:

• The festival gains over 50,000 ‘visits’ every year
• Over the past ten years the festival has commissioned over fifty artworks for the city
• illuminating York is a member of ‘Light Up the North’, a network of seven light festivals taking place in cities across the North of England
• illuminating York was named by The Guardian in its top ten European Lighting Festivals
• In 2015 the illuminating York Festival was nominated for a Dulux Colour Award
• illuminating York is managed by Make It York on behalf of a city-wide steering group, chaired by Liz Page, Historic Properties Director (North) - English Heritage
• The principal funder of the festival is Arts Council England, with additional funding from ticketing and private sponsors
• illuminating York is organised by Make It York supported by Arts Council England. This year’s partners include English Heritage, National Railway Museum, The Society of Lighting and Light, York Minster and York St John University.

Make It York (York’s Destination Organisation) – Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand
Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.

Key tourism facts:
6.8 million visitors annually, £608 million total visitor spend, supporting 23,300 jobs.

For further media information, interviews or photographs, please contact:
Jay Commins, Samantha Orange or Nicola Bexon
Pyper York Limited
On Behalf of Make It York:
Tel: 01904 500698
Email:, or