What is Big Ideas By The Sea Festival?

Ideas have travelled to and from Scarborough, a port and safe harbour, from all over the world via the sea for thousands of years.

‘Big Ideas By The Sea’ is a festival that will encourage sharing and explore the notion of ideas that travel and can change peoples lives. 

The Big Dig is a supporting project which in 2020 took place online, which invited the local community to learn more about archaeology.  This year The Big Dig will take place over the festival weekend with archaeological digs and identification activities taking place in Scarborough’s Old Town. 

‘Big Ideas By The Sea’ 2021 festival welcomed speakers, creative practitioners and community groups to share their Big Idea, with a programme of discussions that explored ‘Environment and Place’, ‘Art and Change’ and ‘Education and Our Shared Future. Even with COVID restrictions still in place, the event engaged thousands of people both in-person and online. The 2022 event aims to build on this with its theme of ‘Transition’.

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Great press coverage for Big Ideas By The Sea

Here are a few links to some of the great press coverage received to the announcement about the Big Ideas By The Sea programme. Scarborough…

Big Ideas by the Sea Festival returns for 2022

Big Ideas by the Sea Festival returns for 2022

The festival with big ideas is returning in 2022 with a ten-day extravaganza of culture, music and discussions. Coming to the Yorkshire Coast May 20…

Who is behind the event?

Kane Cunningham, co-director of Big Ideas by the Sea CIC, is a well known local artist who first started speaking to us about the idea last year.  We were hooked by his enthusiasm to put a spotlight on Scarborough and we are proud to be supporting an event which is going to celebrate the people who have been creatively inspired by the wonderful town.

” Big Ideas By The Sea is delighted to have the support of Yorkshire Coast BID to help make this festival a unique and inspiring event.  Big Ideas By The Sea is all about creative and innovative thinking on a range of contemporary topics, issues and ideas.  This festival will be a dynamic cultural event that will create exciting participative opportunities for residents and visitors alike.  In these uncertain cultural and economic times, this will be more important than ever for Scarborough and the North Yorkshire Coast.” Kane Cunningham

The Detail

Throughout history, Scarborough has drawn thinkers, writers, actors, poets, and artists such as William Morris, Alan Ayckbourn, William ‘Strata’ Smith, and Anne Bronte to visit and stay, some of whom made it their home.  

 This attraction continues today and so the event is able to draw upon the current wealth of writers, artists, scientists, historians, archaeologists, and the business community living in Scarborough as speakers keen to talk about the big ideas in their field.   

These speakers combined within a melting pot of national and international speakers offer an event that has the potential to be world-class. 

The Scarborough Big Dig is a community archaeological dig that will be Taking place as part of ‘Big Ideas By The Sea’. Local people will be invited to explore the history and archaeology beneath their feet, whilst learning more about the place they live.

The dig will consist of up to 20 small trenches located in gardens and open spaces across Scarborough Old Town – the medieval heart of Scarborough. Residents, school children, and festival visitors will be able to take part in the systematic excavation of soil and collecting, washing and recording findings from the trenches. 

Who will benefit?

Big Ideas By The Sea will give participants from the community the opportunity to:-

  • Share their ideas and gain knowledge on a number of engaging topics
  • Explore the archaeology of our medieval heritage by participating in the big dig

Big Ideas By The Sea will give the business community the opportunity to:-

  • Work in partnership with their community
  • Benefit from additional footfall and exposure across multiple marketing platforms
  • Have a platform to share ideas in their chosen field with visitors and residents 

Big Ideas By The Sea will give audiences the opportunity to:-

  • Explore how the history of our area has evolved through the meeting of ideas 
  • Participate in an attempt to uncover our medieval heritage with the big dig 
  • See the Yorkshire Coast as home to high profile events that offer world-class speakers and interactive experiences 

2020-2021 Investment:  £15,000

What’s next?

The Festival of Ideas aims to deliver within several years a world-class event that attracts speakers and visitors from across the UK to discuss and debate the big ideas of the day.

This focus is designed to engage the imagination of the local community and a national audience, to attract new visitors to Scarborough and the surrounding coast. This out of season event is an opportunity to develop a new market for the region which attracts high spending visitors on accommodation, restaurants, shopping, and other related leisure activities.