As part of the Yorkshire region’s plans for a Year of Culture in 2023, Kirklees has designated it as a Year of Music for the district.

That means 2023 will celebrate the richness and diversity of the district’s music heritage, the music created and performed today, and its ambition for the future, inclusive of all genres, all communities and in all forms.

Kirklees Year of Music 2023 will welcome visitors from across the district and from afar to a year-long programme that will create a vibrant soundtrack played in the hearts and homes in all Kirklees towns and villages.

In 2023, everyone will be able to encounter music in welcoming and friendly spaces and places; everyone will be invited to be part of the music community, and everyone will be encouraged to experiment, learn, listen and enjoy.

The Year of Music will work to strengthen the music sector across Kirklees and develop ways to support a strong and safe night time economy in the district.

The year-long programme will focus on facilitating world-class music education, training and skills, as well as unlocking the potential of music to enhance both physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Kirklees Year of Music 2023 will be a celebration

The initiative was officially revealed to the public at the pre-launch event at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield in September. The pre-launch event saw performances from local groups including Deadbeat Bass, Huddersfield Community Gospel Choir, Musica Youth Strings and Dhol Drummers and was also attended by the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin.

Since its launch, the Year of Music programme has kicked off by offering community groups opportunities to perform at council-led community events including the Christmas lights switch on for both Huddersfield and Dewsbury.

The Artistic Programmer and Year of Music team have also begun meeting key people and organisations from across the musical community of Kirklees to discuss their ideas for the dedicated year of events.

The Year of Music also held their first networking event on November 12 where a music industry support programme was revealed which included support for the industry and support from other areas of Kirklees Council such as funding opportunities, training and apprenticeships and employment opportunities.

Commenting on the Kirklees Year of Music 2023, Clr Will Simpson, Cabinet member for culture and greener Kirklees, said: “Our Year of Music is about celebrating who we are as a district, standing tall and being proud.

“Much like our Woven festival, this is an initiative that is being instigated by Kirklees Council. But it is not owned by the council. It is about our communities, our heritage and our future.

Clr Will Simpson (centre) at the launch of Woven

“The foundation of our Year of Music will be about shining a light on everything we do across the district year on year – the talent, the choirs, the bands, the festivals and the venues – and doing what we can to support them.

“We are working with the Music Partnership Board that we have created and with creatives and partners from all across the borough to create our incredible year in 2023.

“We have an exciting programme being developed, including grassroots events across our district, new festivals for Huddersfield and Dewsbury, and we are in talks with the stadium about performances by major acts.”

To find out more about Kirklees Year of Music 2023, please visit: