Valley plays host to simply the best of British blues

Hebden Bridge Blues Festival
Hebden Bridge Blues Festival

Hebden Bridge was singing the blues once more when an award-winning festival returned.

Hundreds of music lovers packed in to various venues across the town for the Hebden Bridge Blues Festival 2013, and dubbed it the best yet.

But organisers have said they might have to move the event over to Lancashire next year if, with the help of Calderdale Council, they can not source more accommodation for guests to stay in.

Event organiser Jason Elliott said: “People have said it was the best blues festival we have hosted by far. We didn’t think we could do it better than last year but we have.

“We have a new star on the rise called Terry Logan who’s from Hebden Bridge and made a huge impression at the Saturday night jam session.

“The highlights have been the midnight jam sessions where musicians who have been playing in the day all get together and perform.”

Jason said the venues, including Hope Baptist Church and Salem Community Resource Centre, were exceptional and he would like to thank Les Siddall and Gerard Liston for use of them. He also thanked the landlords and landlady’s at The Old Gate, Marshall’s Bar, The Crown Inn and The White Swan for use of their pubs.

Some of the star performers at the festival included: Bluesboy Dan Owen, The Ron Sayer Band, The Aynsley Lister Band, Paddy Maguire, Tom Killner Band, DJ Dave Raven, Jo Harman & Company, and DJ Les Young.

Craig Shaw, who attended the festival, said: “It was very good. The festival had a really great atmosphere and the weather was fantastic. The venues were nice and to see blues in a historic building like Hope Baptist Church added some sophistication to match the festival itself.”

Gerard Liston, church member and project manager at Hope Baptist Church, said: “We were delighted that it was possible to provide a venue for the event, it was spectacular. The place was treated with respect and we were thrilled to see so many people enjoying fantastic music. It’s an indication of the kind of event we would like the church to be used for.”

The festival, which was crowned the best in Britain last year, has been nominated in the same category at the 2013 British Blues Awards. Jason has encouraged all in attendance to make sure Hebden Bridge keeps its crown by voting at www.britishbluesawards.com.

“I’d like to thank all the artists and people who have come out to support the festival. A special mention as well for Cathy Ross, Kate Dakers and Jenny Hooson,” Jason added.