Covid forces York Viking festival online

York Vikings Credit: Jorvik Group

The largest Viking festival in Europe – York's Jorvik Viking Festival may have fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic, but modern-day Vikings are still meeting up this week - in cyberspace.

Organisers from York Archaeological Trust have created a new online festival based on the concept of the ‘Thing’ – a Viking public assembly, with six days of exclusive new online content, live broadcasts and culminating with An Evening with Einar Selvik, the Nordic folk composer and musician whose band’s latest album, Kvitran by Wardruna, has hit the top of the iTunes album chart.

Einar Selvik Credit: Anne Beck

The annual festival attracts 40,000 visitors to York. So far, the online get-together and its educational preview during Schools Week, have generated over 20,000 visitors to the website, with over 2,500 hours of video content watched already. Organisers say the real-life festival will return next year.