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York's Jorvik Viking Festival postponed due to Omicron concerns

Jorvik Viking Festival at Clifford's Tower

The popular Jorvik Viking Festival has been postponed to May due to Omicron fears over large gatherings and staff shortages.

Moved not cancelled – that’s the message from organisers of JORVIK Viking Festival who have announced that this February’s event will be moved to May, as concerns over large gatherings and availability of staff prompt the change.

The popular half-term Jorvik Viking Festival usually takes place during York’s February half-term, but plans are to move it to the May half-term.

Festival manager, Gareth Henry, said:

“We have been working on plans for the Festival since last summer, so we are determined that it will still take place in 2022, but with parts of the UK still under restrictions on public gatherings, we consider it would be unwise to host events that draw crowds of thousands at this time."

Whilst Omicron is causing concern, it wasn't the only reason to move the festival.

"As we experienced in 2020 when we had to cancel our evening event due to high winds, weather can also impact on the event. Moving to the May half term week should give us a far higher probability of hosting the Festival that tens of thousands of people know and love, complete with march, fiery battle spectacular, living history, Symposium and so much more – including a host of free events thanks to support from City of York Council."

Whilst this news will stop Vikings from marching through the streets of York this February, a host of livestreamed events and on-demand videos are planned for the week.

“We had always planned to continue hosting That JORVIK Viking Thing alongside the Festival, so we’re just finalising a revised programme now – we will be announcing more details in the next few weeks,” adds Gareth. “We also have a couple of exciting plans within JORVIK Viking Centre for anyone still keen on a face-to-face Viking encounter that we will be revealing shortly.”

The Jorvik Viking Festival has two highlight events, the Viking Feast and Battle Spectacular, both of which have already sold out.

Organisers have confirmed that those who have already purchased tickets to the Viking Feast and Battle Spectacular will have priority to transfer their tickets over to the rescheduled events in May.

Visit the Jorvik Viking Festival website for further updates.

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