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The Blues Festival

From Jason Elliott

Friday, 31 May 2013

Now that all of the hecticness of the Blues Festival has died down, we would just like to offer our thanks the people of Hebden Bridge for being so hospitable to the influx of people who attended.

We had visitors from the USA, Canada, Europe and even China, let alone all corners Britain, and a huge number of them remarked to us about how friendly everyone was and how welcome they felt.

We would particularly like to thank Gerard Liston and the church members for letting us break over a century of tradition to use the Hope Baptist Church (bar included) for our evening gigs, as well as Les Siddal and the gang at the Salem Community Centre who let us use their building for the daytime gigs. Both of these spaces are run by far-sighted people and are superb assets to the town and we hope that other organisations will make more use of their facilities for big projects like this.

We would also like to thank the management of Old Gate Bar and Restaurant, Marshall's Bar, the Crown Inn and the White Swan who stepped in where Councils fear to tread and supported the festival by making many gigs available for free to the residents.

All in all, we had a great weekend and much of that was down to the way in which the town responded with such generosity and warmth to the hundreds of people who came to the event.

As you may know, last year we beat 42 other UK Blues festivals to win the coveted "Best Festival" title at the British Blues Awards. We have made the final shortlist of six again this year so, if you support what we're doing, perhaps you'd be kind enough to vote for us here!

I would also like to thank Setbray Properties and Moreton-Deakin Architects who, very kindly and willingly, supported the festival by making available the Brown's site on the edge of town as parking for caravans and mobile homes used by people coming to the Blues Festival.

Accommodation for event-goers from other parts of the country is a massive problem now in Hebden Bridge. Most Saturdays in B&Bs are booked a long way in advance by wedding parties using the Town Hall, and with Moyle's and Holme House still out of service, Setbray's gesture by making the Brown's site available (at no charge) was a very welcome, community-spirited gesture and much appreciated.