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International acts headline Bradford Festival this weekend

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.”


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