The official site for the Yorkshire Festival 2016

Festival boss announced for Yorkshire Festival 2016

One of the UK’s top programmers and producers Matt Burman has been announced as the new Artistic Director of Yorkshire Festival 2016

Matt, who grew up in Leeds and Skipton, was at Leeds Art Gallery today where the final commission of Yorkshire Festival 2014 was being prepared as part of the British Art Show 8.

Matt will lead on the next Yorkshire Festival which will see hundreds of shows, concerts and projects celebrate the very best artists and companies, from across the county and around the world, over 18 days from Thursday 16 June to Sunday 3 July 2016.

Artistic Director, Matt Burman, said:

“Yorkshire Festival will burn bright across a constellation of sites – from dale to coast, moor to city, club to stately home - we will be filling the county with a rich and diverse programme of experiences. Look out for our preview of performances around the Tour de Yorkshire at the end of April, building a buzz towards the festival when it starts in June.”

"I'm really happy to be back in the city and county I grew up in. So many of my formative cultural experiences were here. I’m thrilled that one of the first events I’ll be attending is British Art Show 8 which launches in Leeds on October 9th and features Post Forma, a major new commission by Martino Gamper supported by Yorkshire Festival.”

L-R: Matt Burman, David Lascelles and Martino Gamper - Martino in the middle of installing Pro Forma for BAS15

Photo: L-R: Matt Burman, David Lascelles and Martino Gamper - Martino in the middle of installing Pro Forma for British Art Show 8

Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle is behind the new commission Post Forma by leading Italian designer Martino Gamper, opening on October 9 as part of Hayward Touring’s British Art Show 8 exhibition.

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive, Sir Gary Verity, said:

“Last year’s Yorkshire Festival proved there is tremendous public appetite across the county to see, support and take part in arts and culture events. I’m delighted to have Matt on board and am excited about how the Festival is already shaping up.

"By showcasing the county’s talents alongside some of the best that the world has to offer, the Yorkshire Festival 2016 will ensure that the international spotlight remains firmly on Yorkshire.”

David Lascelles, Earl of Harewood, Chair of the Yorkshire Festival added:

“Delivering a festival of this scale and ambition is an exciting challenge. We hope everyone in the county will be fired with the same kind of enthusiasm they showed for the Yorkshire Festival in 2014.

“We are very grateful to our funding partners Arts Council England and Yorkshire’s local authorities for helping to make this happen.”

The Yorkshire Festival 2014 was the first ever cultural festival to precede the Tour de France in its 111 year history. It generated close to £10 million for the county’s economy and attracted over 800,000 attendances at more than two thousand events and exhibitions, with around 18,000 people taking part.

The biennial Yorkshire Festival was created by Welcome to Yorkshire and has been awarded £1million for the 2016 event from the Government through Arts Council England as part of the Northern Powerhouse initiative.

Matt Burman was previously Head of Programme & Audiences at Warwick Arts Centre and Executive Producer at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. For more information, go to or follow on Twitter @YorkshireFest or on


Editors notes:

  • Yorkshire Festival 2016 runs from June 16 - 3 July with preview events around the Tour de Yorkshire weekend at the end of April.
  • Yorkshire Festival is backed by Welcome to Yorkshire with government funding through the Arts Council as part of the Northern Powerhouse initiative.
  • Yorkshire Festival will present hundreds of performances all over the county.
  • Martino Gamper’s Post Forma has been commissioned by Yorkshire Festival and Hayward Touring, in partnership with Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle and Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Programme.


Jo Francisco - Senior Press Officer

Email: [email protected]

Direct: 0113 3223578

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Sarah Saxton – Director of Communications

Email: [email protected]

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