York Council St Johns 01092023

Our City Festival: ‘One Community, Many Voices’ returns

After the success of last year, Our City Festival is thrilled to announce its return in 2023. Set to take place on the 9th of September 2023 from 11:30am until 3:30pm at the prestigious York Explore Library & Lawn, supported by City of York Council.

This vibrant festival again aims to unite all York residents, groups, and communities in a celebration of diversity, inclusivity, and a collective voice.

The festival serves as a platform to empower individuals, fostering open-mindedness and understanding among communities and cultures. Our City Festival aspires to create an environment where hate crime reporting is increased and bystander apathy is reduced, reinforcing the values of respect, acceptance, and unity.

Aiming to engage with York’s diverse communities, Our City Festival invites everyone to share their voices, experiences and stories. The festival seeks to ensure that all residents feel valued in their city and that York continues to progress as a friendly and welcoming community.

Key details:

Programme highlights:

  • Our Stage: the Library Lawn area will serve as the venue for captivating performances, featuring music, dance, and theater.
  • Our Creations: engaging workshops for all will be both on the Library Lawn and inside rooms, offering participants the opportunity to explore a variety of activities.
  • Our City Sessions: this space is dedicated to stimulating talks, providing safe environments for discussions, and encouraging meaningful conversations.
  • Our Community: celebrating the richness of York’s communities, the festival will host stalls throughout York Explore Library.


Cllr Katie Lomas, Executive Member for Finance, Performance, Major Projects and Equalities at City of York Council:

“This very welcome festival aligns with our ambition to extend and improve equality in York and we’re delighted to give it Council support. We also back its ambition to ensure that everyone feels able to report hate crime and that it stops. This looks to be a great day so do go along and lend your support!”

Rebecca from York City of Sanctuary:

“York City of Sanctuary is delighted to be part of this year’s Our City Festival. York is traditionally a welcoming place that embraces different cultures and nationalities. The fact that we have welcomed so many Ukrainian refugees into the city is just the most recent example. As the city grows and changes, it’s important we celebrate this diversity and bring together all the people of York in a joyful Autumn festival. The Festival is only in its second year, but it is already establishing itself as an annual event that brings us together.”

William from Time to Be Out:

“As a charity focused of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers here in the UK, we are happy to be included in this City of York initiative.”

Irina Grigore, Volunteer Coordinator at Our City Hub:

“Working with people from different backgrounds not only gives the fulfillment of being able to offer support to your peers, but also knowledge of how much the migrants have strengthened and enhanced the community. And there is no better way for us to exhibit this, more than Our City Festival.”

Will Zhuang, member of York Chinese Association:

“Our City Festival is a fantastic showcase of different communities in York, a city of human rights. It will demonstrate the diversity of cultural activities in the city. The York Chinese Association would fully welcome and support the festival. We will send our best children’s orchestra, East Asian Ensemble conducted by local musician Paul Feehan to perform during the festival.”

An ask:

Are you a skilled videographer with a passion for capturing unforgettable moments? We are looking for a talented local artist to document the magic of the day and bring the event to life through your lens. Reach out to us at ourcityfestivalyork@gmail.com for more information.

For media inquiries or request interviews, please contact: (any media queries for City of York Council must go to newsdesk@york.gov.uk) Emily Lynn Festival Coordinator at ourcityfestivalyork@gmail.com

To stay updated on Our City Festival, visit our website at: www.ourcityfestival.com