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Selby Arts Festival announces programme of events

selby arts festival

5:17pm 1st March 2017
(Updated 7:05pm 1st March 2017)

After months of planning, the team behind the exciting new Selby Arts Festival today announced the nine headline events that will make up this year’s inaugural festival.

From the 22-30 July, Selby will witness an explosion of culture with events taking place throughout the town.

The opening event of the Festival will see BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner and Mercury Prize nominated Seth Lakeman play a special concert with his band at Selby Abbey. Seth will be performing songs from his new album Ballads of the Broken Few along with hits from previous albums including the gold selling Freedom Fields.

The festival’s second night at Selby Abbey will feature one of the UK’s leading stand up’s in the form of Ed Byrne and is presented in partnership with Selby Town Hall.

Ed Byrne has become a household name from his BBC TV appearances on Dara & Ed’s Road to Mandalay, Mock the Week, The Graham Norton Show, Have I Got News For You and Live at the Apollo. Ed will be performing a Selby Arts Festival exclusive preview of his brand new 1 hour Edinburgh show with support on the night provided by rising star of the stand -up circuit, Tania Edwards.

Other highlights of the festival programme include the fourteen-piece ukulele collective The Grand Old Uke of York playing an exclusive performance at the festival, on the back of stand out performances at BBC Radio 2’s Carfest and sold out shows as part of the Great Yorkshire Fringe. Their unique twist on pop hits and rock classics played on the Ukulele promises to be a highlight of the festival

Baby Rave pioneers BoomChikkaBoom will be creating a special festival edition of Baby Rave From the people who brought you Baby Rave North, BoomChikkaBoom offers you a fresh, unique approach to having fun with Children, Toddlers and Babies. Expect a party like atmosphere for the whole family, good music, soft play, pom poms, instruments, parachute fun and enough foam & bubbles to cure any signs of the terrible two’s!

At Selby Rugby Union Club, the highly acclaimed outdoor theatre specialists Slung Low will be presenting “Rugby Songs”; a free event which tells the history of songs in rugby and will see the audience surround the pitches and listen to the performance via the latest headphone technology.

Accelerate is a night curated by the festival team and Summit Indoor Adventure Centre. The Venue will be transformed into the coolest place to be in Yorkshire with an evening of hard hitting beats, music, art and skating.

Family Theatre comes to the festival in the form of The Ugly Duckling from the acclaimed Sea Legs Puppet Theatre, The must-see production, will take place at Selby Town Hall and will be presented on a pay what you decide basis.

The Festival will have has its own poets in residence in the form of A Firm of Poets. The Firm have risen to become a nationally established spoken word organisation. Their 22-date national headline theatre tour 'Ossett Observer presents: The People's Republic of Poetry' solidified their place on the national circuit, and their monthly 'Unity Words' night in Wakefield has been named as one of the best-spoken word poetry nights in the country.

The Firm are renowned for creating work that isn't pretentious; poetry that isn't afraid to be political; poetry that catches you by surprise; and poetry that will win over the toughest of cynics in the crowd. The Firm will be performing across numerous venues during the festival and writing new work for the festival.

Yorkshire Based 154 Collective are an ever -expanding group of artists working in a range of art forms including: music, visual art, animation and theatre.
Throughout the Festival 154 Collective will be starting with a completely empty space in the town and everyday, through chatting to people and getting their ideas, will create new work everyday that could be sounds and music based – drawings, paintings and visual art or sculpture.

The result will be a mixture of all different artworks that will fill the space that you can drop in and explore anytime – then on the last day there’ll be an unveil where we’d love everyone who has engaged with the Collective during the week to come and see their creativity and ideas as part of a bigger installation. It’s difficult to say what it will look like until they get started and start to meet people, but knowing 154 Collective there’ll be lots of cardboard. To date they’ve created sculptures, 360 degree environments and even an entire set for a theatre show out of cardboard.

In addition to the nine named headline events, there will be various free to access surprise pop up events across the town throughout the festival.

Festival Director David Edmunds commented:

I’m thrilled we can now share our main events for this the first Selby Arts Festival. Its been a lot of hard work and effort by the team but I think we’ve got a great festival programme that has something for everyone and at a range of price points including a high number of free events which is exactly what we wanted to achieve. To be able to bring the caliber of artists like Seth Lakeman & Ed Byrne to the first year of the festival clearly sets out our statement of intent for the town not just for this year but for many years to come as we look to cement SAF’s place firmly on the UK festival map. The Festival would not be possible without the support of our funders including Arts Council England and our various sponsors including headline sponsors The Read School.

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