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Holmfirth Arts Festival 2023 ‘Forces of Nature’

17th June - 18th June

Holmfirth Arts Festival 2023 – Forces of Nature

The Main weekend event will be on the 17-18 June 2023, with lots of other events from May to October.

One of Yorkshire’s best small festivals

We’re busy making plans for 2023, so watch this space for updates.

Our 2023 programme is here!


This year’s Festival theme, Forces of Nature, is deeply inspired by our location in the Peak District National Park and we have invited the best local, national and international artists to respond to the environment, our unique landscape and its wonderful people, in all their diversity.

Events run from May to October across the Holme Valley and our much-loved Festival Weekend takes place in Holmfirth (17-18 June), with a day of live excellent community music and the spectacular Festival Parade on Saturday 17th, plus exciting live street theatre, installations and new commissions on Sunday 18th.
We look forward to seeing you there.

Holmfirth Arts Festival – 17 & 18 June 2023 – main outdoor festival weekend

Holmfirth Arts Festival presents an action-packed weekend of free/Pay as You Decide events this weekend (17 and 18 June)
There will be street theatre with outdoor music, installations, as well as loads of opportunities for people to bring their own creativity to the participatory programme.

Live performance will take over Holmfirth town centre, on 17 and 18 June, plus the popular festival parade takes place, created by Handmade Productions, with help from the community on Saturday at 2pm.
Festival director Bev Adams said: “The festival weekend will fill the town with music, song, and performance, and crafting activities plus there will even be a nod to the 50th anniversary of Last of the Summer Wine, with a special performance from aerial artists in the characters of Nora Batty and Compo.”

She said the annual event, a firm favourite on the Yorkshire festival scene, takes almost a year of preparation and is made possible thanks to the scores of volunteers and local organisations, from across the Holme Valley, who help to run the events and welcome people during festival weekend.

On Saturday 17 June, from 12 noon to 5pm, Holmside Gardens in the centre of Holmfirth, will be the setting for a music festival garden party, promising a fun day out for all ages.

There will be music from Banda Na Rua, Café Orchestra, Sooner or Later, Ability Options and Soul Choir plus community music makers from across the Holme Valley and participants of music making sessions with Josh Haslam, of Jam Factory.

There will be an aerial dance performance from the belltower of Holmfirth Parish Church called Flamin’ Nora Flying Compo. Look out for their performance at 12 noon and 3.15pm.
The Forces of Nature parade takes place at 2pm on Saturday (17 June), after communities from across the Holme Valley have helped to create a magical, inclusive and exciting event, meandering around the streets of Holmfirth in a tradition harking back hundreds of years.
Sunday 18 June kicks off the bells ringing out from Holmfirth Parish Church, for the first time in 30 years, with a thriving band of ringers, young and old.
Reggae brass band Pressure Drop will entertain crowds with street performance from aerial artists Urban Angels, Callaloo Carnival Arts, Dark Horse Theatre and Theatre Temoin. Giant butterflies will explore the town on stilts.
The recipient of this year’s Steve Sykes Commission is musician Ellie Ford, who will give a live performance featuring harp, vocals and electronics on the banks of the River Holme.
Further commissions include Dark Horse Theatre with To Be Us, From Industry to Culture photo exhibition by U3A Digital Photography Group and FreeFall, a new vertical aerial dance piece from Urban Angels based on the myth of Icarus, will start at the Picturedrome and finish in the street.
The Art in the Landscape art trail will also be open to view at Earthworks New Mill Community Garden.


17th June
18th June
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Holmfirth Arts Festival Team
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