Come along to the York Festival

Clockwise from left; Dadajaal Dance Company dancers - cubby house making - Kohesia Quartet - new exhibition painting by Dennis Kickett - take a day trip to the vibrant York and enjoy an array of activities and town festival events

Running over two weeks the York Festival 2022 will offer an incredible array of activities in WA’s oldest inland town. 

Coinciding with the school holidays from  September 24 to October 9, people can experience arts and crafts, theatre, dance, music, storytelling, family workshops and nature activities every day.

Two Mountains Dreaming opens the festival and is one of the richest programs of Ballardong Noongar culture ever presented and it’s free. It is a local dreamtime story about Mt Bakewell (Walwalling) and Mt Brown (Wongborel) told to Dr Marion Kickett by her father. 

Gina Williams, Guy Ghouse and the Northam-based Dadajaal Dance Company are on board to help tell the story. 

Opening night takes place in Avon Park, by the Avon River on Friday September 23 from 6.30pm. 

Have a Go News spoke to York Festival’s artistic director Will Yeoman who said that there is something for everyone at the regional community-based festival. 

“I am excited about everything and I think the very substantial Ballardong Noongar series of workshops and cultural tours curated by Dr Marion Kickett is going to be incredible. 

“I’m also looking forward to seeing the contemporary dance work, Julia, the chamber music concerts by Cygnus
and the jazz concerts,” he said.

One of the highlight events is Afternoon Tea Book Club with Ros Thomas and Will Yeoman which has been designed especially for book clubs. 

Other events which Will says Have a Go News readers will love include Janet Millet: Life in Ballardong, a performance by actor Sarah McNeill and cellist Anna Sarcich which brings to life 1800s York. 

The Library of Letters and Dead Letter Club feature a lot of fun, old-school interaction and the Jazz Weekend too.

“So many people lamented the demise of the famous York Jazz Festival that we thought it would be great to introduce jazz into program, which we did for the first time, last year.

“Under the curatorship of Mace Francis, it offers a substantial and varied program of free and paid sessions that will please newbies and jazz aficionados alike,” said Will. 

A drive to York from Perth takes around an hour and a half and the festival provides an opportunity for day trippers to soak up this vibrant town.

Selina Teece Pwerle Antarrengeny – My Country

Will said there is so much to see and do in York even when the festival isn’t on. 

“The history, the wildflowers at this time of the year, the great cafés and museums… it’s just lovely to wander down Avon Terrace, checking out the galleries and shops.

“But bring the festival into the equation, and suddenly you have not just the shows and other events, some of which I’ve mentioned, but day-long exhibitions, regular history, architecture and nature tours, walks and terrific workshops.”

For those who are looking at staying a few days Will says accommodation is being snapped up, so be quick. 

“The great thing about the Avon Valley is there are lots of lovely towns a short drive away, and all of them have great accommodation options: think Beverley, Northam and Toodyay.” 

Will says they should be an essential part of your itinerary if you’re planning a few days in the Avon Valley.

“And if you come stay a few days in and around York, sign up for some of the tours and workshops. It’s such an interactive way to learn more about York’s history. 

“Swing by the Two Poets Paint exhibition at the Old Sandalwood Yards Gallery on a Wednesday and you’ll find me in residence. We can have a cuppa,” he said.

Don’t miss this fabulous festival from September 24 to October 9. Find out more or book one of the many events (free events require registration) and have an inland adventure at