Harrogate International Youth FestivalValerie Clement
The Harrogate International Youth Festival (HIYF) is a unique music and performing arts event that offers richly rewarding opportunities to meet and perform with other ensembles from around the world. Held primarily in Harrogate, England, many groups visit after the festival to explore more of the United Kingdom and mainland Europe.
The first HIYF festival took place in 1973. It began as a collaboration of the Harrogate Council and the local Chapter of World Friends International, established to encourage young people from across the world to travel, meet their counterparts and promote universal peace and friendship.
The festival takes place over the Easter weekend annually, and it provides youth ensembles numerous opportunities to perform at iconic venues throughout Harrogate and Yorkshire in Northern England. Places like the stunning Edwardian Royal Hall, historic stately homes, local churches and the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Fountains Abbey and Ripon Cathedral are used throughout the weekend. Long-term friendships have been established over the years among the 36,000 plus young people from the 37 countries that have participated at HIYF. The Festival is considered the oldest and one of the most important youth music and performance gatherings in England, attracting young musicians and dancers from around the world, supported by a variety of local ensembles.
Festival Workshops & Social Events
Its core principles still apply today and set HIYF apart from other music festivals. HIYF is a celebration of history, culture and community, and its program of events, workshops and social gatherings is unmatched. These include opportunities to visit, perform and engage with groups from around the world. Students can also connect with the schools, churches and businesses in Harrogate.
The Festival program offers a wide range of opportunities for groups to learn, perform and socialize together through a series of workshops and social events. Here’s a sampling:
Massed Band Workshop
Join fellow musicians as you work towards a finale piece for the Royal Hall closing concert.
Massed Choir Workshop
2017 featured over 150 members in the combined choir. This workshop allows participants across ensembles to work together towards a combined finale for the Ripon Cathedral concert.
Open Mic Night
An informal evening where groups and ensembles are encouraged to get up and perform in a more impromptu style and show off their true personalities.
A chance to relax and unwind with friends and fellow performers as you dance into the night at the always popular festival disco.
For more information about the Harrogate International Youth Festival, please visit the HIYF website