Inaugural York Mediale hailed a great success with return confirmed for 2020

The UK’s newest, and biggest, media arts festival has been hailed a great success, with plans already underway for the city to host a second York Mediale in autumn 2020.

The inaugural York Mediale reached a crescendo on 6 October, after an intensive 10-day programme, which included extraordinary installations, world premiere performances, cutting edge technology and an outstanding four day symposia series.

York Mediale is a brand new international media arts festival which explores the future of art, technology and everything in between. Artists of all kinds will use technologies and media to redefine and tell the stories of our cities, our landscapes and our lives. This biennial event offered opportunities for collaboration between artists, curators, businesses and educators throughout 2018, culminating in a 10-day programme of exhibitions, performances, lectures, workshops and much more, from 27 September – 6 October 2018. These events mark and celebrate York’s status as the UK’s first, and only, UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts

Commenting on the success of York Mediale 2018, Creative Director, Tom Higham, said:
“It has been a really inspiring and exhilarating ten days. We set ourselves an extremely ambitious target, with more than thirty innovative, technically demanding projects to commission, curate and produce across the festival. We are incredibly proud of what the York Mediale team managed to achieve. We promised something new, something challenging and something extraordinary, and that is exactly what we have delivered. We have learnt some really useful lessons from our experiences and feedback from our visitors, but overall it has been a great success.”

“As well as presenting world class media art, we have made so many valuable connections and built some incredible partnerships, not only across York, but across the world. We have demonstrated the benefits to business of working hand in hand with artists and brought new creative energy and ideas to the city. We have hosted gigs that blew people’s minds in partnership with local promoters and hosted DJs and musicians who have never played in the city before.”

“The reactions from visitors to York Mediale have been wide ranging, from those who have shared their own experiences of the housing crisis when visiting the Token Homes sculpture by Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, to those who brought flowers in response to Deep Lab UK’s reading of “The List” of 34,361 refugee deaths; people have obviously connected with the work, which has been really heartening. ”

The impact of the first York Mediale has been felt across the world, with representatives of the global UNESCO Creative Cities Network congregating in York. Many of the works commissioned for York Mediale will now go on tour, reaching new audiences in the UK and further afield. Visitors to York can also continue to experience the stellar exhibition, Strata – Rock – Dust – Stars, at York Art Gallery until 25 November 2018.

Rachael Norton-Drew, Festival and Company Manager of York Mediale added:

“We are extremely grateful to all of the artists, funders and partners who have supported us on our incredible journey to realise the festival this year. We are delighted that we will be able to realise our ambition to become a biennial festival, and to be in a position to plan for our return in 2020.”