Organisers estimate that as many as 15,000 people turned up in St George’s Square to celebrate the ‘singing sheep.’
The music and arts project HERD, part of Kirklees Year of Music 2023, held a fabulous finale event on Sunday evening.
Thousands of people meandered around the square following musical performers and singers as they popped up between 23 musical sheep sculptures.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of others had already tracked the sheep as they made their way from the borders of Kirklees into St George’s Square.
They stopped off at Castle Hill, Slaithwaite, Marsden, Emley, Denby Dale, Meltham, Milnsbridge, Mirfield, Birstall and Thornhill – and selfies were compulsory!
The epic event, orchestrated by composer Orlando Gough and produced by arts production company Artichoke, has been hailed a huge success.
Helen Marriage, CEO and artistic director of Artichoke, said: “Sunday’s event was the culmination of a truly epic journey to tell the story of an extraordinarily rich and diverse local musical culture and showcase the beautiful landscape and towns of Kirklees.
“We quickly realised that sheep had a central part to play in this story, having driven the wool trade and enticed people from all over the world into the area over the centuries.
“From the team of local makers who worked with fabricators Dave Young and Jane Gaffikin to realise the sheep sculptures, to the wonderful sound artists, soloists and musicians who worked with local community choirs, bands and schoolchildren to make this project happen, HERD is a brilliant example of hugely talented professional artists and musicians working together with people from the local community to create something truly extraordinary.”
The brilliance of the HERD sculptures is in the detail. Scroll through our gallery below to see the amazing detail
Clr Shabir Pandor, leader of Kirklees Council, said: “HERD has amazed, amused and entertained people from across Kirklees and beyond.
“The project has brought together our diverse musical communities, put smiles on children’s faces and shown the world a glimpse of our fantastic local towns and villages.
“It’s just one of many fantastic events as part of Kirklees Year of Music, and I hope everyone will take time to check out what else is coming up.”