Thousands of people enjoyed Holmfirth Arts Festival’s Big Weekend, as performers, artists and musicians filled the streets with live performance, installations and new commissions.

Crowds held their breath as aerial dancers from Urban Angels Aerial, performed 100 metres in the air, as they danced on the bell tower of Holmfirth Parish Church, accompanied by Hade Edge Band.

International dancers Deborah Sanderson and Vince Virr, dressed as Nora Batty and Compo from Last of the Summer Wine, wore harnesses as they performed on top of the church, as riggers stood by on top of scaffolding.

Aerialist Deborah, who lives in Holmfirth, said: “I have performed in some strange places over the years, including on the side of a cliff-face, but 100 metres up from a church bell tower, is certainly a first.

“It was a nod to the 50th anniversary of Last of the Summer Wine, while wearing vintage costumes, including wrinkled stockings.”

In a tradition harking back centuries, the annual festival parade, around the streets of Holmfirth on Saturday afternoon, saw people of all ages with their banners, placards and art, created on the theme of Forces of Nature, thanks to artists from Handmade Productions, who had worked with the community and schools before the festival.

Saturday saw a community music festival and Sunday was a day dedicated to live street theatre, installations and new commissions.

Performers included Theatre Témoin, with their outdoor show called Flood, which included lots of water and literally soaked the audience, but nobody seemed to mind. Their outdoor, interactive spectacle, about how our coastline and communities have become seasick, attracted a large crowd in Town Gate Car Park.

Huddersfield-based Dark Horse Theatre, which has an ensemble of actors with learning disabilities and non-disabled actors, performed ‘To Be Us’ and harpist Ellie Ford, who won the festival’s annual Steve Sykes Commission for New Music In the Landscape, played beside the River Holme.

Urban Angels also performed a new aerial dance commission called FreeFall. The performance began in Holmfirth Picturedrome and moved outside onto the streets before appearing shortly afterwards on top of Holmfirth Parish Church.

Scroll through our gallery of images below by Huddersfield Hub photographer SEAN DOYLE

A celebration of stitch was held, with a ‘Mission to Mend’ tent as part of Kirklees Woven, running a drop-in workshop for the public all about sewing and how to mend and recycle clothes

Giant butterflies on stilts, by interactive street theatre makers Neighbourhood Watch Stilts International, roamed the streets and delighted crowds as they mingled. 

During the festival on Sunday, the bells from Holmfirth Parish Church rang out again, after being silent for 30 years after being repaired and tuned.

Festival director Bev Adams said: “It has been a fantastic weekend and a delight to bring high quality arts to the streets of Holmfirth. The weather has been good and crowds were thrilled with all the outdoor performance. We have more events to come over the summer and later in the year.”

Although Holmfirth Arts Festival’s Big Weekend is over, there are other events taking place until October, including comedian Jenny Eclair and an evening lantern parade around Honley.

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