When: 14th – 22nd February 2015
Where: Across York
£: Ticket prices vary depending on the event. Some events are free
What is it?
The 31st annual JORVIK Viking Festival will take place at venues across York from Saturday 14th February to Thursday 22nd February 2015.
With the JORVIK Viking Festival’s 2014 theme exploring Ragnarok – the Viking apocalypse – the annual event in February 2015 will continue the story. This year’s festival will feature two survivors and an epic reboot of the original Norse legends, played out against the backdrop of historic York.
This year’s festival opens on Valentine’s Day, so the story of the two human survivors of Ragnorok will run throughout the event; picking up some more familiar characters from Norse mythology along the way. Exploring the romance of the characters, members of the public are invited to join their wedding celebrations, on the evening of Saturday 14th February, in a Viking banquet at the Merchant Taylor’s Hall. With Viking guests including errant bridesmaids, a rather opinionated mother-of-the-bride and her unruly husband, and an outspoken best man, it will be clear why axes, shields and helmets might be required alongside the traditional wedding fare! Tickets for the wedding cost £65.
Combat themed activities continue throughout the week, with a legendary combat arena within York’s Guildhall, recreating some of the infamous battles between fire and ice giants. There will be a retelling of the rise of Odin as the greatest god of all, and a search for Jorvik’s strongest Viking.
More festival highlights will include:
Literary events with talks and readings from authors including Jeremy Strong and Vincent Atherton.
A Folk Festival at Barley Hall, with artists including Ruth Keggin and Ray Cooper.
Poo Day! at Barley Hall (17th February), where younger visitors will be able to explore how poo is one of the most exciting things for an archaeologist to find, including making their own replica historic poo.
Beowulf by Candlelight in St Helen’s Church. An atmospheric retelling of the classic myth by Peter Carrington-Porter.
The JORVIK Viking Festival, grand finale event, taking place on Saturday 21st February. The Eye of York, a sound-and-light spectacular packed with drama and excitement. Keeping the ‘Brave New World’ theme, the event will restore the mythical timeline to the origins of Norse legend, when the spirits are awakened and the worlds are created, culminating with the first ever battle that changed Norse culture forever!
Alongside the spectacular events featuring costumed re-enactors, experts in Viking archaeology from around the world will deliver a series of lectures and talks throughout the Festival, including Dr Soren Sindbaek and Dr Nanna Holm from Denmark. Find out about the fascinating discovery in September 2014 of a Viking age ring fortress from the reign of King Harald Bluetooth.