A musical coup for That JORVIK Viking Thing” say the JORVIK Viking Festival events team, who have just announced Wardruna founder Einar Selvik as their headliner for a special live-streamed event taking place as part of That JORVIK Viking Thing online festival, hosted from 15-20 February 2021 by York’s JORVIK Viking Centre.

Einar will talk about his music, demonstrate instruments and play some of his most recent music as part of the event being streamed live from Norway on Saturday 20 February 2021, 7.30pm. He has previously performed at two JORVIK Viking Festivals (the largest Viking festival in Europe), and his music featured in the fiery finale to the 2019 Festival. “When it became apparent that Covid-19 restrictions would make our normal JORVIK Viking Festival events impossible to host, we started looking at how we could reach an even wider audience with a largely-online event, and the idea of a Thing – the Viking word for a gathering or meeting – was born; something accessible to fans of Norse culture across the world.  We were thrilled when Einar agreed to livestream an event for That JORVIK Viking Thing – an opportunity to share his talents with our Viking enthusiasts, and for his fans to delve deeper into the archaeological expertise and knowledge that we’ve been sharing at JORVIK Viking Centre for the last 30 years,” comments festival manager, Gareth Henry.  He continues, “Part of the event will include a Q&A session hosted by leading music journalist and filmmaker, Alexander Milas, so we’re keen for fans to book their places and put forward their questions to Einar.” 

The event is part of a horde of online content set to be released for That JORVIK Viking Thing.  Visitors will be able to access sagas, family-friendly fun films, meet the centre’s Vikings (virtually) and even tour around JORVIK Viking Centre itself – although without the smells – in a new 360-degree video.  Most of the content is free, though there will be a charge for some of premium events – including Einar’s livestream – to help JORVIK’s owners, York Archaeological Trust, offset some of the costs of producing the online Viking celebration. Einar is well known across the world for his Nordic music, with his compositions featuring heavily in The History Channel’s Vikings TV series, as well as the new Assassin’s Creed®: Valhalla computer game.  The latest album Kvitravn by his band, Wardruna, is set to be released on 22 January 2021 (pre-order the album here: https://wardruna.lnk. to/Kvitravn_Album). Tickets for the live streamed event can now be booked online at jorvikthing.com and jorvikvikingcentre.co.uk priced at £15.

For more information on That JORVIK Viking Thing, please visit jorvikthing.com  Further information about the festival: February half term is traditionally the time when JORVIK Viking Centre hosts the JORVIK Viking Festival, the largest Viking festival in Europe, which features living history encampments, hands-on activities, crafting workshops and a trader’s market, culminating in a march of hundreds of warriors through the city streets, and an evening floodlit son-et-lumière finale with live combat and a stunning pyrotechnics end.  

The Covid-19 pandemic makes it impossible to host such an event this year, so That JORVIK Viking Thing is effectively an online version of the Festival, featuring a mixture of pre-recorded videos and podcasts to appeal to the whole family – from Norse novice to Viking enthusiast – as well as live-streamed events, presentations and a headline concert from leading Nordic musician, Einar Selvik.  It will also incorporate a series of academic lectures, forming an online version of the JORVIK Symposium which takes place as part of the Festival each year. Most of the activities during That JORVIK Viking Thing are free of charge to watch, but with JORVIK Viking Centre itself once again closed due to lockdown restrictions and all visitor income ceased, a few live streamed events will require paid-for tickets to help cover the costs to York Archaeological Trust, the charity that owns and operates JORVIK Viking Centre.

Viewers of the free events are also being asked to support the work of the Trust, including JORVIK, by donating or by purchasing tickets to visit JORVIK later in the year. In Viking times, a ‘thing’ was a public assembly – a gathering of leaders to solve disputes and discuss key issues from religion to politics – and the term is used now across the world when academics and enthusiasts on Viking history gather to discuss the latest archaeological discoveries and theories.


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