Holmfirth Arts Festival has some great events coming up in May – starting with an exhibition which launches on Saturday May 7.

Instead of being crammed into a single weekend, this year’s festival is spread over a more leisurely seven months running through to October.

The stunning backdrop of the Holme Valley used to full advantage to help celebrate this year’s theme ‘The Earth Beneath Our Feet.’

A new exhibition called Holme Valley Landscapes, by the Holme Valley U3A Photography Group, launches on Saturday May 7, at the Holmfirth Co-op coffee shop, Market Street, Holmfirth, and runs until July.

It features photographs celebrating glorious views from well-known beauty spots, as well as hidden gems.

The exhibition has been commissioned by Holmfirth Arts Festival, with support from Holmfirth Co-operative.

An image in the photography exhibition taken by Rose Cuthbertson

On Saturday May 14, an accessible walk with activities for people with disabilities and difficulties with mobility, suitable for people of all ages and abilities, including those with disabilities, will meander along a nature trail in Honley.

On Saturday May 21, the festival hosts the first night of a national tour of the play ‘These Hills Are Ours.’

Award-winning writer Daniel Bye, and Chumbawamba founder member Boff Whalley, bring together story and song in collaboration, about their shared love of the outdoors and escaping it all by running to wild places.

The pair, who are friends in real life, run a series of routes from the city centre in which they find themselves, to the top of the peak overlooking that city. But what are they really running from?

In story and in song, this is the tale of what they found out – about the relationship between city and country, between wild and controlled, about land ownership, about why we’re drawn to wild places – and about what we’re really running from.

These Hills Are Ours’ is the most personal piece of work either Dan or Boff has made, the most heartfelt, and the most direct.

Dan said: “For me walking is the best way of encountering the world peacefully. I run by instinct but sometimes slowing down is the right way to short-circuit my brain out of the frenetic hurry of contemporary life.”

Holmfirth Arts Festival

Festival director Bev Adams added: “We are delighted to offer a varied and inclusive programme of live events this year, some of which are ticketed concerts and many are free.  We are excited to bring ‘These Hills Are Ours’ to Holmfirth in 2022.

“It was replaced by film in 2020 due to Covid lockdown and cancelled last year due to cast illness, so it’s third time lucky for Holmfirth Arts Festival with this remarkable show and we know it has been worth waiting for.

“If you already know Holmfirth and the Holme Valley, the festival is an opportunity to see it a little differently. If you’ve not yet discovered this beautiful part of Yorkshire, now is the perfect time to join us.

“Please come and say hello at the exhibition launch on Saturday May 7 where you can learn more about the festival and buy tickets for the upcoming programme.”

Thanks to funding from Arts Council England, Kirklees Council, Holme Valley Parish Council, Longley Farm and others, festival organisers have invited top quality, diverse, local, national and international artists to respond to the topic of the landscape and environment.

Find out more www.holmfirthartsfestival.co.uk

Book tickets at https://www.holmfirthartsfestival.co.uk/what-s-on