Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Phil Hopkins
Group Travel Editor & Theatre Correspondent
10:00 AM 17th May 2022

Scarborough’s ‘Big Ideas by the Sea Festival’ - This Weekend

A locally run festival entitled ‘Big Ideas by the Sea’ returns to Scarborough for the second year running this weekend, marking the beginning of a 10-day extravaganza of culture, archaeology, music and discussions centred on environmental activisim and matters of the moment.

Following its triumphant debut festival in 2021, which saw over a thousand people attend, festival Directors Kane Cunningham and John Oxley have announced an even bigger festival programme for the coming event which runs from May 20th – June 3rd.

If features a variety of events, concerts, workshops and activities taking place across multiple venues in Scarborough, all based around the festival theme of ‘Transition’.

Festival highlights include:

Award winning folk musician, Eliza Carthy, will perform work from her new album in the iconic Scarborough Market Hall on the 21st May.

Popular poet, Ian McMillan, known as the Yorkshire Bard, will read from his new book, My Sand Life, My Pebble Life.

Ancient Worlds by the Sea workshop with Professor Joann Fletcher & Marie Woods, looking at the area’s history and why objects from so many places around the ancient world are to be found in Scarborough.

For children agedn 7-11 there will be Wild Reading with Sophie Kirtley.

Festival Co-director and Artist, Kane Cunningham, said: “We have a full and exciting programme exploring contemporary issues and themes that people care about.

“This year we are working with Our Stories* on our ‘Agents of Change!’ event, which focuses on environmental activism and includes free workshops, stalls and storytelling. We also have incredible speakers, such as campaigner Phoebe L Hanson...
...a key speaker at last year’s COP 26 and Judy Ling Wong, founder of the Black Environment Network.”

The festival will also include the return of ‘Big Dig 2’, an archaeological dig where residents are able to take part and try their hand as an archaeologist!

Highlights found in Scarborough gardens during the Big Dig 2021 included a Neolithic flint arrowhead and a fragment of a Scarborough Ware face jug, which was determined to be approximately 800 years old.

Budding archaeologists will be taken to the Jurassic era and back again in the Ancient World by the Sea workshop, led by Joann Fletcher and Marie Woods, hosted at Woodend.
This event is hugely popular, so booking is essential.

Big Ideas by the Sea 2022 is funded by the Yorkshire Coast BID, the National Lottery Community Fund, Anglo-American, and supported by Scarborough Borough Council.

For more information Tickets can be purchased from