Celebrate, Share, Explore!

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2020 is the Hertfordshire Year of Culture. Here’s what you need to know.

The Hertfordshire Year of Culture – or HYOC2020 – is shining a spotlight on the county and all the amazing culture it has to offer, with events and activities throughout the year. And organisers want everyone to get involved.

‘HYOC2020 is taking a broad definition of culture,’ explains Hilary Shade, Chair of the Hertfordshire Association of Cultural Officers, the group leading the campaign.

‘It’s basically anything you do that gets your creative juices flowing –gardening, cooking, dancing, singing, drawing, knitting, celebrating or visiting local heritage. Our aim is to focus on the stories, dance, music and arts that have the power to bring us together and improve our health and wellbeing.’

There will be a social media campaign to bring together new partnerships and skill-sharing opportunities. Activities, special events and experiences will take place during the 12 themed months that aim to celebrate art, share cultural experiences and explore our creative heritage.

Although many events are still being planned, this is a taste of what you can expect in the first six months. We’ll bring you more later in the year.


Film Festival, Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead
10-14 March

Living Magazines HYOC Feminista film festival

The Old Town Theatre and live arts venue celebrate International Women’s Day with an eclectic mix of film and theatre showcasing women’s stories. You can see the Feminista Film Festival, Wanted and Ladykiller. www.oldtownhall.co.uk

Living Magazines HYOC Dance ReIgniteDance Re-Ignite Festival, Watford Colosseum
Sunday 8 March

A free event offering over-55s the chance to take part in taster dance workshops as well as live performances from local groups such as Dacorum Community Dance. www.beee-creative.co.uk/wp/dance-reignite/

Anna’s Funky Art Workshops Georgia O’Keefe Painting Workshop, Hemel Hempstead
15 March 2020

Anna Schofield is running a relaxed morning of painting using Georgia O’Keefe’s floral designs as inspiration. www.annasfunkyart.co.uk/workshops


Visit Herts Big Weekend
4 & 5 April

This is the key event this month, when thousands of free tickets to venues will be up for grabs. But get your skates on as the ballot for tickets closes on 16 March! www.hertsbigweekend.co.uk

Horticulture Spring Show, Bovingdon and District Horticultural Society
Saturday 4 April 2020

The Horticultural Spring produce show includes flowers, plants, art and children’s exhibits. www.bovingdonhortsoc.org.uk/


Herts County Show, the Showground, Redbourn.
23 & 24 May

This is May’s key event, and is great fun for all the family – including the dog! https://hertsshow.com/

VE day event, Bovingdon Airfield
Friday 8 May

Join motorsport academy Drift Limits in celebrating Bovingdon Airfield and its role in WWI. There will be a craft market, local food and drink. www.driftlimits.co.uk/ve2020/

VE Day event, Memorial Gardens, Tring
8 & 9 May

Tring is hosting an Open Day including boats on the pond, the Halton RAF Voluntary Band, ukuleles and ice cream. At 2.55pm there will be a two-minute silence at the War Memorial and a family-friendly commemoration service in St Peter and St Paul church. At 6.55pm the Town Crier will lead a ‘Cry for Peace around the World’ and the bells will ring out for peace at 7pm.

For more details see our news story here.

BerkoFest Book Festival, Town Hall and Rectory Lane Cemetery
Sunday 10 May

Acclaimed authors including Alexei Sayle, Jenny Éclair and Lisa Jewell will participate in readings, panels, Q&As, book signings, storytelling, interactive workshops and much more for all the family. www.berkofest.com


Festival of Ideas, University of Hertfordshire
27 & 28 June

The University of Hertfordshire is hosting the Festival of Ideas, a two-day event bringing together key thinkers and innovators from the arts, politics, heritage, literature and science.

Speakers include Alistair Spalding CBE, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells theatre, Theresa Lola, the current Young People’s Poet Laureate for London, and comedienne, writer and broadcaster Helen Lederer. Entry is free but registration is recommend www.herts.ac.uk/ideas.