Press Release,
Wednesday, May 21, 2003

There was good news for the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival organisers this week with the announcement that The Arts Council, whose refusal to fund this year's Festival had thrown the whole event into doubt, had agreed to provide some funding through another route.

Although not as much as had originally been requested, his further grant secures the financial planning for the Festival, which runs from 20th June to 6th July.

The festival programme was launched onto the town last week-end and is now freely available in shops, cafes and the Tourist Information Office. Just look for a small booklet with a cool musician in shades on a motorbike!

The uncertainty over funding meant that the programme printing had to be scaled down a little, (partly to keep the weight down to ordinary second class post, since so many are mailed out) and as a result the information on the Open Gardens and Studios has been omitted.

Rest assured, however, that the usual wealth of talent and creativity will be on display, with over 50 venues for you to seek out. A map and guide is being prepared and will be available from the festival Office on Albert Street (tel 01422 842684) from 7th June. It will contain all the information you need about the gardens and studios - opening times, addresses and a few words about what there is to see.

As usual there will be a minibus tour of certain gardens - all details in the map brochure. This year, more than a dozen garden and studio hosts have agreed to welcome visitors on certain weekdays, rather than just at the weekends. Since most of the others are open for just one or two week-end days during the Festival, this means that for the whole two weeks (whenever the weather permits!) you can get out and about during the day and explore what local artists and gardeners get up to, remembering to plan your trail around the host of indoor Festival events that you don't want to miss.

On the subject of which - there has been a steady stream of advance postal bookings this week so don't leave it too late to browse the programme and send off your ticket applications - after all if you miss it this year there's a whole year to wait for the next one!

HB Arts Festival