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Psychopaths, singing and stars – London’s revolutionary movement hits Harrogate

The Harrogate International Festivals is shaking up the cultural landscape of Harrogate bringing London’s hottest trend to town.

Salon London– a kind of revolutionary movement for the heart and mind – consists of a night of the most stimulating ideas in art, science and psychology. They promise a great night out that’s designed to change your life for the better.

Writer, co-founder and hostess Helen Bagnall laughs loudly at the description of ‘the best Thursday night without sex’

Helen explains: 

Juliet Russell and I set up the night in London four years ago because we wanted to create a night we would like to go to. We wanted to learn more, understand more and do more but we wanted all this to fit in, in a very civilised way, with our lives, and so we created the modern Salon

And so the format of three speakers, each given half an hour each to engage the audience with their subject, with plenty of breaks for a well crafted gin and tonic, was born. The Salon expects all their speakers to deliver something remarkable from their world, be that art, science or psychology.

Chief Executive of the Harrogate International Festivals, Sharon Canavar, said:

It’s a new and exciting edition that the Festivals are bringing to the north. The Salon seems like the perfect fit for a town with an audience that is educated, intelligent and interested in ideas and culture. Our long term goal is to develop new audiences and revitalise the cultural landscape of Harrogate. It’s already a great place to live and the Harrogate International Festivals’ portfolio aims to make it one of the most vibrant and stimulating places in the UK year-round.

In 2008, Salon launched with the amusing strap line ‘a lot more fun than it sounds’. Since then it has grown in to a highly entertaining cultural night, which guarantees it will inform, educate and entertain, most times all at once. And now it’s delighted to be coming north.

Helen said:

We know how difficult it is to cram culture in to your lives, so the Salon is designed to be as easy as possible whilst leaving our audience stimulated and inspired. We want to introduce subjects and people you’ll still be talking about weeks later, leaving you compelled to find out more. And it’s all over by 10pm. We recognise people are curious and want to know but they also have busy, demanding lives and, much as they’d like to, can’t be discussing quantum mechanics until two in the morning.

Harrogate’s first ever Salon of the North takes place on the 12 April. The location is being kept secret as it is just in the final stages of agreeing things with the venue.

The line up to stimulate your senses:


Emily Winterburn – the poster-girl for a new generation of astronomers, Emily comes from a background in physics and the history of science. As the Curator of Astronomy at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, she is responsible for one of the world’s most important astronomy collections. Emily has written for the BBC and Astronomy Now magazine and has appeared on the BBC’s What the Ancients Did for Us, Channel 4 News and most recently In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg.


After expanding your universe with Emily, Michael Ormiston will bring on the Arts introducing you to the wonderful world of khoomii also known as Mongolian throat singing. Thought to have been developed as a human mimicry of the sounds of nature, it has long been practised in the wide open plains of southern Asia. Multi-instrumentalist Michael travelled to Mongolia to master this craft in the 1990s and became only European to be granted permission to teach this ancient and moving overtone singing. Watch, listen and wonder.


Know anyone who will stop at nothing to get what they want? Never lets the truth get in the way of a good story? Never picks up the bill? Then you may already be regularly dealing with a psychopath, and for Harrogate’s psychology slot, forensic psychiatrist Kerry Daynes will help you prove it.

Kerry’s work has discovered a significant one percent of the population is a highly functioning psychopath, which statistically means there’s one in your office, your family or Facebook. Kerry, authored the book: The Devil You Know – Is there a Psychopath in Your Life? to help us all to identify who they are, and exactly how to deal with them.

To book tickets, call the Harrogate International Festivals on 01423 562303.

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