Event organisers at Bradford Council are hailing this year’s Bradford Festival as the most successful yet.
Thousands of people attended the three day arts and entertainment festival which featured no less than 21 music acts, 20 street theatre shows, three dance pieces and 15 workshops.
Bradford’s multi-award winning singer-songwriter and powerhouse of blues and rock, Chantel McGregor, headlined the opening night in Centenary Square which was packed with adoring fans.
The Beat Goes Bang formed from the original members of The Beat and Dexys Midnight Runners thrilled audiences with Two Tone classics from the 80s.
And celebrated Bradford Irish music band, Scarlet Heights, notorious for their famous Thursday nights in the Midland Hotel, JB’s Wine Bar and Maguires closed the festival with a high energy show which had the audience up and dancing in Centenary Square.
Crowds gathered around the quirky and highly creative street theatre acts by top British troupes, and people enjoyed breathtaking performances of classic Indian choreography by Annapurna Indian Dance, and a contemporary piece by Motionhouse.
Hundreds of children enjoyed making masks, hats, jewellery, recycled objects and even rock music at the workshop and activities staged by a small army of local artists set up in tents around City Park.
The Urban Beach, which opened on Friday for the festival, was packed with children building sand castles with supplied buckets and spades.
Organisers estimate that over 175,000 people visited City Park over the three days.
Nearly 400 artists, 178 contractors, 26 caterers, 30 stallholders, 23 council staff and 10 volunteers staged Bradford Festival which is organised by Bradford Council.
Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Healthy People and Places Portfolio Holder, said: “We are thrilled that this year’s Bradford Festival has been so well received.
“There was a really lovely atmosphere over the three days and it was fantastic to see communities come together from across the district to enjoy the rich and varied programmes drawn from many different cultures.
“This event draws thousands of people into the city centre and brings people together to share different cultural experiences.”
Chantel McGregor, said: “Bradford, my hometown – what a brilliant headlining gig on Friday night. Such a wonderful festival, great organisation, amazing audience. It makes you proud to be part of it and proud to be from Bradford!”
Festival goer, Debbie Jordon tweeted: “What a wonderful festival! Only Bradford could pull off such a diverse festival and all for free!!”
Jason Feather, local photographer, said: “A big thank you to all those involved with the Bradford Festival. It’s always a great day out and lovely to see so many people enjoying art music and culture in the summer sun.”
Festivalgoer, Anne Mackay, tweeted “Having such a great time at Bradford Festival. I’m so proud of my home town. It’s fab and free all weekend.”