Friday, 6 June 2008

International festival loves local too

With performers and audiences from all over the world, Hebden Bridge Arts Festival is now a truly international affair. But it’s also a chance for talented local people to show they’re world-class too.

This summer’s programme features poets, artists, singers and musicians who live or work in the area.

Perhaps the bravest amongst them are the local poets preparing to joust with words in the Chips ‘n’ Quips Poetry Slam hosted by poet and comedian Luke Wright at AJ’s fish and chip restaurant. It’s a poetry free-for-all that should spark off some valiant verse in the charming surroundings of this arty café. Tickets for the Slam include chips!

Local singers also get a chance to add their voices to the Festival atmosphere with Words on the Street, in partnership with The July Project. This is an open-air festival of singing by community and school choirs from the local area and beyond, and includes Hebden Bridge’s very own Calder Valley Voices.

Painters, sculptors, textile artists and more from the area will be opening up their studios to visitors on selected days throughout the festival. There will be full details of what’s open and when on the Festival website at

Hebden Bridge-based writer and journalist, Andrew Bibby, whose new book The Backbone of England is an exploration of what makes the Pennine landscape so special, will be describing his journey along the Pennine watershed. He'll be revealing, among other things, the unlikely role the peat bogs of northern England have to play in the battle against global warming.

John Morrison, (author of the Milltown Trilogy) who contributed the distinctive illustrations for The Backbone of England, will share some of his pictures and describe the pleasures and pitfalls of photographing the Pennine landscape.

A hot new band from Huddersfield – Extra Curricular – will be performing at B@R Place on Crown Street in the popular Hot Club evening. The band features a collective of musicians who blend hip-hop, the improvisation and spirit of jazz and the smooth sounds of soul.

Finally, Trades Youngplugged – Singer-Songwriters Night is an acoustic feast that celebrates the young singer-songwriters of the valley.

As well as two major exhibitions in the Arts Festival Box Office Gallery on Albert Street, many local artists will be exhibiting before, during and after the two-week Festival.

David Wright

Brave BoudicaExhibitions include an important retrospective of renowned painter David Wright; Woven Voices by a locally based group exploring the medium of woven tapestry in individual ways; cartoons and caricatures by Mike Bryson; Brave Boudica, a response to breast cancer in collage, prose and photos; Kate Lycett at the Calder Gallery, and works by Stella Hill and Bernadette Behan at Platform One Gallery in Todmorden.

Postal booking for the 40-plus performances and workshops is now open. The box office on Albert Street opens on June 14.

The 2008 Festival runs from Friday, June 27 to Sunday, July 13.

If you’d like to be kept in touch with what’s planned, e-mail or visit

Hebden Bridge Festival


Friday 27 June
Saturday 28 June
Sunday 29 June
Monday 30 June
Tuesday 1 July
Wednesday 2 July
Thursday 3 July
Friday 4 July
Saturday 5 July
Sunday 6 July
Monday 7 July
Tuesday 8 July
Wednesday 9 July
Thursday 10 July
Friday 11 July
Saturday 12 July
Sunday 13 July

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