Statement on 10th Century Traders 2018

34th JORVIK Viking Festival Logo

Issued by the organisers of JORVIK Viking Festival

This year the organisers of the annual JORVIK Viking Festival in York took the decision to move the booking and administration of traders for the popular ‘10th Century Traders’ event online. This was done to streamline the process, making it quicker and easier for both the traders and the organisers by cutting down on unnecessary paperwork and the time needed to process each application.

This system has already proven a great success with spaces filling up within two weeks of bookings opening. However, the sheer level of interest has meant that some businesses interested in participating have not been able to secure a space. This is, of course, unfortunate and we understand that they may be disappointed that they have not been able to secure a space this year.  However, as much as the organisers wish to accommodate all interested traders there are space limitations, with few indoor venues available in the city centre. This led to the creation of a new temporary venue last year, the Festival Yurt on St Sampson’s Square, which housed ‘10th Century Traders’ alongside the main marquee on Parliament Street.

As ’10th Century Traders’ is an integral part of the JORVIK Viking Festival programme, we hold a detailed and comprehensive list of quality businesses, covering a wide-array of crafts and products that complement the authentic ethos of JORVIK Viking Festival. All included on this list are amongst the best historical traders from across Europe. Each of the specially-invited traders are all given equal opportunity to participate, by signing up on a first-come, first-served basis. This has meant that, with the move to registering online, traders have been able to reserve and pay their stall hire fee in record time.

It is up to each business to sign up as quickly as possible to reserve their space each year, as there are no continuing agreements in place from one event to the next, to ensure fairness and variety each year, as new traders are added to the list on an ongoing basis if they meet the high standards that the event deserves. Online registration has made this process faster but the same conditions applied when we relied upon postal applications.

Many of you will be aware that there have been issues on previous occasion where other venues in the city have offered trading spaces to less authentic traders, selling low quality merchandise, and following comments from our traders we have worked hard with other venues to make sure this does not happen again.  We recognise and appreciate our traders’ commitment to JORVIK Viking Festival as a high quality event.

The organisers wish to make it clear that, if possible, they would want to be able to offer a place to each trader invited to participate but balancing the location of the venue with the increased cost to traders that a larger venue would require, this has proved impossible. We would hope that our commitment to offer a fair opportunity to all invited businesses is acknowledged.

JORVIK Viking Festival is directly funded by York Archaeological Trust, the parent charity of JORVIK Viking Centre and receives no external funding of any sort. The event is a chance to celebrate the rich Norse heritage of York, Yorkshire and the UK as a whole and will continue to showcase the impact of the Vikings through a programme of walks, talks, lectures and hands-on history events throughout February Half Term.

For more information please email