Over 9 days the annual Hebden Bridge Arts Festival makes the most of the town’s maverick creativity – bringing theatre, music, dance, spoken word and visual arts to Hebden’s streets, quirky venues and local landscape.
We pride ourselves in bringing a wide variety of engaging, thought-provoking and entertaining performances and events to the wide variety of people who make up our audiences – this includes established artists with new work, old favourites with something new to say, as well as emerging talent across all mediums.
We combine ticketed performances with free community activities and events – culminating in our well known Street Sundays -where all the town become a stage for a free afternoon of cabaret, circus, dance and acrobatics.
This year’s theme of Virtual Valley aims to explore the creative tension between the analogue and digital, past and future – this includes
Martyn Ware and Wolfgang Flür on life before, during and the electronic 80s
The UK premier The Feeling of Going – a large-scale pop-opera-dance-theatre production by an acclaimed creative team, headed by choreographer & production director Ben Wright, scored by Sigur Ross’s Jonsi and recorded live from the stage of Malmö Opera, Sweden.
Site specific installations that include Virtual Reality experience in conjunction with IOU Theatre and Oh Europa and their digital beacon beaming Hebden Bridge love songs to Europe. The Analogue Fringe where we go off grid to explore the landscape, curate a museum of making and hear from celebrated local makers why they choose to do it by hand…
This year’s festival has explored collaboration between artists, producers, venues and other festivals – how co-promotion and co-production can add value to the development of new work and in bringing it to new audiences.
2018/19 has been an amazing year so far for culture in the Pennines – we work closely with our partners: Square Chapel Arts Centre, Eureka and IOU Theatre
The Bronte Parsonage where their poet in residence Zaffar Kunial is joining us for a Faber Members event
The Arvon Foundation where Starting to Write tutors, Hollie McNish, Mallachy Tallack and Michael Pedersen end their Lumb Bank week with a special Festival performance. The National Trust with artist Hannah Honeywill’s exhibition at Gibson Mill and in Hardcastle Crags.
Celebrating our local talent
The Festival always looks to home to build our annual programme.
In 2018 we first showed Hebden Bridge based Yan Wang Preston’s Forest (2019 winner at the Sony World Photography Awards)
In 2019 we present 3 new contemporary dance performances from locally based performer/director Charlie Morrissey , Wendy Houston, Jonathan Burrows, Katye Coe and Matteo Fargion all performed in a stunning hilltop nonconformist chapel setting.
Legendary Kraftwerk percussionist Wolfgang Flur brings his latest show Musik Soldat to the festival. Flur is supported by local electro producer and composer Peter Duggal who he toured with in 2018. The pair met when Flur played at the Arts Festival in 2016 – by offering to pick him up from the station – they became friends and collaborators touring together over recent months.
Hollywood concept artist Dan Walker shares some industry secrets in his home town.
Every year we hold the Calderdale Young Shorts for local young playwrights and performers and Teenage Kicks, a young musicians’ showcase.