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

Terms and Conditions


1. Every artist must register to take part in the festival to be included in the festival brochure, and be given a venue number. If artists are sharing a venue each artist in that venue must pay the registration fee. It is not acceptable to exhibit and sell work on behalf of another artist without registering that artist. Registration fees are vital to fund the festival's running costs. The registration fees are £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.

2. All work must be original artwork and must be the work of the registered artist. There should be no manufactured or bought in artwork, crafts, ceramics or textiles.

3. The use of the venue is an arrangement between the artist and the venue owner. Artists must ensure the owner of the venue is aware that their property is being used as an exhibition space. The artist must ensure the owner gives permission for it to be used as a gallery during the festival. The artist must establish with the owner how they may exhibit eg. if they are allowed to put additional picture hooks in the walls. Any damage to the property as a result of the exhibition must be rectified. Artists must make their own arrangements with the venue owner for access and display prior to the festival.

4. All venues must display their venue number. Any venue without a number and any artist who has failed to register will not be considered part of the festival.

5. All students in full-time education and full-time Staithes resident artists (those living within 5 miles and on the electoral roll) may take part free of charge but must agree to donate 10% of their takings to the festival and should complete and return their commission forms whether they have sold anything or not. Residents may be asked to show proof of permanent residency. 

6. Registration opens 1 February 2023 and closes on 14 June 2023. After that, online registration will no longer be possible. Any artists wanting to register after that date must contact the organisers and pay an additional £50 late registration fee. 

7. Artists should ensure they are satisfied with their venue  before registering for the festival.

8. Artists must respect the needs of residents / venue owners in regard to the space available in their venue, loading and unloading, parking. 

9. Artists are encouraged to open their gallery on the Friday evening from 7pm-8.30pm (though this is not compulsory). Galleries must agree to open on Saturday and Sunday  from 10am–5.30pm  on each day with no lunch closure. Galleries are welcome to stay open longer if they wish.

10. Artists must curate their own exhibition or nominate a stand-in. Festival organisers are not responsible for any of the exhibits or venues. 

11. All artwork must be delivered, framed and ready to hang at the nominated venue in good time for the open evening on 15 September 2023.

12. Each work should be clearly labelled on the back with the name and address of the owner. 

13. 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. 

14. Students and resident artists must pay their commission as soon as possible after the festival either by BACS transfer, Paypal or cheque. Details will be in the Artists Pack you receive for the weekend. 

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

16. Artists are responsible for insuring their own work. Public liability insurance will cover the event as a whole and the properties used as galleries. Please note this will cover accidents by the public on the property but it will not cover the contents of the property. Damage and breakages are the responsibility of the venue owner. More about insurance in our FAQs.

For the terms and conditions for caterers, please click here.