Big Ideas by the Sea - Scarborough


Big Ideas By The Sea offers an ambitious festival programme starting on the 20th of May

Big Ideas by the Sea is a new cultural festival that will bring to Scarborough some of the best speakers locally and from across the UK to talk about the big issues related to the environment, climate change and history.

Artist Kane Cunningham and former City of York archaeologist John Oxley MBE will focus on concerns facing local communities and people from across the globe.

Kane Cunningham said, ‘ We will always try to reflect the zeitgeist, the ideas and issues that are in the moment. To bring people to the festival that can offer a considered review of the facts related to climate change. This is an emotive subject. So, we are glad to secure Professor Dan Parsons from the University of Hull who is a climate and environmental expert. In simple terms he knows his stuff.  He will be there on Saturday morning on the 21st of May to open the festival lectures. This will then lead onto Judy Ling Wong and Charlotte Bonner who will discuss sustainability in the workplace and in education. We are really keen to attract lots of young people to the day which we are calling ‘Agents of Change’, so hope schools, colleges and parents can give them a nudge!

The festival will be an annual event with the intention of becoming the leading cultural festival in the North of England.

John Oxley said, “We are also planning a community archaeological dig in the Old Town of Scarborough. Our intention is to open up a large trench by St Mary’s Church in the Old Town at Paradise Walk. This ‘Time-Team’ style dig over 6 days will take the festival to communities that would not normally take part in such an event.  At present we have over 60 school children coming to dig plus an OAP group.

John said, ‘We are delighted with the quality of speakers from across the UK, including our very own local expert Egyptologist and Professor Joann Fletcher, who is involved in two events including a lecture at St Mary’s Church and a study day at Woodend.

Kane said,’ Overall we have something for everybody to include children’s talks organised by the National Literacy Trust, the Big Draw at St Marys’ Church with Petra Ingham which focuses on archaeological finds, Minecraft with KrashLabs, music from 5 Star Brass, giant puppets from Huddersfield,  Eliza Carthy and her band,  the ‘Big Stitch’ which is a giant  community-based art project where over 100 people have contributed a piece of textile work. Finally, to end the festival we have the poet Ian McMillan on the 3rd of June. 

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff

Most of the events are free, or pay as you feel but require booking, however you can turn up on the day for some events.

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Booking & Payment Details

  • Free Entry


Map & Directions

Big Ideas by the Sea


Woodend Creative Workspace & other venues, The Crescent, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 2PW
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Call direct on:

Tel01723 384525

Opening Times

Event runs from (19 May 2023 - 2 June 2023)

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