I was only able to get to Cleckheaton for the Sunday this year but I still got a good day for a mere £8. I believe the weekend tickets were around the £22 mark, but for that you got all day Saturday, Sunday and Friday evening. Unfortunately this year, the weather was overcast (after a week of scorching sun up until yesterday! -Saturday) so it was a little parky sitting outside watching the cloggers and dancers, but it wasn't too cold thankfully. The Sunday afternoon concert had 6 artists, of a *fairly* mediocre standard, but I know that they tend to wind things down on Sundays at festivals, so no rocking bands or dancing. Also I was quite disappointed that there had only been one ceilidh the whole weekend. We had our 6 year old daughter with us so she was really fed up about this too. However we spent a good 45 minutes in the town hall bar watching Keith Donnely, a really funny singer/comedian who was giving the kids a great time, so that sort of made up for it. This festival is held around the 1st week of July in and around Cleckheaton town centre and there is camping, with proper toilets and washing facilities, for those who want it. We onlt live about 12 miles away so we wouldn't have camped anyway, but there is a site for those not within close distance of their homes. Guests at the festival this year included Stanley Accrington, Frigga, Artisan, Harvey Andrews, Sharon Fountain, Bob Fox and quite a few others. All in all a good family festival with friendly 'officials' (makes a change - at some fastivals, door people act like little Hitlers) lots of concerts and activities. Shame about the weather this year.
Yes indeed, Cleckheaton folk festival truly IS value for money. A small West Yorkshire town just off the M62 J26 hosts a folk festival over three days Fri/Sat/Sun around the first week in July. I have been to four or five of them and they have been so good. Once you set up your tent/caravan or B&B you can forget your transport because all venues are within two or three minutes walk of each other, the exception being one venue at the bowling club but even then, free transport is provided. Artist booked are first rate, venues are good with adequate seating for all, practically all pubs, halls and even the town hall with side rooms are host to events. Street entertainment abounds to the sounds of clogs, morris, longsword and all. The festival starts Friday night with an opening concert in the town hall and from then the festivities carry on non-stop to the final concert on Sunday night again in the town hall. What does all this cost? FIFTEEN POUNDS FOR A WEEKEND TICKET. HOW ON EARTH DO THEY DO IT? Kirklees is an authority that backs the festival. Don't miss this one. Well I have been to the 2001 festival for the full weekend and believe me if you did miss this one then you have only yourself to blame. I think it was superb. More street entertainment on the Saturday and a fantastic line up of singers/dancers. The Friday concert set it all off and the Town Hall was the perfect venue. Saturday gave good hot sunny weather and the street entertainment was fantastic, clog dancing, morris, stilt walking, face make up, craft stall - you name it and it was there all combined with sunshine the day long. Sunday began with a great church service with Firm Friends singing as usual with their energy and super voices. Pete Coe then gave his longsword team music while they performed their routine. Then off to the George for a singaround with Firm Friends, Grace Notes (FABULOUS) Derek Gifford (BRILLIANT) All thi
s was then followed by a full hour of Joe Stead who took us around the Cape with his collection of Shanties. Then, and rather weary by now, it was off to the Town Hall for the final concert which went on up to 5:00. Brilliant singers/songwriters etc. We were to worn out to go to the final singaround at the George from 7:30 to ?? BRILLIANT FESTIVAL Well done to Geoff Pickles and all involved and a special thanks to Kirklees Council for supporting this festival every year. 2nd Update Festival 2002 Yet again a fabulous festival, nothing short of brilliant. This year, along with good weather, we saw the incredible duo MUNDY/TURNER. What voices! The girl comes from Brissy. in Aussie. and she can play that violin like no other. The man has a voice that is superb and when he sings their CD theme song 'Naked' goose pimples show on the back of the neck. One more time the venues were easy to get to, all within 3 or 4 minutes walk of each other and with ample seating space to stretch out your legs. Stewards were, as always, very helpful (I'm one but not biased) and Cleckheaton is such a friendly town that the cheerful faces and conversation make the atmosphere superb. The guests are always top class and the street entertainment has to be seen to be believed. Again prices were held so very, very low that you wonder how they do it! I can tell you, throughout the year they run festival fund raisers at the Fleece Inn at Birkenshaw. Admission is not much and they have superb special guests ie. Dave and Annie, Steve Tilston and Kimbers Men. I will keep you posted or better still visit their web site, just point your computer to Cleckheaton folk festival