By Leah Conway
Following a digital edition in 2020, the annual Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival returns for its 44th festival this year. The festival is internationally renowned, and it is the UK’s largest international festival that celebrates news and experimental music.
The festival hosts a varied artistic programme of live events and performances from concerts, dance, multi-media, talks, film and music-theatre.
The Arts Council England, University of Huddersfield, Kirklees Council, British Council, BBC Radio 3 all support the international festival.
For 2021, the festival will span across five days – 18 to 22 November – at a reduced scale rather than the usual ten-day festival to help keep the festival covid safe, including social distanced performances across fewer venues than usual. Other covid-safety implications include mainly electronic tickets and no walk-up sales.
Despite spanning over a few days, the schedule is packed with artists ready to perform. Here’s a snapshot of what kind of events are to come:
Learning and Participation:
Workshop: Little Sing in Heritage Quay, 20 Saturday – Free, booking required. It is presented by the Opera Mill, an interactive workshop with singing, playing musical instruments aimed towards families. There are two sessions, one for babies up to 6 months and the second for children under 5.
Exhibitions and installations: Memorial of Rebellion at Bates Mill Photographic Studio from 18 to 22, tickets £10, under 30s go for £5, booking required. An audio-visual exhibition that remembers and honours past project Songs of Rebellion
Exhibitions and installations:
More Than One thing at University of Huddersfield’s Barbara Hepworth Building, 18 Thursday to 22 Monday, November, free. A visual installation capturing dance, music and performance art accompanied with annotated videos and studio footage.
Explore Ensemble: Systema Naturae. Bates Mill Blending Shed, 7 pm, tickets £19, under 30s go for £5, booking required. The four-part play explores metaphors of histories of observation and categorisation inspired by medieval texts.
Dillon 1: Red note Ensemble, Huddersfield Town Hall, 1 pm 19 November, tickets £19, under 30s go for £5, booking required. Red Note are a leading Scottish ensemble, who will premiere James Dillon’s work Emblemate: Carnival at this year’s HCMF
There are also many shorts showing across the festival, many of which are free though booking is required.
All tickets to the festival’s events must be booked in advance, even if they are free to attend. No tickets will be available to purchase at the door but can be booked online up until 15 minutes before each event starts. To maintain social distancing, the event venues will operate at 50% capacity ad tickets will be sent electronically or by post.
There are also ‘Saver’ ticket options, which will give you admission to all performances (£215) or all weekend performances (£126). With concession rates that apply to students over 65s, people with disabilities, under-waged people and Kirklees passport holders – this gives attendees slightly decreased ticket prices.
To find out more or book tickets, you can visit the HCMF website.