One of the lesser known festivals taking place in York between the 14-30 June 2012; The Festival of Ideas is a two-week event aimed to recognise York as a diverse and curious city for residents and visitors alike, and will focus this year on the theme of ‘transformation and metamorphosis’ via a celebration of all that is created, hypothesised, investigated, researched and invented in the city.
One of the contributors to the festival will be a collective of residents and academics who go by the name of ‘Weird o’ Wonderful who’s aim is to bring all things, well, weird and wonderful in York and the wider world to the attention of the public by holding a series of events across the city, and who’s ethos seem to fit perfectly with the festival’s remit to provide stimulating and provoking experiences. In arguably Europe’s most haunted city with tales of folklore about seemingly every street, they seem well-placed for a captive and receptive audience.
Their repertoire includes public talks and film screenings on diverse topics such as ghosts, mediums, paranormal, religious and spiritual experiences, werewolves, vampires and not forgetting unicorns. Weird o’ Wonderful also linked up with the producers and directors of cult York-based budget comedy, Zomblogalypse by screening their work last year at Brandy Brown’s Cinema and will do so again as part of this year’s festival on 26 June.
With academics in their midst, there is naturally some study involved in their venture too; they involve themselves in a popular but little-known York-based network of researchers who investigate and collectively share their insights into all that is extraordinary, with the aim to raise awareness of topics that are often conservatively covered by mainstream academia.
Wo’W appear an intriguing collective to say the least, and for those of you unfulfilled thus far and would like to further satisfy your inner fortean by attending one of their lectures read on, as disappoint you I shall not; they are holding their own event as part of the Festival of Ideas on 24 June at the Holiday Inn on the topic of horses and zombies in popular culture with a side helping of the history of werewolves, which will be presented by two museum curators and a gothic journalist.