Hull’s Much-Loved Big Malarkey Festival Returns With A Diverse And Vibrant Programme

Hull’s Much-Loved Big Malarkey Festival Returns With A Diverse And Vibrant Programme
Hull’s Much-Loved Returns With A Diverse And Vibrant Programme

GRAB your family, friends and imagination, and get ready to gather once again in Malarkey Park to enter a world beyond the stories. Hull’s much-loved family festival The Big Malarkey returns to East Park later this month, with everything from literary legends to whizz-bang science demos.   

So much more than books, The Big Malarkey is a festival of ideas, creativity and discovery. Hosted by Hull Libraries and a legacy of Hull’s UK City of Culture programme, The Big Malarkey Festival has grown and evolved since its first festival in 2017, as authors and illustrators come together alongside artists, creators and makers to showcase the wonderful world the city’s libraries offer.

This year’s programme is diverse and engaging with more events than ever for older children, including: award-winning performance poet and author Laura Dockrill, author of the Darcy Burdock series; Phil Earle, local author and winner of the British Book Awards Fiction Book of the Year for his incredible book When The Sky Falls; Lucasfilm and Doctor Who illustrator (and son of Hull) JAKe, and writer and BBC6 music broadcaster Jeffrey Boakye (check out the full programme here for all the details).

What’s The Story? is the theme for 2022, as East Park is once again transformed into a colourful festival village with the return of an array of tents including the Big Top, Little Larkeys, Beautiful Planet, Makerspace, Make it Take It, Live and Kicking, Hull Maritime and BIPC Hull with a host of opportunities to meet authors, illustrators, artists, thinkers and scientists.

As well as workshops, talks and performances there will be the usual host of outdoor and pop-up activities, including storyteller Ian Douglas, The Herd, Bish Bash Bosh, The Aristocrats, and Calvin Innes’ Doodle Room.

New to the festival for 2022 is Booklove, a multicultural traveling book carnival, as Samantha Williams returns to the festival with a colourful interactive pop-up carnival shop, offering an abundance of inclusive and anti-racist books, and a specially–curated programme of music and storytelling. 

A bigger Writers Bloc returns for 2022 with a fantastic programme for 6-16-year-olds. From songwriters to broadcasters, historians and storytellers, unlock the joy of playing with words as you’re invited to write and submit your own stuff.

Visit the Library tent to be one of the first to get your hands on a new library card – choose from seven exclusive designs created by Hull artist Lydia Caprani.

You can even go wild in the Stone Age and try your hand at fire-lighting, cooking over an open stove and campfire storytelling with Rewilding Youth.

The festival opens on Tuesday 21 June with an action-packed four-day school programme, before opening its gates to the public on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June.

Festival Programmer, , explained: “We’re so very excited to announce The Big Malarkey programme for 2022. The What’s the Story? theme invites young people of all ages – from 0 to 16 – to delve into a world of stories and possibilities.   

“While we were delighted to be able to host a festival last year, this year we’re back bigger, bolder and brighter than ever, with a vibrant, diverse and energetic programme – that’s the vibe we’re bringing for 2022.

“As a festival which reflects the Libraries’ offer for children, the biggest challenge is what to leave out! From workshops on characters to world music, carnival tents and baby yoga – we invite you to delve into this year’s programme and have some fun.”

Cllr Alison Collinson, Chair of Hull Culture and Leisure, said: “Since The Big Malarkey Festival began in 2017 it has attracted an audience of nearly 25,000 people to the magical tented Malarkey Park for a world of wonder and delight. A proud fixture in Hull’s cultural calendar, we’re delighted to see the festival return to East Park again this year.

“The Big Malarkey is about books and stories, yes, but it’s also a festival of ideas and imagination with performances, creative workshops and storytelling. With last year’s event a sell-out we know people are ready for the return of in-person cultural events and we can’t wait to welcome even more families to this year’s festival and see the return of thousands of local school children to the festival site.”  

After a two-year hiatus, schoolchildren will return to the festival site for a four-day literary adventure. Available exclusively to Hull Libraries Schools Library Service Schools, over 2,500 students will take part in workshops, talks, discussions and interactive activities. The school’s programme will include the KS2 and KS3 James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Awards. Hull is the only city to run a book award where it is a live vote on the day voted for by the city’s young people.

Get ready to unleash your imagination for a festival of fun for the whole family! Tickets are now on sale and are priced from £5 for adults, £2.50 for children (1-16 years), £14 for a group of 2 adults and 2 children. Babies in arms go free, disabled adults £4.

Tickets are available from branches of Hull Libraries or at Tickets purchased at the festival gate will be priced at £6 for adults, £3 for children and £16 for a family group.

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