"a brilliant, beautiful, unique, and lovely festival"
Medieval Music in the Dales is England's festival of medieval music. Totally unique in the UK, it's a glorious weekend dedicated solely to enjoying medieval music. The setting is absolutely stunning - glorious Bolton Castle, built in 1399 by the noble Scrope family and still in the ownership of their descendants to this day.
Over the weekend, the Castle comes to life with music in every corner. It's true living history and a chance to make this magnificent setting your home for the weekend - or just for the day. Whether you want to play, dance, learn or simply sit back and soak up the wonderful sounds, this is for you.
What they say...
"a wonderful, unique event"
"amazing atmosphere, everyone is friendly and the location is outstanding"
"everyone in the tavern was singing the chorus of a twelfth century song in Latin – how cool is that?"
"a safe space to be a geek!"
From our beginnings in 2016, we have grown to be and do more than our wonderful September weekend at Bolton Castle. Medieval Music in the Dales is also a community of medieval music enthusiasts collaborating on projects together, socialising online and in company. It operates to promote research into and performance of medieval music, and to support musicians active in medieval music-making. And with the COVID-19 crisis of 2020, we also took the plunge and started an Online Festival to operate alongside our live festival, and this now takes place every March.
But the September festival at Bolton Castle remains the heart of Medieval Music in the Dales, and is for anyone who loves music and history. Come and listen and find out more about the wonderful variety of medieval music - and if you play or sing, come and be part of the music-making!
coming up in 2022 ...
medieval women: music makers & muses
Medieval Music in the Dales 2022 is a celebration of women as music-makers in the middle ages. Our festival features an outstanding line-up of performers from the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Finland, performing in concert and providing workshops and presentations - plus the usual heady mix of performances on our Castle Stages, instrument makers and our fantastic Tavern scene. All in the splendid medieval setting of Bolton Castle in Wensleydale, with camping available on site.
Clockwise from top left: Amor Ceu (photo credits Jari Flinck, Ville Paasimaa, Markku Rönkä); Elisabeth Pawelke (photo Claudia Reiter); Voice; Stef Conner & Hanna Marti; Leah Stuttard; Silke Gwendolyn Schulze (photo Susanna Drescher).
Plus the MMitD Summer School returns, 6-8 September. This year our themes are medievally-based composition with Stef Conner and Hanna Marti, and ensemble playing with Elisabeth Pawelke - all in all an amazing opportunity to work in depth with three outstanding musicians.
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Planned for future years...
2023: Transitions: The Fifteenth Century. With a joint theme of medieval Dance - postponed from 2020!
2024: Ludus: Mystery, Miracle and Mirth. Storytelling, drama, mystery and foolery in medieval music.
2025: The Medieval Instrumentarium. All about instruments - history, study, making and playing
2026: MMitD Big 10. Our tenth anniversary festival. Hmm... how best to mark this momentous occasion? Suggestions welcome!
If you feel you have a concert programme and/or workshop idea that fits our themes for any of 2023, 2024 or 2025, please do get in touch as soon as possible. We welcome ideas for the 'in real life' September festival , and the online festival, which takes place every March.