Senior politicians – such as Lisa Nandy, Alok Sharma, Sir Ed Davey, Anneliese Dodds and Tobias Ellwood – could all be on their way to York on Saturday 17 th June next year, after it was announced that the city has been chosen to host the Big Tent Ideas Festival in 2023.

The Big Tent Ideas Festival, the annual platform for people and communities outside the Westminster bubble to engage with political leaders and influence public policy, played host to all those listed above and many others when it was held in Bristol earlier this year.

Now, it has just been announced the Big Tent will be the final event at the 2023 York Festival of Ideas. Partnerships have already been agreed with Aviva, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Design Council, York St John’s University and York Minster with more to be unveiled in the new year.

York Minster will also play host to the Festival, which literally takes place in tents, in Dean’s Park, where it is expected to attract over two thousand attendees. They will be able to engage in public debate with senior politicians and influencers, take to the soapbox at the Big Tent Speakers Corner, join the Dragon’s Den-style Big Tent Pitch Pit for York entrepreneurs, or visit the Community Fayre,  with much else going on besides.

Welcoming the Big Tent Ideas Festival to York, City of York Council Leader, Keith Aspden said:

“Just as the country is facing major and unprecedented challenges, so is York. The London-centric political bubble can fail to understand the challenges facing people on the ground far away from Westminster, not fully recognising the opportunities we have in our towns and cities across the country. The Big Tent Ideas Festival is an exciting opportunity to showcase the skills, experiences and knowledge that York’s residents and businesses have to offer. There are many world-class projects and ideas locally that we can use to influence public policy and senior decision makers, so we can make the case for York, the North and our priorities.”

Radix Big Tent Chief Executive and York resident, Ben Rich, adds: “The idea that all wisdom resides within a square mile of Big Ben is patently absurd. We trust local communities to understand and promote their own best interests and I look forward to my own home city turning out in force to share our ideas and experiences with the senior politicians we will be bringing to York.”

This year’s Big Tent Ideas Festival will, for the first time, be free to all in line with the York Festival of Ideas’ ethos. Advanced tickets can be booked now with details of the 2023 programme expected to be unveiled in the new year.

York Press

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