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Heptonstall Festival - report

Monday, 10 July 2017

From the Heptonstall Festival team

On Saturday 1st July the sun shone and the music played as the annual Heptonstall Festival returned for what turned out to be a truly vintage year for the event. The quality of the music and entertainment across the day was fantastic.

Heptonstall Festival

Cosmo Calling - photo: Christine Law

There are so many people to thank that we can’t include everyone here, but to all those who gave up their time before the event to setup, during the event and afterwards to pack away - we salute you! Without the help of the community this truly special event could not happen.

Street entertainment in the old church ruins

Unlike previous years, the ruin was given over to street entertainment and stalls which went down very well, particularly with the younger members of the audience. Mike Hancock amused with his range of incredible antics, and Ursula Holden Gill brought some storytelling magic to the afternoon. The festival trail took place across the village, with entrants being invited to find as many letters as they could to create a word of phrase about what the festival meant to them, we’ll be displaying the best of these on our Facebook page.

Fell Race

The annual Festival Fell Race was a huge success again this year, with the first four finishers smashing the course record. Chris Holdsworth from Clayton-le-Moors Harriers with a time of 0:47:03. Amazing!

Heptonstall Festival

Tensheds - photo: Philip Openshaw

Second stage in new church

The music this year was truly exceptional, with our second stage setup inside the new church with some beautiful laid back acoustic and blues. Thank you to all of the performers and to Chris Hancox who as usual volunteered his time to make sure that the music sounded awesome.

Weaver stage

The Weaver stage has some returning festival favourites including Hebden band The Tiny Minds who never disappoint, the energetic klezma magicians Klonk and local favourites Outside the Box who were the only act to play on both stages.

The music

We welcomed plenty of new faces this year too who blew us away with their talent and creativity. Thanks goes to Leighton Jones who brought his particular brand of folk to the stage, as well as Johnny Powell and the Seasonal Beasts who took us on a journey of delight. Proceedings were taken to the next level in the shape of the uber talented Tensheds who gave us the impression we were witnessing a work of a genius. The very talented MK returned this year with her new band, The Escalators who really got us dancing and by the time the final act of the night Cosmo Calling took the stage we were all ready to completely let go. All the way through their set from the first song to the genius of the Blondie encore, the crowd was delighted.

Many of the musicians and acts have links to the local area, which really does showcase what a creative bunch live hereabouts, but you don’t have to be local to perform. If you are interested in performing at the 2018 event, please drop us a line with some examples of your music using the email button on our Facebook page.

Feedback and suggestions welcomed

As always, there are probably some things that you might have liked to see at the festival that weren’t there, or things you think could be improved. We’d really like to hear from you if you have ideas of new and exciting content or activities for the festival, particularly if you are interested in donating your time to make them happen!

If you don’t have much time but would still like to help out, we’re going to try to organise volunteering into time slots for the next event, so that you can volunteer as much or as little time as you can afford either before, during or after the event. Watch our Facebook page for more information about this.

See you next year!
The Festival Team