Midnight event brings York Minster to life

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York‘s most famous tourist attraction York Minster is opening its historic gates tomorrow night to host the first Minster Nights event of the new decade. The event is a fantastic opportunity for visitors and locals alike to experience the rare sight of the majestic cathedral coming alive, with a host of installations and performances.

Minster Nights are completely free of charge for those of us lucky enough to live in this historic city – as long as we can provide proof of address, that is. Of course, visitors are more than welcome too, and only have to pay the usual admission price which seems like a bargain when you feast your eyes on the entertainment on offer.

According to the York Press, this event on 9th January is the third time such an event has been held in the cathedral. I somehow missed out on the previous events in May and August last year, but won’t be caught unawares this time!

Saturday night’s event will feature the work of artists on the theme of relaxation, contemplation and reflection, and I’m sure anyone who’s visited the impressive cathedral will vouch that it’s the perfect place to hold a celebration of serenity. But that doesn’t mean this event will be all about peace and quiet – far from it! In fact, a set from Ireland‘s charismatic singer-songwriter Kayla Kavanagh, performing on a whole array of instruments from keyboard and guitar to electric violin, flute and the hammered dulcimer, is sure to bring the house down.

It’s not just all about music either, as the Minster Nights programme seems intent on covering all the arts. Theatre fans will enjoy an excerpt from Chekhov’s The Evils of Tobacco being staged by the Mooted Theatre company, while Airvent Media are set to create a unique “walk-in experience” involving light and sound in the cathedral’s Chapter House. I’d be lying if I said I knew what that means, but it certainly sounds like it’s worth a look!

Maybe most intriguing of all are the Hidden Minster tours that take visitors into areas of the cathedral that are rarely seen, and which aren’t normally accessible by the public. This includes the Mason’s Loft and even the crypt passages, so I’m guessing it’s not something for the faint-hearted. But certainly of interest for anyone who’s interested in the remarkable building and in York’s fascinating history.

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