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Arts & Entertainment


Following two triumphant tours, spectacular show The Glenn Miller Story extends into the autumn and arrives at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford from Tuesday 25 to Saturday 29 October. This extraordinary tale of America’s most famous big band leader stars music legend Tommy Steele.

gmIt’s been seventy years since Glenn Miller vanished over the English Channel as he flew to Paris to entertain the troops during the Second World War. Did he crash? Was he shot down? Will the mystery ever be solved? Featuring a 16 piece orchestra, a full supporting company of performers and dazzling choreography, the story of one of the most iconic musical figures of the 20th century will be told as never before.

Over the past 15 years Bill Kenwright and Tommy Steele regularly get together to talk about the past, present and future. One evening, Bill discovered that his all-encompassing love for Elvis was equal only to Tommy’s adoration for Glenn Miller and his Orchestra. Bill learned that Tommy is a true devotee; travelling all over the world to hear what remains of the original Orchestral Sounds, and is steeped in the knowledge and the glory of what Glenn Miller did for popular music. Tommy enthused that Glenn changed the face of music from 1939 – 1943 when he was the most popular recording artist in the world.

Three years later at a dinner party celebrating Tommy’s award as the Most Popular Entertainer of All Time at the London Palladium, they came up with The Glenn Miller Story!

Tommy Steele was Britain’s first rock ‘n’ roll star. Dubbed the UK’s answer to Elvis Presley, he landed his first UK No.1 with Singing the Blues in January 1957, reaching the top spot before Elvis, who didn’t land his until the June that year. The big screen soon beckoned for Tommy, and that same year he filmed The Tommy Steele Story, one of Britain’s great rock ‘n’ roll movies. A soundtrack was released to coincide with the film’s opening and became the first album to reach No.1.

His legendary career includes over twenty hit singles, twelve hit movies and countless award winning stage musicals such as Half a Sixpence, Hans Andersen and Singin’ in the Rain. In recent years, Steele has starred as Christmas miser Scrooge in Bill Kenwright’s spectacular production of the festive musical, which enjoyed two successful runs at the world-famous London Palladium. It was a role that also made Steele the theatre’s all-time record breaking performer, having headlined more performances than any other star in the history of the Palladium.

Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright team up again to direct the show, having been at the helm of several award-winning musicals including Blood Brothers, Evita, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Choreography is by Olivier Award winner Bill Deamer (Top Hat, Evita, Save The Last Dance For Me).

The Glenn Miller Story promises to transport audiences young and old back to the days of the big band, and have them up on their feet jiving.

Please call the Box Office on 01274 432000 or visit for more information.


Eureka! The National Children’s Museum is celebrating a funding boost for its Access All Areas project thanks to a generous grant from the Morrisons Foundation. Access All Areas offers free support and activities for disabled children and their families, opening opportunities for a playful day out to families who otherwise might struggle.

hsdbchjThe Morrisons Foundation grant of £15,545 will enable Eureka! to run their regular, free clubs for disabled children and their families for a whole year. The free Super Sunday and Holiday clubs enable groups of families to enjoy a creative play session specifically tailored to the needs of the disabled child, followed by a supported visit around the galleries of the award-winning children’s museum. All club attendees will also receive a free Eureka! annual pass, giving them unlimited visits for a further twelve months.

Eureka!’s Access All Areas project is now in its fifth year, having received both national and international recognition including a VisitEngland Gold Award in 2015 and being chosen as the recipients of a 2016 Charity Award, in part due to their innovative work with disabled children.

The Morrisons Foundation awards grants for charity projects which make a positive difference to people’s lives. Since launching in 2015 the Morrisons Foundation has funded a wide range of projects, supporting charities in local communities across England, Scotland and Wales. Charities are encouraged to visit to find out how to apply for a grant.

Trizia Wells, Eureka! Inclusion Manager said

“We’d like to thank The Morrison’s Foundation for this generous grant which means we’ll be able to continue to run our free clubs for a whole year. Our clubs aren’t just about having fun – though that is a big factor – they also give families a much needed opportunity to meet and talk with other families who’ve shared some of their experiences. Our clubs are also a great way for the family as a whole to enjoy a bit of downtime, safe in the knowledge that there is trained support and inclusive facilities close by if needed.”

David Scott, Trustee of the Morrisons Foundation, said

“We’re delighted to have awarded this grant to support Eureka!’s Access All Areas project, which provides an enjoyable, creative environment in which children with disabilities can really flourish.”


Britain’s Got Talent stars ‘Boogie Storm’ are once again set to don their iconic Stormtrooper outfits and strut their stuff on a popular city square later this week ahead of two special screenings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

500_boogiestorm1The dance group will be hoping that the force is strong with them on Friday 29 July when they perform before both the matinee and evening screenings of the blockbuster, which is offering the audience a unique outdoor cinema experience in a specially constructed fully seated auditorium with a large state of the art LED screen installed on the main stage in Millennium Square.

With guests at both showings also getting the chance to come dressed up and have their picture taken with characters from the iconic films, this promises to be an event not to be missed for anyone who loves Star Wars.

Gates for the matinee open at 1pm, with the film starting at 2pm. Tickets are priced at £6 for adults, £5 for children (12 and under) and concessions. For the evening showing, gates open at 6.30pm, with the film beginning at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 for adults and £8 concessions.

The screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is just one of four iconic movies to be shown on Millennium Square from Wednesday 27 July as part of ‘The Film House on the Square’ programme, put together by Leeds City Council, Leeds Film and Sneaky Experience. Also on offer will be legendary musical ‘Grease’, Superhero spectacular ‘Avengers Assemble’ and the James Bond classic, ‘SkyFall’.

Kicking off the festivities will be Grease on July 27, where visitors will have a chance to travel back to Rydell High and sing along with Danny and Sandy.

As well as grabbing an American style burger from ‘Betsy’ a converted big Yellow high school bus, guests can also have a photo taken in the photo booth and have a go on a couple of traditional old fairground attractions.

Gates for the event open at 6.30pm, with the film starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £10 for adults and £8 concessions.

Next to be given the full outdoor cinematic experience is superhero spectacular Avengers Assemble, which will hit the big screen on July 28. Don’t miss out on chance to interact with some of the costumer characters before watching Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye in action.

Movie-lovers are encouraged to come dressed as their favourite characters, with prizes for the best costume.

Gates open at 1pm, with the film starting at 2pm.

Tickets cost £6 for adults and £5 for children (12 and under) and concessions.

James Bond fans can also join the gentleman spy that evening for a showing of Skyfall, which also including cocktails, a mobile casino and an appearance by an iconic Aston Martin, is sure to leave guests both shaken and stirred.

Gates for Skyfall open at 6.30pm, with the film starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £10 for adults, £8 concessions.



A weird and wonderful collection of objects seized from smugglers is being revealed in an exclusive museum Twitter tour next week.

The bizarre array of exotic items includes a crocodile head ashtray and a stuffed mongoose in the grip of a hungry snake and was mainly found during raids and searches by UK customs officers.

800_palm-cockatoo1Currently in storage at the state-of-the-art Leeds Discovery Centre, the objects are part of a collection on long-term loan from HM Revenue and Customs, which also includes ivory carvings, turtle shells, rare butterflies and a parrot preserved in a jar of ethanol.

The items were taken from their owners as they breached laws around importing or keeping exotic species or animal products.

Today they are used to teach visitors to the centre at Leeds Dock about animal welfare and respect for the planet’s endangered creatures.

Rebecca Machin, Leeds Museums and Galleries’ curator of natural sciences said: “This is an extraordinary collection of objects and it paints a very vivid picture of the incredible array of items that people try to bring into the UK.

“Whilst some of those people actively try to smuggle objects into the country, many others don’t realise they could also be breaking the law when they return from holiday with turtle shells, carved ivory products or items made from animal skins.

“Buying these sorts of tourist souvenirs encourages the exploitation of rare animals and can worsen the already precarious plight of endangered species worldwide, so the hope is that buy showcasing this collection, we can raise awareness of just how important it is that holidaymakers don’t support that industry.”

800_crocodile-ashtray1While most of the collection was illegally imported into the UK, many of the exotic birds in the collection were taken from a farm in North Yorkshire, where the owner had been keeping them without a licence.

Sadly, many of the birds, including a large Australian cockatoo, subsequently died and were preserved as taxidermy or skeletons, with 45 examples currently in the Discovery Centre’s collection. The owner of the farm was arrested and sent to prison.

Leeds Museums and Galleries has been taking loans of objects from customs since the 1980s.

As well as being used for educational visits, objects on loan in Leeds are also used to train HM Revenue and Customs staff in what to watch out for.

The Leeds Discovery Centre is a state-of-the-art museum storage facility which preserves and protects Leeds Museums and Galleries collections.

It hosts visits and behind-the-scenes tours by appointment, which can be booked by contacting the centre on 0113 378 2100 or by email at

For more details, visit:


With only two months until one of the best UK independent festivals Bingley Music Live day tickets are now on sale.

The Bradford Council-run festival, which takes place 2-4 September boasts an awesome line up including, Echo and the Bunnymen, Tinie Tempah, Travis, Sigma, All Saints, Sigala, We Are Scientists, Black Grape, Peter Hook and the Light, Anne-Marie, Ordinary Boys and many more.

Chic Featuring Nile Rodgers perform at Bingley Music Live 2013, Myrtle Park, Bingley, 1st September 2013.

Headlining on Friday 2 September are Echo and the Bunnymen, who are set to deliver classic hits such as Nothing Lasts Forever, The Cutter, The Killing Fields and Bring On The Dancing Horses.

Joining them are the Lightning Seeds, with Ian Brodie and band with their popular hits like Lucky You, The Life of Riley, Pure and Three Lions.

Revellers will also be treated to a DJ set by Sigala, best known for his number one Easy Love which sampled ABC by The Jackson 5 and hits Sweet Lovin’ and recent single Say You Do featuring Imani Williams who will also be making an appearance.

There will be a special slot dedicated to David Bowie where a number of acts will perform their favourite David Bowie track.

Saturday sees multi-Brit Award winner Tinie Tempah headline the main stage. Following his stellar performance at last weekend’s T in the Park, crowds can expect to see him perform mammoth hits such as Pass Out, Wonderman, Written In The Stars and the Jess Glynne guest track Not Letting Go.

Multi-platinum selling drum and bass duo Sigma are guaranteed to start the mass sing-alongs with their anthemic hits Nobody to Love, Changing co-written with 2015 BML artist Ella Eyre, Glitterball and Coming Home featuring Rita Ora.

Saturday also features former Joy Division bassist Peter Hook and his band who make a welcome return with classics such as Blue Monday and Love Will Tear Us Apart.

Canadian band Barenaked Ladies will air their array of super pop hits like One Week, Brian Wilson, If I had a $1,000,00 and the theme tune to the hit America comedy The Big Bang Theory.

Sunday’s line up includes a return for BML’s 2008 headliners Happy Mondays members Sean Ryder and Bez who will bring a dose of tracks from their Black Grape outfit. The band are most noted for their outrageously clever It’s Great When You’re Straight Yeah album with hits such as Reverend Black Grape and Kelly’s Heroes.

Also appearing on Sunday are We Are Scientists who are regarded as one of the best festival acts on the circuit.

Multi-Brit and MTV Award winning All Saints will join the party on the Sunday night with their huge hits – Under The Bridge, Lady Marmalade, Pure Shores, Black Coffee and the second biggest selling girl group track of all time Never Ever, making the band a must see.

Concluding the festival on Sunday will be one of the biggest acts to hit the UK music scene in the ‘90s, Travis, who are once again at the top of their game following the long awaited return to the British musical landscape.

As well as tracks like 3 Miles High and Animals from their new album expect to hear classics such as Sing, Writing to Reach You, Side, Flowers In The Window, Driftwood and anthem of all anthems Why Does it Always Rain on Me.

A tiered ticket system is in place this year, which means the sooner people buy tickets, the cheaper the price. Tier 1 weekend tickets are now getting low so organisers are urging people to buy soon before stock runs out.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “This year’s line up is amazing. With so many great acts across all three days, I’m sure people will have difficulty in choosing which day to get tickets for.

“With the Tier 1 tickets running low I would urge people to get their tickets bought sooner rather that later.”

To see the full line up for both stages visit Tickets are available on-line via Ticketline on the BML website and at other local outlets.


Bradford Council is set to stage a colourful and entertaining programme of high quality local, national and international acts at the Bradford Festival this weekend.

There will be an enormous range of fun things to see and do for young families including flamboyant street theatre, arts and crafts activities, music and dance, and new for this year, poetry, storytelling and readings.

untitled (3)Todmorden-based creators, Spacecadets, will parade their four metre tall, Indian Elephant which will stop for photographs and startle people with a surprise trick up its trunk.

British theatre troupe, Ramshacklicious are to stage Mr. & Mr. Burn, an explosive, chaotic and offbeat double act mixing trombone, tuba, ukulele, and electronic drums with clowning, puppetry and pyrotechnics.

Innovative London troupe, Wet Picnic will perform The Lift where an audience member is invited to step inside and select one of nine different acts.

Planetary by innovative Sheffield theatre troupe, Pif Paf will feature dynamic movement, aerial acrobatics, acting and Russian swing skills performed on a large rotating wheel.

A clever comedy routine featuring contortionism and bottle balancing will be played out on a large half moon slack rope frame in George Orange’s Man on the Moon.

The Rat Race by outdoor puppet company Frolicked, is a darkly funny commentary on modern life told by puppets through the holes in a giant wedge of cheese.

Dance lovers will be treated to a quirky new piece by celebrated New Zealand choreographer, Corey Baker.

Featuring an iconic vintage red telephone box, and an athletic solo performer, Phone Box promises to be vibrant, energetic and surprisingly fun contemporary dance piece.

untitled (2)This year, organisers from Bradford Council have joined forces with the Ilkley Literature Festival to bring a range of new spoken word events to the Bradford Festival.

Internet sensation, Hollie McNish who set the spoken word scene alight gaining millions of YouTube views with her sharp take on modern life, will appear at the Bradford Playhouse.

Some of the UK’s most exciting spoken word performers, beatboxers and DJs will perform on the festival’s temporary gardens stage.

Disk jockeys from DisOriental & No Hands, world record-holding beatboxer and rapper, Testament and BBC 1xtra Words First finalists, Asma Elbadawi and Isaiah Hull will appear alongside local poets Javaad Alipoor, Becky Cherriman, Chijioke Ojukwu, Christian Watson and Rhubarb poets and young poets from London’s Roundhouse Collective.

Highly acclaimed theatre company, Chicken Shop Shakespeare will bring the Bard’s work to life with several pop-up performances across City Park.

The festival’s main stage in Bradford’s Centenary Stage will host a vast range of music from dance, brass, folk, Asian pop and bhangra, ska, jazz and Baulkin gypsy music.

The line up includes dance duo, Sam and The Womp, rousing and energetic folk music by Eastern European band, Paprika and local musicians from the Topic Folk Club in Bradford.

Asian pop sensations, Stereo Nation and Jay Kadn bring an eastern flavour to the music programme whilst ska and reggae lovers will enjoy, London-based, Chainska Brassika and classic 80s roots band, Talisman.

Brilliant, upbeat and comical Leeds-based, Hope & Social will delight festival audiences, and several marching brass bands will surprise people with their strolling music antics.

The festival opens with over a 1000 young artists from local schools staging an eight hour programme of music and specially created musical and dance pieces.

Festival goers will have the opportunity to try out a whole range of arts and crafts including painting, paper craft, calligraphy, poetry, sewing, textile and ceramic tile making, African drumming and chapatti baking.

Children will enjoy storytelling sessions and creative writing workshops.

There will be a large range of international food stalls including Italian wood fired pizza, Chinese noodles, Indian and Caribbean curries, and American hamburgers and donuts.

Craft beers and South American cocktails and mocktails will be served at a pop-up New York style ‘dime bar’.

People will be able to buy locally designed goods and art pieces at Bradford Festival arts market.

The market will include luxurious soaps, bath and beauty products, quirky cushions and other textiles, unique jewellery and accessories and a selection of artwork and prints from local artists.

There will also be a number of funfair rides.

The Bradford Festival opens on Friday 8 July and runs throughout the weekend closing at 8pm on Sunday evening.

Admission is free aside from the Hollie McNich poetry reading which is pay as you feel.

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “A huge amount of work has gone into preparing for the festival this year and it’s going to be a really exciting weekend.

“The festival attracts thousands of people into Bradford city centre and produces a fantastic atmosphere.

“There is a vast range of great things to see and do, and everyone is welcome.”


Bradford Council is set to stage a host of colourful, creative and flamboyant street theatre acts at the Bradford Festival in July.

Award-winning British acts will perform alongside high quality local creations at the free festival which attracted over 150,000 people to Bradford city centre last year.

Award winning British theatre troupe, Ramshacklicious bring a new act featuring trombone, tuba, baritone ukulele and electronic drums with clowning, puppetry, fire and pyrotechnics.

Mr. & Mr. Burn is an explosive, chaotic and offbeat double act where anything can and probably will go wrong!

image1The combustible theme continues with celebrated British theatre company, Plunge Boom’s Smoke, a comical show where the character becomes increasingly engulfed by fumes pouring from various parts of his clothing.

Bicycle Bistro by women’s circus theatre company, Circo Rum Ba Ba will serve up laughs and delight as two eccentric moustachioed waiters arrive on their bistro on wheels.

They lay the table, wind up the gramophone and unleash 40 minutes of choreographed cafe mayhem featuring hat juggling, spinning plates, tea dancing, acrobatics, musical saw playing and a surprising table cloth trick.

Visitors to Bradford’s premier festival in July will see a gigantic four metre tall inflatable elephant parading triumphantly around City Park.

The elephant’s mahout will allow a lucky few to take charge of the animal and people will be invited to take photographs of themselves with the beautiful beast.

However, the Todmorden-based creators, Spacecadets, are warning festival goers to be careful, this gentle giant has an unexpected trick up his trunk.

Hilarious double act, Dan the Hat and DJ Bobble bring Catching and Scratching, a roving street theatre piece blending world-class hat manipulation with classic tunes and sublime scratching.

Audiences will see another clever comedy routine set to music and featuring slack-rope walking, contortionism and bottle balancing.

In George Orange’s Man on the Moon, an eccentric clown and dancer from Chicago ‘arrives via the moon, bringing a bit of it with him’.

The tricks increase in size and complexity climaxing in a spectacular finale where the audience will help him ‘walk across the moon’.

Australian, Andrew Elliot will perform Jaardu, a cheeky, provocative and flirtatious, caricature of an Indian village magician who blends magic, comedy and a very original snake charming routine.

Jaardu was created during Elliot’s time in northern India where he spent time with a group of gypsy magicians known as Madari.

Also inspired by the sub-continent, Jay Kumar and Dance Asia will light up City Park with colourful and flamboyant Bollywood dance routines.

A Piece of Friendship by Olivia Calder is a beautifully collaborative dance duet inspired by the quirky, comical and often-random aspects that make up friendship.

The piece is based on the existing relationship between two dancers, Inari Hulkkonen and Paul Guenot.

The work plays on the recollection of memories and how friendships can take on a life of their own.

Complementary local street theatre acts announced last week include Bradford Playhouse’s debut of Escape from the Invisible Zoo, Q20 Theatre’s The MirrorMen, Same Difference’sWhere is Wendy? and Cecil Green Arts’ Out of the Ashes.

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “This year’s festival is packed with lots of colourful and entertaining things to see and do.

“The street theatre programme is particularly strong with some incredibly innovative and creative acts offering people plenty of opportunities to interact with the performers.

“Admission is free and everyone is welcome.”

The Bradford Festival runs from 8-10 July in City Park, Bradford.


Award-winning Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi will transform Bradford’s Lister Park and City Park with a major new outdoor commission inspired by the million-strong British Indian army that fought in the First World War.

Garden Within A Garden, which will be on display from 22 June, has been co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, Bradford Council and Yorkshire Festival 2016.

Imran, who lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan, is arriving in Bradford this week to start planning his work.

e9924eb83a7c0e97fc09cfba011cadfaLahore, Pakistan, lies within a region that as part of the British Raj, enlisted a huge number of Muslim, Sikh and Hindu soldiers to fight on the Western Front. It is their experiences of being at war in a distant land and in a hostile climate that will inform Garden Within A Garden.

Imran will paint with acrylics directly onto the paving in City Park and the Mughal Water Gardens in Lister Park in a delicate style inspired by the historic craft of Pakistani and Indian miniature painting.

Garden Within A Garden is part of the Yorkshire Festival 2016, which will present hundreds of performances and events all over the county from 16 June to 3 July.

Born in Hyderabad, Pakistan, in 1972, Imran Qureshi was awarded the Deutsche Bank Award for Artist of the Year in 2013 and had his first UK solo exhibition at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham in 2014.

His current exhibition Where the Shadows are so Deep is on display at the Barbican Centre until 10 July this year.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “Bradford is proud to be part of the WW1 Centenary Art Commissions taking place around the country.

“It is an opportune moment for us to reflect on the experiences of people from across the world who fought on the side of the Allies in the First World War and the invaluable contribution they made to the war efforts.

“We hope local people will engage on the ‘Garden Within A Garden’ in this beautiful setting. Lister Park is much loved and enjoyed by nearby residents and this piece of art will add a further dimension to the Mughal Gardens.”

Yorkshire Festival’s Artistic Director, Matt Burman, said: “We are thrilled to be co-commissioning this significant new work with Bradford Council and 14-18 NOW, as part of Yorkshire Festival 2016.

“Presenting fantastic and important international artists like Qureshi alongside our county’s finest performers and makers is exciting and essential to all of us at the Festival and our producing partners.

“I hope local people and visitors to Bradford will take to enjoy and reflect on his beautiful, thought-provoking works.”


Over 1400 local artists both young and old are set to showcase their talents alongside national and international acts at this year’s Bradford Festival.

The Bradford Council organised festival opens on Friday, 8 July with over a 1000 young artists from local schools staging an eight hour programme of music and specially created musical and dance pieces.

Highlights will include the district’s top youth ensemble, the Bradford Youth Orchestra who will perform a Bollywood dance version of Bizet’s opera Carmen, Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Elgar’s Chanson de Matin, a James Bond medley, and themes from Pirates of the Caribbean

There will also be woodwind and junior orchestras, rock and samba bands, dance troupes and percussion groups.

Over 900 school children from 14 schools will combine to perform a Big Sing, a mass choir performance of I’m A Believer by The Monkees, I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas, Rockstar by Vaccarino/Axel and Sing by Gary Barlow.

Later that evening, Bradford band, Nervous ‘Orse will perform a wide range of songs with powerful four-part harmonies.

Bradford Playhouse will debut an original interactive piece of theatre, Escape from the Invisible Zoo.

Children attending the festival will be called upon to use their collective imagination and knowledge to the get the ‘escaped animals’ back into their cages.

Bradford author, Irene Lofthouse, will bring ghosts, headless horsemen, phantom carriages, brownies, boggarts, hauntings and time-shifting gargoyles to life in a selection of spooky stories inspired by local myths, legends, landscape and history in Strange Tales in a Tent.

Shipley arts company, Q20 Theatre, will delight audiences with a mad-cap interactive street theatre piece, The MirrorMen, where the characters reflect each other and everything around them, including their audience.

Puppet and lantern makers, Cecil Green Arts, returns to the festival with a brand new colourful giant puppet performance, Out of the Ashes, which is inspired by the Drummond Mill fire in which they lost all their artworks.

Inspired by Where’s Wally?, Where is Wendy? by local theatrical company, Same Difference, is an interactive street theatre piece where the audience helps two lost characters to find each other.

Bradford-based visual artist, Zareena Bano Saeed, brings a spiritual Eastern flavour to the festival with Sufi Soul workshops where painting and music will be combined to evoke lands of the East, Persia and Andalusia.

Proving Bradford produces interesting and unusual cultural fusions, Shah-e-Mardaan band members of Pakistan Muslim, Punjabi Sikh and Polish Catholic descent will play ‘Qawwali’, a form of mystical Sufi devotional music.

People will have the opportunity to learn spiritual and therapeutic rhythms of the ancient Ibos from Eastern Nigeria in African drumming workshops run by Bradford-based musician, Moses Ekebuisi.

African outfits will be available for those who want to dance to the rhythms.

Discarded fabrics will be transformed into reusable shopping bags in sewing workshops by Bradford textile arts company, Creative Flare Yorkshire.

Festival goers will be able to see beautiful charcoal drawings created right before their eyes in Lou Sumray’s Promenading Artist.

Folk music fans will enjoy the York-based multi-award winning Irish folk musician, Paula Ryan and celebrated Leeds acoustic band, Phil Cockerham Trio.

Local favourites Gerry Cooper and Phil Snell bring their repertoire of blues, rags and hokum songs from the 1920s and 1930s.

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “This year’s festival is packed with interesting things to see and do, and we are delighted to see so many local artists taking part.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for local people to work alongside, national and international artists and showcase Bradford’s vibrant music and arts scene.”

The Bradford Festival will be staged in Bradford City Park from 8 to 10 July.

For more information visit or follow the Bradford Festival on Facebook and Twitter.

Bradford Council has confirmed the first acts for the 2016 Bradford Festival which will be staged in July. Known for its colourful range of street theatre, music, dance and activities, this year’s festival (8-10 July) should have something for everyone.

Dance lovers will be treated to a quirky new piece by celebrated New Zealand choreographer, Corey Baker.

Ruby_Slipper_SlideFeaturing an iconic vintage red telephone box, an athletic solo performer and an exhibition of precarious manoeuvres, Phone Box promises to be vibrant and energetic, surprising and fun, with lots of opportunity for audience interaction.

The Bradford Festival has a reputation for staging flamboyant and colourful street theatre.

This year’s programme includes the hilarious and innovative London troupe, Wet Picnic.

In The Lift, an elegant elevator arrives accompanied by three bellhops.

One of the audience members is invited to step inside and choose a moment by selecting one of nine different floor buttons.

A mesmerising, interactive and slightly strange theatrical experience unfolds.

Planetary by Pif Paf features dynamic movement, aerial acrobatics, acting and Russian swing skills all performed on a large rotating wheel.

The piece takes audiences on a journey of unstable alliances, misplaced trust, and greed, revealing what happens when you finally get what you want.

The Rat Race by outdoor puppet company Frolicked, is a surreal and darkly funny commentary on modern life told by rats through the holes in a giant wedge of cheese.

Intelligent puppets highlight the absurdities of society showing what’s it’s like to be part of the rat race.

A lucky few will be invited to enter the cheese for a surprising series of sticky situations and, with help from the insightful rodents, will attempt to complete the tasks required in order to escape.

Brilliant, uplifting and inclusive rock band, Hope & Social will play on the festival’s main Centenary Square stage.

The innovative Leeds-based band likes to break through the boundaries of what most people know and expect from a rock band, involving people in almost everything they do.

Taking the best aspects of reggae’s musical heritage, Bristol band, Talisman are set to play political and ‘roots’ songs which resonate with classic sounds from the 1970s and 80s, the golden age of British reggae.

Hailing from Romania, Serbia and the UK, Paprika unite traditional Eastern European, Balkan, Gypsy and Classical Music.

They have become renowned for their highly skilled arrangements of traditional Balkan music and regularly perform sell-out shows at venues across the country.

Local artists will stage a variety of interactive and fun workshops and activities.

People can watch as beautiful charcoal drawings inspired by the hustle and bustle of the Bradford Festival are created right before their eyes by visual artist, painter and passionate drawer of people, Lou Sumray.

Bradford-based textile artists, Morwenna Catt will help festival-goers make their own colourful, Koinobori, traditional Japanese windsocks which are hung outside homes in Japan to celebrate children during the Tango No Sekku festival.

People will make their own fragrant and decorative spice pouches complete with freshly ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and coriander.

Pungent spices and brightly-coloured fabrics and beads will be brought together in Mirch Massala workshops by local artists, Musarat Raza and Nasreen Akhtar.

Visitors to the festival are invited to join Touchstone Bradford, Uzma Kazi and fabulous Bradford women in a fun, listening, connecting, sharing space at The Square Chapatti Club.

Personalised chapattis will be produced and they will be added to an ongoing art installation for everyone to see.

Students from Young Masters Visual Art School in Bradford will produce beautiful Habotai silk painted banners using textile patterns from India and Pakistan in Banners Sari of Bradford.

The colours will contrast the greens, blues and warm stone colours of Bradford with the vivid pinks, yellows and oranges and rich gold found in sari fabrics and traditional Indian art.

Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for people to come into Bradford and enjoy three days of high quality entertainment.

“This year’s Bradford Festival has a rich variety of music and talent on show in the city centre. We have something for everyone here and entry is free.

“Last year we had thousands enjoying the music and stalls, this year’s programme promises to create a really vibrant, dynamic Festival to pull in the crowds.

“The festival is part of a varied programme of events and activities designed to support economic growth in the city centre.”

The Bradford Festival will be staged in Bradford City Park from 8 to 10 July.

Entry is free.