Press Release,
Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Well, it was a close run thing, but the 2003 Hebden Bridge Arts Festival is definitely happening and will soon be on us! After all the concerns about lack of funding, after a great deal of worry and effort by the organisers, and following much generosity on the part of many local (and some not so local) people, things are back on track. This weekend sees the launch of the Festival Programme, which will hit the shops from Sunday onwards.

As you will know, each year's programme has a distinctive cover, recent ones having been printed in eye catching shades of red, light blue, and yellow, to make them easy to spot on busy shop counters. No doubt a full set will be worth something by now! This year the thing to watch out for is not so much the colour, which is mainly black and white, but the striking image of a cool musician in shades on a motorcycle.

The exciting cover of the programme is more than matched by its contents, which make for a mouthwatering list of events over the two weeks from 20th June to 6th July, (and a bit on either side). Acts to catch, exhibitions to see, music to hear, visits to open gardens and studios; from the 30 piece street band from Morecambe on the first week-end to the exhibition of work by the internationally renowned artist Paula Rego continuing beyond the end of the Festival, this little programme is bursting with "must-catch" events.

And competition for some of these events will, as usual, be fierce, with no doubt a number of sell-out performances and loads of disappointed customers. So, as Fred Pontin always used to say: "Book early" (surely it's not only me who remembers him?). Postal bookings can be made from next Monday, (there is an advance booking form in the programme), and the Festival Box Office in Albert Street will be open daily from 7th June for personal and telephone reservations (01422 842684).

For now the only way to find out all that is going on, and ensuring that you don't miss out on your favourite events is to go and hunt out the motorcycling saxophonist and see what he has to offer.

HB Arts Festival