Press Release,
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Hebden Bridge Arts Festival is nothing if not topical! Last week one of the major t.v. offerings was the police drama Blue Murder starring Caroline Quentin, and written by Cath Staincliffe. Next month the Festival offers the chance of a "murder squad" evening including a writing workshop for creating "credible villains" and an opportunity to hear crime thriller writers talk about their work and their inspiration. And who is taking part in this, amongst others? - Well of course it's "Blue Murder" writer Cath Staincliffe.

Some people are never off the telly, or the radio, and these days Linda Smith seems to be one of them. Since her last show here two years ago she seems to be popping up all the time - t.v.'s "Have I got news for you, Radio 4's "Just a Minutes" - she seems to be a mainstay of many broadcasting panels. And if you are quick off the mark you can catch her at the Arts Festival, which she launches on Friday June 20th at the Hebden Bridge cinema. She was a sell-out last time round, and tickets are going quickly for this year's show. All this and much more, together with booking details, can be found in the Arts Festival programme, (small booklet, black and yellow, with a cool musician in shades on a motorbike) available in local shops, the Tourist Information Centre, libraries and other places. Or ring the Festival Office on 01422 842684.

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 programme 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.

So remember - 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