Arts, laughter and music as top festival returns to town

Stewart Lee will be performing at the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival 2012
Stewart Lee will be performing at the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival 2012

MATISSE, Inspiral Carpets and Stewart Lee are set to draw in the crowds at Hebden Bridge Arts Festival 2012.

At a packed launch at the White Lion last week, the programme was officially unveiled, along with the festival’s brand new website – www.hbaf.co.uk.

The Hayward travelling Matisse exhibition ‘Drawing with Scissors’ opens at ArtsMill, Hebden Bridge, on July 7 and there’s an exclusive kids workshop running alongside.

Comedian Stewart Lee will brings his Carpet Remnants tour to the Picture House and Inspiral Carpets lead the musical charge into town - with the original lead singer Steve Holt.

There are also performances from Wakefield band Skint & Demoralised and world jazz from Nigerian guitarist Femi Temowo and his quintet. Folk icon Julie Felix will perform at Heptonstall Methodist Church and there will be an afternoon of singer/songwriters - with a set from Becky Unthank.

For families, there’s a weekend of street entertainment and children’s theatre in Mimika’s magical tent. There will be a sculpture trail through Hebden Bridge of life-size figures made by year 6 children and musician Chris T-T is bringing his Edinburgh hit show ‘Disobedience’, while the poems of AA Milne will be set to music.

The Festival is supported by a £10,000 Grants for the Arts award from Arts Council England, Yorkshire, a £5000 partnership grant from Hebden Royd Town Council, a £7000 grant from Calderdale Council, £1000 from Welcome to Yorkshire, £800 from Sweet & Maxwell and a £500 bequest from Di Smith.

Cluny Macpherson, Regional Director of Arts Council England, said: “Hebden Bridge Arts Festival goes from strength to strength.

“It acts as a great platform to both celebrate emerging local talent, and to bring nationally recognised artists to the area.

“The team are working hard to get art out to new audiences, strengthening their digital presence, and using the London 2012 theme in a fun and refreshing way.”

The festival runs from June 30 to July 8 and brochures are available from The Hebden Bridge Visitor and Canal Centre, libraries and venues across Calderdale. Tickets are available online at www.hbaf.co.uk and by post. The box office opens on June 16.