This year’s Heptonstall Festival will take place on Saturday 20 September and will build on the tremendous success that was the 2013 festival. There will again be two stages (on Weaver Square and in the old church ruins) along with the fun-filled morning children’s parade and an evening’s classical concert. This year’s theme is The Wizard of Oz, so dig out those red shoes and remember – there’s no place like home!
In response to feedback last year, we’re also introducing a new family area in the afternoon at the Social and Bowling Club with a range of exciting activities, including “Scrufts”, a fun dog show open to all, organised by Christine Rowlands, and other draws especially for children.
All the hard work by volunteers starts months in advance and again this year, the festival will be preceded by work in the two local primary schools (Heptonstall and Colden) in the weeks before the festival.
The two actresses, Ursula Holden Gill and Sonya Moorhead, who played such an active role in last year’s success, will again be working with children. But, more so than last year, 2014 will be more of a family and community activity with children and their families making so much of their props. Jess Crook will be coordinating the educational activities and we are very grateful for all the encouragement and enthusiasm of the two heads, David Perrin and Tony Greenwood and the PFAs.
On the day, the main village street will again be closed to traffic and Ursula (last year’s Red Queen), Sonya and the Red Rose Brass Band will lead the procession of children and adults from Heptonstall School to the old church ruins at 11am, where they will be greeted by the Wizard of Oz (and festival master of ceremonies), Alexander Wells. Everyone is welcome to join the parade!
Of course the festival wouldn’t be a festival without live music and a range of other entertainment, and following the parade we’ll have a full afternoon of amazing musicians and other acts to entertain you on the two stages. Artists performing will include local bands Tiny Minds and Feather Teeth, alongside some nationally acclaimed artists to be announced. We have several artists returning from last year including the much loved Tim O’Connor who will be joined this year by great American Bouzouki and guitar player G. Rossi. There will be performances by the great Hebden Bridge Hill Millies, magician Alexander Wells and many other local acts and those from further afield, check back here for updates and announcements!
One of the most acclaimed successes last year was the evening, candle-lit, classical concert. We will be having this again this year. The performers in 2014 will be the highly popular local duo Due Voci, sopranos Mandy Doyle and Viv Burr, with accompanist Ailie Kerrane, who always create such a powerful connection with their audience. The Three Valleys Gospel Choir will perform a programme of classical and traditional acapella gospel music including spirituals.
Throughout the day, there will be a wide range of food, craft and clothing stalls in the square, the church grounds and along Towngate. If you’d like to have a stall, please contact Sue Stirling by email. The drink stalls this year will be provided by the two village pubs, the White Lion and the Cross, and we are very grateful for the support of the licensees and staff of both.
We are also most grateful for the support of both Calderdale and Heptonstall Councils, the Bowling Club and the very many individuals who have been so generous in their help over the year.
The Festival Team – 16 August 2014