Batley Festival fun hits all the right notes

Batley Festival fun hits all the right notes

CHILDREN ditched their computer tablets to focus on creative play at Batley Festival.

Youngsters played outside in the sunshine and enjoyed den building, traditional street games, mazes, chalking on cobbles, blowing bubbles and lots more.

Thousands of people attended the town centre festival on Saturday and experienced a fun-filled line-up of musicians, artists and acclaimed street theatre performers.

The event, now in its seventh year, also hosted an artisan market featuring hand-made produce and crafted goods.

There were live performances on the Market Place stage, including a sneak peek of The Batley Variations, an opera based on 24 hours in the life on Batley, created by professional producers. It will be shown in November at St Mary's Social Club.

Kimberley Thirkill, chairwoman of Batley Festival, said: “The day was a huge success. The sunshine helped to bring out thousands of people to enjoy a relaxing and fun-filled day out, all for free thanks to Arts Council England funding from Creative Scene.

“With a focus on creative play, children ditched their tablets and relished den building, art on the cobbles and some enjoyed making zany creatures out of vegetables.

“A huge thank you goes to our amazing team of volunteers, without whom it would not be possible.”

Mum-of-two Hayley Beaumont, 32, from Batley, said: “My kids had a great time making dens and blowing huge bubbles. It makes a change from their ipads and was great to see them having fun.”

There was entertainment from the New Orleans-inspired New York Brass Band and crowds loved a mischievous, experimental and funny performance called Full Circle from Avanti Display, who perform internationally with their entrancing show.

Comedy chefs the Fairly Famous Family amused onlookers with their roaming performance of Liver Cottage with their cookery demonstration, by Hugh Fearn and Lee Whittingstall.

Over the summer artists Wendy Meadley and Kate Sully have been holding flag-making workshops around the town, creating decorations for the festival with schools and community groups, as well as sessions at Batley Library.

Photos: Mark Bickerdike

Share this post