Arts festival box office opens up for business

the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival box office opens for business this weekend, but with a couple of events featuring some big names - Stewart Lee and Inspiral Carpets - already sold out from online sales, it’s as well to be quick!

The festival box office opens on Saturday with Hebden Bridge based photographer Paul Floyd Blake’s photographic exhibition Different Strokes, Extraordinary Swimmers.

Blake is a mixed race, Jamaican-English photographer, who started his professional career in photography 10 years ago, following many years working as a lorry driver, and playing football semi-professionally. This new exhibition, which is part of the imove strand of the Cultural Olympiad, focuses on three remarkable swimmers dealing with a disability.

The festival promises music from Stealing Sheep, Skint and Demoralised and Becky Unthank, who joins a fantastic collection of female singer songwriters at Wainsgate Chapel. Catch Razing Eddie before he hits Edinburgh and climb into Mimika’s tent for a magical journey. Doyenne of the Chick lit scene, Jane Green jets in with another million copy bestseller, also on the literary menu, Kate Summerscale and Jon McGregor and the chance to try out your own material at Kate Fox’s poetry slam.

The blockbuster Hayward gallery exhibition, Matisse - Drawing with Scissors, opens at ArtsMill on Saturday, July 7, complete with a Matisse workshop for children run by local artists Petra McCarthy, Kate Clarke and Simon Manfield. Calder Valley artists will be throwing open their doors that same weekend for the hugely popular Open Studios.

Also watch out for some amazing sculptures dotted around the town made by Y6 schoolchildren from Riverside, Hebden Royd, Heptonstall and Old Town. The project is being led by community artist Jude Wadley and is inspired by the work of Anthony Gormley.

For more information or to book tickets visit www.hbaf.co.uk or call in to the box office in Albert Street.