Bradford is a city that’s undergoing a rebirth. A multi-billion pound renaissance is taking place, and ‘The Big Summer’ will compliment this reinvestment, by providing world class entertainment throughout the city’s streets.
‘The Big Summer’ demonstrates Bradford Council’s commitment to supporting the district’s cultural events, as well as promoting more large scale entertainment activities.
For four months, between June and September, there will be an event almost every week. Together the events will offer a variety of choice from outstanding classical concerts through to Europe’s biggest market festival, which will be returning to Bradford for the first time since August 2004.
This year’s calendar promises to bring together the Bradford Festival, Mela, Classic Car rally, 6 Film, Music and Literature Festivals, Bradford International Market and the more intimate festivals that will be held in the surrounding areas of Keighley, Ilkley, Saltaire and Haworth.
Peel Park on 17-18 June will hold the first of the major events. The Bradford Mela (taken from the Sanskrit ‘to meet’) is Europe’s largest – over 130,000 – and longest established event of its type. It brings to life the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of Asia. It celebrates art, craft and culture and combines community events, market stalls and food from around the globe with international quality music and entertainment.
Jane Glaister, Director of Arts, Heritage & Leisure said: “‘The Big Summer’ will bring something different to Bradford this year. For the first time ever, all of the city’s events have been looked at holistically, in an attempt to appeal to as many people as possible.”
‘The Big Summer’ will also include the annual Bradford Book Festival and the Ilkley Literature Festival, the Music at Myrtle and Party in the Park weekend in Bingley and a series of events as part of the Illuminate project. Illuminate festivals will celebrate the lives of three of Bradford District’s cultural icons – Frederick Delius (July), David Hockney (August) and the Bronte sisters (September).
The second large event will be the Bradford Festival which is spread across three weekends between 1-17 July. This year’s festival will feature local and international artists and community performers and there will be live music, street theatre and festival markets. Bradford International Market Festival rounds off the season of experiences over the August Bank Holiday.
Jane continues: “We hope that ‘The Big Summer’ will have something for everyone in the family. Some of this year’s events will be truly spectacular so we hope that people from all across Yorkshire decide to come and get involved. In fact, we are expecting to get visitors from all over the country, which will hopefully give our city a real boost, particularly as the city is undergoing major regeneration. We expect to see thousands of people in Bradford this summer, visiting our events who will be bowled over at the quality of the products and the exciting entertainment we are staging here in the city centre.”
BIG SUMMER DIARY DATES –
1. 17-18 JUNE, BRADFORD MELA. Music, dance, food and fun for everyone at the country’s first, biggest and best Mela. With six performance stages and themed zones, the new look Mela will conjure the atmosphere of the global village offering a greater diversity of entertainment, markets and activities than ever before.
2. 24TH JUNE, BRADFORD CARNIVAL. Formerly Bradford South Carnival, Avenue Road Playing Fields, West Bowling, BD5. A day long carnival for all the community, featuring performances by local artists and musicians.
3. 1-8 JULY, DELIUS FESTIVAL. ‘Delius Inspired’ is a revolutionary festival devoted to celebrating one of Bradford’s most eminent sons. Including performances from Tasmin Little, Julian Lloyd Webber, Yvonne Kenny and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
4. 1-17 JULY, BRADFORD FESTIVAL. Cutting edge art, street parties, world class music and fun in the heart of the city. The people of Bradford come out to play in a city centre celebration of Bradford’s rich cultural life, with music, street performances and fun activities.
– 1 JULY, LORD MAYORS CARNIVAL PARADE, 12 noon, Bradford City Centre. The theme for the Lord Mayor’s Carnival Parade 2006 is ‘Threads of Life’: Interwoven – Bound Together – Wrapped Up. The Parade will be led by the Bradford Carnival, with colourful costumes and vibrant music setting the tone for a celebration of Bradford’s communities.
– 30 JUNE – 2 JULY, THE BIG GIG. Three days of open-air action on a stage at the heart of the West End leisure zone.
– 14-16 JULY, ‘BD/Y’ – Youth Festival, Bradford City Centre; extreme sports / urban music / huge art / dance / workshops / fun drumming workshops / rock events / debate / fashion shows / market / interactive games / film making / media tent / give-aways / artists / dance for life / chill out areas.
5. 29-16 JULY, BRADFORD BOOK FESTIVAL. Celebrating the written word with readings, storytelling, performances and workshops. Bradford Book Festival is a celebration of literature and other art forms that initiate and inspire, such as film, comedy, poetry, debate, storytelling sessions, performances and workshops.
6. 22 JULY, BRADFORD CLASSIC. Over a hundred classic cars on display in and around Centenary Square.
7. 21-22 JULY, EXPERIENCE TV, opens at The National Museum of Photography, Film & Television. The new £3 million interactive gallery exploring the world of television will allow visitors to walk into a replica studio and find out how television is made.
8. 30- 6 AUGUST, BRADFORD INSPIRED. Celebrating a new retrospective of the work of David Hockney “From Bradford to Hollywood and back again” for one fabulous week Bradford City Centre turns itself into an artspace.
9. 25-28 AUGUST, BRADFORD INTERNATIONAL MARKET FESTIVAL. The City Centre transformed with the return of a mile of market stalls from across Europe and beyond and entertainment from around the world. Bradford International Market Festival 2006 will once again be the event of the year in Yorkshire. This festival of fun, food and music flava has grown in reputation and stature following the huge success of the 2004 event.
10. 2 SEPTEMBER, MUSIC AT MYRTLE (Myrtle Park, Bingley). Bradford Parks and The Pulse team, together again, present an unbelievable weekend of live music at Bingley’s Myrtle Park. Kicking off the two-day festival on Saturday 2nd September, is the ever-popular Music at Myrtle.
11. 3 SEPTEMBER, PARTY IN THE PARK (Myrtle Park, Bingley). Over the past five years The Pulse Party in the Park has headlined some of the greatest acts in the current chart scene. This year will be no exception as another line up of stars and current chart topping acts are set to thrill and excite live on stage.
12. 15-22 SEPTEMBER, RADICAL BRONTES. This festival celebrates a family of amazing literary talent and investigates the more radical, sometimes darker, and contemporary aspects of the Brontës’ work.
13. 2-28 SEPTEMBER, BITE THE MANGO FILM FESTIVAL. (National Museum of Photography, Film and Television). Bite The Mango, the UK’s leading festival of world cinema, will once again bring the world to Bradford with an eclectic mix of movies from the far-flung corners of the globe, plus masterclasses, seminars, events and international star guests.
14. 29-15 SEPTEMBER, ILKLEY LITERATURE FESTIVAL. The North of England’s liveliest Literature Festival! 110 events over 17 days with something for all the family. Put your questions to the UK’s most famous names. Meet your favourite authors. Try one of our workshops or sit back and relax at the cabaret.
15. BRADFORD’S DISTRICT FESTIVALS:
– 3-16 JULY, KEIGHLEY FESTIVAL. Two weeks of celebration in Keighley. Highlights to look out for this year are an attempt to make the World’s Largest Curry on Saturday 15th July; ‘Art on the Move’ which involves 2,500 pupils from 25 schools; and the ever-popular Historic Vehicle Rally.
– 1-31 AUGUST, ILKLEY SUMMER FESTIVAL. The Summer Festival, now in its 4th year, kicks off with a bang with Viva Elvis, includes a three day street market, outdoor concerts and a spectacular ‘Son et Lumiere’ light show in Mill Ghyll.
– 31-3 SEPTEMBER, HAWORTH ARTS FESTIVAL. An explosion of live music, art exhibitions and street entertainment. Highlights include an outdoor screening of “Wuthering Heights” on 31 August; “Minis up Mainstreet” featuring the best in customised mini cars on 2 September and a performance by the legendary John Cooper Clarke also on 2 September.
– 7-17 SEPTEMBER, SALTAIRE FESTIVAL. Set in the world heritage village of Saltaire, the 4th Saltaire Festival promises to offer something for all the family. Highlights include a Celtic music concert, a festival ball, a continental market, a local produce market, street entertainment, Morris dancers, and a CAMRA beer festival.