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Friday, 28 January 2011

Over the bank holiday weekend of the 27th to 30th of May 2011, Hebden Bridge will be hosting its first Blues Festival. Up to 50 bands from across Britain, Europe and the USA will be playing in a variety of venues including the Trades Club, Hebden Bridge Picture House and Calder Homes Park.

As the festival will concentrate on artists performing new material and taking the Blues into the next decade, rather than those who have been on the road playing the same sets for many years, there has been a lot of interest nationally and several thousand visitors are expected to flock to the town over the weekend.


Chantel McGregor

One of the organisers, Jason Elliott, told the Hebweb "It's great to have the opportunity to bring so many high-calibre musicians into Hebden Bridge. We've had bands from all over the world, particularly the USA, contacting us in the hope of getting a slot so the quality of the acts is extremely high. Another great benefit of an event like this is the amount of revenue generated for the local economy. This many people coming to the town for a long weekend will certainly give a welcome boost to some of our local business in these tough times."

Full details have yet to be finalised, but some of the fastest-selling events are likely to be the appearance of American blues star Lance Lopez on his first visit to Britain and a "Women of Blues" night at the Picture House, headlined by Chantel McGregor and her band.

Lance Lopez

Lance Lopez

The hub of the Hebden Bridge Blues Festival will be the Trades Club which, together with hosting the opening and closing night gigs, will be running a special "midnight jamming" hour where some of the artists who have been playing at other venues during the day will get the chance to play together and make a bit of Blues history.

The festival's reach will also spread across the town with several of the local pubs and bars putting on bands.

With this influx of people to the town, the organisers are also employing a team of litter-pickers to try and keep the town looking at its best at all times, as well as arranging for additional temporary recycling facilities to be installed.

More information will be on the Hebweb soon and can also be found on the festival's website www.hebdenblues.co.uk and Facebook

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