The Big Malarkey Festival 2_Image credit Tom Arran
The Big Malarkey Festival has attracted over 25,000 people since it began in 2017.

Hull’s much-loved Big Malarkey Festival returns this weekend!

Grab your family, friends and imagination, and get ready to gather once again in Malarkey Park to enter a world beyond the stories. Hull’s much-loved family festival The Big Malarkey returns to East Park later this month, with everything from literary legends to whizz-bang science demos.   

So much more than books, The Big Malarkey is a festival of ideas, creativity and discovery. Hosted by Hull Libraries and a legacy of Hull’s UK City of Culture programme, The Big Malarkey Festival has grown and evolved since its first festival in 2017, as authors and illustrators come together alongside artists, creators and makers to showcase the wonderful world the city’s libraries offer.

This year’s programme is diverse and engaging with more events than ever for older children, including: award-winning performance poet and author Laura Dockrill, author of the Darcy Burdock series; Phil Earle, local author and winner of the British Book Awards Fiction Book of the Year for his incredible book When The Sky Falls; Lucasfilm and Doctor Who illustrator (and son of Hull) JAKe, and writer and BBC6 music broadcaster Jeffrey Boakye.

What’s The Story? is the theme for 2022, as East Park is once again transformed into a colourful festival village with the return of an array of tents including the Big Top, Little Larkeys, Beautiful Planet, Makerspace, Make it Take It, Live and Kicking, Hull Maritime and BIPC Hull with a host of opportunities to meet authors, illustrators, artists, thinkers and scientists.

As well as workshops, talks and performances there will be the usual host of outdoor and pop-up activities, including storyteller Ian Douglas, The Herd, Bish Bash Bosh, The Aristocrats, and Calvin Innes’ Doodle Room.

New to the festival for 2022 is Booklove, a multicultural traveling book carnival, as Samantha Williams returns to the festival with a colourful interactive pop-up carnival shop.

Writers Bloc returns for 2022 with a fantastic programme for 6-16-year-olds and visitors can go wild in the Stone Age and try your hand at fire-lighting, cooking over an open stove and campfire storytelling with Rewilding Youth.

The festival opens on Tuesday 21 June with an action-packed four-day school programme, before opening its gates to the public on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June.

Cllr Alison Collinson, Chair of Hull Culture and Leisure, said: “Since The Big Malarkey Festival began in 2017 it has attracted an audience of nearly 25,000 people to the magical tented Malarkey Park for a world of wonder and delight. A proud fixture in Hull’s cultural calendar, we’re delighted to see the festival return to East Park again this year.

“The Big Malarkey is about books and stories, yes, but it’s also a festival of ideas and imagination with performances, creative workshops and storytelling. With last year’s event a sell-out we know people are ready for the return of in-person cultural events and we can’t wait to welcome even more families to this year’s festival and see the return of thousands of local school children to the festival site.”  

Festival Programmer, Ellen Bianchini, explained: “We’re so very excited to announce The Big Malarkey programme for 2022. The What’s the Story? theme invites young people of all ages – from 0 to 16 – to delve into a world of stories and possibilities.   

“While we were delighted to be able to host a festival last year, this year we’re back bigger, bolder and brighter than ever, with a vibrant, diverse and energetic programme – that’s the vibe we’re bringing for 2022.

“As a festival which reflects the Libraries’ offer for children, the biggest challenge is what to leave out! From workshops on STAR WARS characters to world music, carnival tents and baby yoga – we invite you to delve into this year’s programme and have some fun.”

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased in advance at £5 for adults, £2.50 for children (1-16 years), £14 for a group of 2 adults and 2 children. Babies in arms go free, disabled adults £4.

Tickets are available from branches of Hull Libraries or at

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