Staithes Festival of Arts and Heritage

Staithes Festival has established itself as one of the friendliest festivals on the coast – a must-see event in the regional arts calendar.

This year it's 15-17 September 2023.

During the weekend the doors of cottages in the village are thrown open as pop-up art galleries in a unique selling exhibition. 

The heritage of Staithes is celebrated through a programme of walks, talks, historic photographs, film shows, and a demonstration of how to make a lobster pot!

North York Moors, Scarborough Borough Council and Welcome to Yorkshire

Glenn Kilpatrick

Information for Artists

Registration: Please read our Terms and Conditions for participating artists, caterers and pop-up cafes so you're fully aware of what’s involved in taking part the the Staithes Festival.

Fees: Registration fee is £250 for an artist not sharing a venue. If two artists are sharing, it's £150 per artist. If three or more artists are sharing, it's £100 per artist.

Galleries: Anyone may exhibit in their own home if they live in Staithes. Permanent Staithes residents (living within 5 miles) and students in full-time education are exempt from the registration fee, but they should register as part of the festival, which will enable them to be given an official venue number, be included in the guide in the festival programme, and on the festival website. We ask they pay 10% commission on their takings.

Part-time residents and non-resident artists must pay to register.  Artists must make their own arrangements to secure a venue for the duration of the festival. Hiring or borrowing a venue is a private arrangement between the artist and the owner. 

The majority of galleries will be in cottages and houses in the village - space may be limited. Please make allowances for the nature of the village and exhibition spaces that are still people’s homes.

Home owners who provide space for a visiting artist may do so free of charge. We suggest the artist may wish to offer a payment or a gift as a way of thanking them for their generosity. 

Opening Times: It is expected that galleries open on the Friday evening from 7pm-8.30pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10am–5.30pm with no lunch closure. Galleries are welcome to stay open longer if they wish.

Artists and venue owners are expected to arrange who will be on hand to man their show.

Hanging and Display: All artwork must be delivered, framed and ready to hang at your nominated venue in good time for the preview evening.

It is the artist’s responsibility to agree with the venue how the work will be displayed. This should be discussed in advance. Owners may not wish to have holes put in their walls so please agree other ways of display.  Equipment / materials for hanging is the responsibility of the artist. Access to the premises should also be arranged between artists and venue if owners are not in residence.

Each work should be clearly labelled on the back with the name and address of the owner. A hanging label (like a luggage tag) on the front should show the title, price and artists name. Please ensure this is visible when hung.

Sale of Artwork: On payment to the artist of cash or cheque, buyers can take the work away at any time. Their cheques should be made payable to the artist.

Student and Staithes resident must agree to donate 10% of sales to the festival. This should be by BACS payment or a cheque made payable to the Staithes Festival and either delivered to the festival Treasurer at the end of the festival or posted to him.

Unsold work must be collected at the end of the festival. The festival cannot take responsibility for uncollected work.

Commission: Visiting artists are no longer required to pay commission, it has been replaced by the £250 registration fee. Staithes residents and full time students who do not pay the registration fee, should declare their sales and submit 10% of their takings to the festival. 

Insurance: Artists are responsible for insuring their own work. Public liability insurance will cover the event as a whole but it will not cover the contents of a venue.  If something is broken in the property, this will be the responsibility of the venue owner, who should make sure they're covered. Artists should arrange their own public liability insurance. See our FAQs.

Open Evening: Friday from 7pm-8.30pm: The open evening is when we launch the festival. It's important as it starts off the Festival in a convivial way.  Artists and property owners are encouraged to send out invitations to clients, friends, relatives, patrons and neighbours. If they wish to provide food and drink, so much the better, but there is no obligation. Artists please arrange your evening in conjunction with the property owner.

Buskers: there will be designated pitches for music/entertainers. These will last for no longer than an hour. All buskers must register with the festival. To register, please contact Chris Wade at