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Hebden Bridge Arts Festival

Arts Festival programme launched

Friday, 15 May 2015

Arts Festival programme launchedCulture lovers turned out in force as Hebden Bridge Art Festival launched its 2015 programme in the Town Hall.

As well as revealing the acts who are appearing the festival's Artistic Director Helen Meller (pictured left) outlined the festival's plan to be an all year round presence supporting individuals and events like Café Culture - a monthly event at the Town Hall supporting personal well-being through discussion and art.

Festival Launch, 14 May 2015

Festival Artistic Director Helen Meller added, "Once again we are punching above our weight as many of the acts are coming here because they have heard that Hebden Bridge is not just a beautiful place, but the audiences are brilliant too.

"But it's just an important for us to engage with our community that do so much to support us, and the support from the two local councils allows us to offer some really interesting projects, including a pop shop as a base for young people to show off their talents and some local microcommissioning. We're also really developing our tree dressing project, many more schools and groups have come forward this year."

Festival launch

Festival Launch, 14 May 2015

Controversial comic Richard Herring, Mercury Prize nominees I Am Kloot, pop star turned author Tracey Thorn and two days of free street theatre are the highlights of this year's Hebden Bridge Arts Festival.

As well as the big names the festival have secured support from Calderdale and Hebden Royd councils to expand their community work not only during the festival, which runs from June 26 to July 5, but also start working with groups and individuals all year round with events like Café Culture, a monthly discussion event at the Town Hall encouraging local folk to meet and talk.

Lemn SissayOther acts booked by the festival include award winning performance poet Lemn Sissay (pictured left), Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson looking at the 32,000 year history of visual satire, poet John Hegley and strand up Francesca Martinez reflecting on life with cerebral palsy,

Local artist Eve Robertson has come on board exploring the town's vibrant LGBT community presenting three local women's stories verbatim style followed by a Q & A at Nelson's Wine Bar.

Hebden Bridge Shorts will be once again showcasing the talents of local performers and intense pressure from local gardeners means the Open Gardens is back as the green fingered fraternity show off their prized plots.

Visual arts fans can enjoy an exhibition of Louise Bourgeois prints at Artsmill, Fay Godwin's Elmet landscape photos and the festival joins forces with local artists during the second weekend as the Open Studios display their work.


Dance fans are in for a real treat with Hype Dance / Blue Boy collaboration, Savage Beauty looking at the tough world of boxing and boxing and Northern School of Contemporary Dance postgrads 'Verve' (pictured above) head for Calder High School for a workshop and evening show.

In 2014 the festival collaborated with Royd Square who support adults with learning disabilities and they're back with Out of Africa responding to the festival's 'the Hills Are Alive' theme after working all year with schools, local churches and community groups.

Last year the community devised Dancehall of Dreams was a surprise and they return with a new project Calderdale Cocktails, a 1960s/70s style lounge party performance to launch a year's worth of workshops building towards a new project for HBAF 2016.


The festival starts and finishes with the hugely popular free Street Sundaes as some of the UK's top street performers join forces with the cream of local talent to entertain thousands of people at five sites across Hebden Bridge.

For full details of all the festival events go to the Festival website and the ticket office is open in the Town Hall every day.

Previously, the Festival on the HebWeb

  • HebWeb News: Festival jewellery and Festival hair (12 May 2015)
  • HebWeb News: Arts Festival is looking for new volunteers! (12 May 2015)
  • HebWeb News: I Am Kloot join Hebden Bridge Arts Festival bill (April 2015)
  • HebWeb News: Got an idea? Hebden Bridge Arts Festival wants to help (30 March 2015)
  • HebWeb News: Local street acts needed for Arts Festival (25 March 2015)
  • HebWeb News: Young Producer Sam Bell visits Reuters (10 February 2015)
  • HebWeb News: Hebden Shorts 2015: Open Gardens are back! (17 December 2014)
  • HebWeb News: Hebden Shorts 2015: Get writing over Christmas (11 December 2014)
  • HebWeb News: Exclusive first public showing of Arts Festival video (24 November 2014)
  • HebWeb News: Young arts producers win national awards (20 November 2014)
  • Arts Festival Website

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