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A star line-up and loads of fun in store at annual Grassington Festival
4:18pm Friday 10th June 2011 in Leisure
The final countdown has begun to the 2011 Grassington Festival. The two-week arts and music extravaganza starts next Friday, June 17, and runs until Saturday, July 2, bringing a mix of world class performers to the Dales, alongside some lesser known names.
“There are some really stunning events in store,” said festival director Amelia Vyvyan. “There is something for everyone to enjoy.”
This year’s festival has a “blooming marvellous” theme to celebrate Grassington’s debut into the Yorkshire in Bloom competition.
Even this year’s art trail has a horticultural feel, with the public being challenged to decorate their own wheelbarrow. Entries will be judged by The Flying Gardener, Chris Beardshaw, who is due to give a talk in the town hall on Thursday, June 23.
“This year’s programme contains a ‘bouquet’ of over 70 performances in a ‘flourishing’ festival fortnight – with jazz, folk, pop, rock, classical, poetry, dance, film, family events, visual arts plus a whole host of workshops and walks to boot.
“We’re also very excited to have commissioned a thrilling new piece of site-specific theatre at Linton with award-winning company Slung Low – it will be an experience to remember,” said Amelia.
The production will use headphone technology to lead the audience through the stories of the children and adults who lived and worked at Linton Camp during its years of operation.
The festival will kick off next Friday, with a carnival parade from 6.30pm.
The fun will continue with a performance in the town hall by the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers, who will blend drumming rhythms with the subtle sounds of the shinobue bamboo flute.
The Music in the Square events get under way next Saturday, June 18, and will continue the following Saturday when the public will have the opportunity to get up on the stage to showcase their dance moves.
Once again, the festival will be looking to emulate some of the country’s top sporting events. It has already held its own Henley and Goodwood and this year it will stage its very individual Grand National next Sunday, June 19.
Billed as A Day At The Races, the event will see pantomime horses under starter’s orders and a competition for the best hat.
Opera singer Lesley Garrett returns to the town hall on Monday, June 20, and, for the first time, Skipton Castle is being used as a festival venue, hosting a concert by the Classic Buskers on Tuesday, June 21.
Moving into the second week, there will be A Celebration of Jane Austen starring Robert Powell and Elizabeth Garvie on Sunday, June 26, and The Edwardian Farm Roadshow, with Ruth Goodman, Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn, on Monday, June 27.
The Festival In The Field events start on Monday, June 27, and over the next six days, festival goers will be entertained by comic legend Lee Evans, folk singer Kate Rusby, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, the I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue team, chaired by comedian Jack Dee, Gerry and the Pacemakers and The Searchers. The festival will come to a rousing close with a last night party, featuring 70s stars Boney M, The Real Thing and Rose Royce, on Saturday, July 2.
“Our last night party has become something of a legendary event and this year, we’re really looking forward to partying the night away,” said Amelia.
The full programme can be viewed at grassington-festival.org.uk and tickets go on sale from next Thursday, April 28. The box office number is 01756 752691.