Chalke Valley History Festival to go ahead as physical event in June

Chalke Valley History Festival to go ahead as physical event in June

The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival is to take place physically this year, kicking off just two days after the proposed lifting of Covid restrictions on 21st June.

Described as the largest celebration of history in the UK, the event will run from the afternoon of Wednesday 23rd to the evening of Sunday 27th June. Taking place at in Broad Chalke, near Salisbury in Wiltshire, the five-day event has been made possible after the organisers received a grant from the Arts Council Culture Recovery Fund.

The festival will be held in accordance with government guidelines, with strict health and safety regulations in place where necessary. However the physical aspect of the festival geared towards students — the Festival for Schools — has been cancelled and instead, digital content has been created ready for the start of the academic year in September. This will include filming curriculum-based talks from leading academics and historians relevant for students in Years 10 and 12, and also delivering filmed material for Years 6, 7, and 8. 

As an outdoor festival, many of the planned activities will be centred around two big marquees and two new stages that will host talks. A line-up of talks, topical debates and activities for children, with historians and household names, are all set to feature. The programme will be released in the coming weeks, and tickets will go on sale on 19th May. 

James Holland, festival chair, said: “We are incredibly excited about the festival’s return. It will be the first big family event to take place in nearly 18 months, and I know the general public, currently starved of real-life festivals, are desperate to get back to some kind of normality. This will be a fabulous chance for families to go out, have fun, meet friends across the spacious layout of the site, to soak up some culture in a safe environment. It goes without saying that the safety of all those attending will be our upmost priority. The programme is going to be wide-ranging with lots to see and do, and we really can’t wait to welcome everyone back!”

John Glen, local MP for Salisbury, said: “The Chalke Valley History Festival is one of the jewels in the crown of the area’s cultural life. It is wonderful news that it can proceed this year. It will be a huge boost to the morale of both history buffs and the many local businesses, which supply and support the festival.”

Talks given by historians, taken from the past 10 years of the festival, can now be heard on the Chalke Valley History Festival podcast. Entitled #ChalkeTalk, the podcasts are released three times a week.