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Sunday, 21 July 2013

MAD Festival coming to Calder Valley

Rural regeneration agency Pennine Prospects are organisaing a Making and Doing (MAD) festival which will take place on the weekend of October 5 and 6.

The festival intends to shine a light on the diverse creative talent in Hebden Bridge, Todmorden and the wider South Pennines.

Organisers are encouraging makers and doers of all descriptions – from knitters to wood whittlers to potters - to emerge from their garrets, converted mills and back-bedrooms to share their talents with the public through a series of  self-organised workshops, talks and ‘open studio’ sessions.

Sue Mellis, from Made in the Valley, a collective of local artists and makers, is helping to co-ordinate Hebden Bridge’s role in the festival. She said: “The festival is a brilliant idea. We have a wealth of creative talent here in Hebden Bridge and surrounding areas, and the MAD festival will showcase this in all its diverse forms.

"The focus will be on interactive activities, giving members of the public a chance to try their hand at all sorts of different crafts, even if they have never picked up a sewing needle or a hammer in their lives before!

“We’ve already got a number of talented craftspeople from the town on board, who will be hosting workshops and displays throughout the festival weekend, but we’re always looking for more participants. If you have an artistic talent, the MAD festival is the place to let it shine!”

A special ‘Meet the Maker’ market will take place at Hebden Bridge Town Hall during the festival weekend, at which local artists and artisans will host creative workshops and showcase their products. Experts in origami, whittling, cheese making, leather work, mosaics, sewing, pottery and willow work are among the participants.

Festival organisers are also encouraging local creative types to organise their own ‘fringe’ events in the town during the weekend of the festival, which will be showcased in the festival programme.

In Todmorden, Cheeky Sew and Sew sewing café and other venues including Platform One Gallery and Water Street Gallery are also planning to take part.

The MAD festival is part of Pennine Prospects’ ongoing ‘local distinctiveness’ campaign – a project to raise awareness of the unique characteristics of the South Pennines’ landscape, people and places, in order to encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more.
Rebecca Yorke, Pennine Prospects’ local distinctiveness coordinator said: “We have an incredibly rich independent creative scene in the South Pennines and this exciting new festival will showcase the best of what we have to offer.

“We’re calling on artistic makers and doers of all types to get involved, by holding their own local events on the weekend of October 5 and 6. Almost anything goes – workshops, studio tours, talks, exhibitions – whatever approach best showcases local artistic talent. We want the festival to have a real ‘fringe’ atmosphere, with events happening simultaneously across all sorts of different venues.”

As well as putting the region’s artistic talents on the map, it is intended that the festival will have a positive impact on local businesses – including shops, cafafés, pubs and accommodation providers.  

More information on how to get involved in the MAD festival is available from Rebecca Yorke.