By KLTV Newsdesk
As seven out of eight festivals represented on the Kirklees Music Festivals Group announce cancellations for 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis, the group is focusing on ways to safeguard the sector, how to keep audiences engaged and looking ahead to 2021.
Across Kirklees, there is a wide variety of music festivals, from the Holmfirth Music Festival that was due to take place this month, to Marsden’s annual Jazz Festival in October.
Organisers of those festivals and many more, are determined to ensure that the vital local impact of music festivals continues to flourish in spite of the current situation and that they are able to return and provide live music in 2021.
Kirklees Council established the Kirklees Music Festivals Group as part of a broader Music Development Group working to support and expand the district’s vibrant, internationally renowned and innovative music scene.
However, as of early May, all the music festivals represented on the Music Festivals Group have reluctantly been cancelled or postponed for 2020, apart from the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, which runs in November and will review its position in the summer.
In the meantime, the Group is focusing on ways to safeguard the sector and ways to keep audiences engaged while looking ahead to 2021.
Cllr Rob Walker Kirklees Council Cabinet Member for Culture and Environment said: “Music festivals have been part of the fabric of Kirklees’ cultural and music offer as far back as the establishment of the Mrs Sunderland Festival in 1889.
“They bring a diversity of music genres and national and international artists to the district as well as providing opportunities for local musicians to perform and contributing to the wellbeing of the community by enabling the enjoyment, participation and sharing of live music with others.
“These important cultural events help to promote the district regionally, nationally, and internationally”
Kathy Aveyard, Chair for the Music Festivals Group, said: “We are working to maintain the operation of music festivals and to ensure their future resilience”
“The Festivals Group is looking forward to 2021 and beyond, and to providing the best festival experience to our audiences.
“We are strengthening our partnership by creating plans that will help our festivals thrive and become more sustainable.
“Whilst we have already started to collaborate on recycling and waste minimisation initiatives, other areas currently being developed include marketing, audience development, traffic management, and delivering a bold and vibrant programme for the Kirklees Year of Music initiative planned for 2023.
She added that the Festivals Group is committed to continuing to do what they can to support artists and freelance workers in the cultural and creative industries at this difficult time, from curating and delivering events online to the launch of new commissioning schemes.
Across Kirklees, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Marsden Jazz Festival and Cleckheaton Folk Festival attract over 17,500 visitors each year, and contribute over £2.2 million to the local economy, which helps to support 88 full-time equivalent jobs.
You can keep up to date on the status of the major music festivals in Kirklees by using the links below.
Shepley Spring Festival (May) https://www.shepleyspringfestival.co.uk/
Holmfirth Folk Festival (May) https://www.holmfirthfestivaloffolk.co.uk/
Sun Up Festival (May) https://www.facebook.com/SunUpMusicFestival/?ref=py_c
Huddersfield Carnival (June) https://www.facebook.com/huddersfieldukcarnival/
Cleckheaton Folk Festival (July) http://www.cleckheatonfolkfestival.org/
Grand Northern Ukulele Festival (June) https://northernuke.com/
Marsden Jazz Festival (October) https://www.marsdenjazzfestival.com/
Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (November) https://hcmf.co.uk/