The Chalke Valley History Festival set to return in 2021

The largest celebration of history in the UK, The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival is set to return from the afternoon of Wednesday 23rd to the evening of Sunday 27th June.

Taking place at its spectacular venue in Broad Chalke, near Salisbury in Wiltshire, it will be one of the first big ‘live’ events of the summer, starting just two days after the proposed lifting of Covid restrictions on 21st June.

After much consultation with the relevant authorities and key stakeholders, the five-day event – made possible after receiving a generous grant from the Arts Council Culture Recovery Fund – will take place in accordance with Government guidelines, with strict health and safety regulations in place where necessary.

As an outdoor festival, many of the planned activities will be centred around two big marquees and two new stages that will host talks as well as the large tents. The festival will offer its usual amazing line-up of talks, topical debates, living history and activities for children, with eminent historians and household names all bringing history to life.

Phil Harding at Chalke Valley History Festival 2019

James Holland, Festival Chair, said: “We are incredibly excited about the festival’s return. It will be the first big family event to take place in nearly 18 months, and I know the general public, currently starved of real-life festivals, are desperate to get back to some kind of normality. This will be a fabulous chance for families to go out, have fun, meet friends across the spacious layout of the site, to soak up some culture in a safe environment. It goes without saying that the safety of all those attending will be our upmost priority. The programme is going to be wide-ranging with lots to see and do, and we really can’t wait to welcome everyone back!”

Living History at Chalke Valley History Festival
Living History at Chalke Valley History Festival

There will not be a physical Festival for Schools this year. Instead, the festival will be creating a wealth of specifically generated content ready for the start of the academic year in September. This will include filming curriculum-based talks from leading academics and historians relevant for students in Years 10 and 12, and also delivering a mass of filmed material for Years 6, 7, and 8. In this way the festival will provide a long-term, free digital resource in line with the aims of the Chalke Valley History Trust.

The full programme, and more detailed information about what’s in store this year, will be unveiled very soon. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday 19th May.

Talks given by incredible historians, taken from the past ten years of the festival, can now be heard on the Chalke Valley History Festival podcast. Entitled #ChalkeTalk, the podcasts are released three times a week.

Find out more about this years festival at cvhf.org.uk