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Sustainable campsite plan for blues fest

Hebden Bridge Blues Festival organisers Jason Elliott (left) and Paddy Maguire (right). Picture by Craig Shaw of blu planet photography

Hebden Bridge Blues Festival organisers Jason Elliott (left) and Paddy Maguire (right). Picture by Craig Shaw of blu planet photography

Visitors to the Hebden Bridge Blues Festival will be able to camp at Calder Holmes Park in a new deal arranged by festival organisers.

The football pitch at the park will be transformed into a self-contained campsite with 82 pitches, toilet facilities and hot showers.

In previous years festival-goers struggled to find accomodationin the area, leading the organisers to consider running the popular festival in Bradford.

“The issue we’ve had in the past is that the festival, whilst being relatively niche, has a national appeal - accommodation has been a real problem,” said festival director Jason Elliott.

“Last year the Town Hall started putting on weddings which only made the problem worse - people were booking just the Satuday a long time in advance, so the Saturdays were full, but the Friday and Sundays weren’t.

“The hotels and bed and breakfasts available were only available for those two days which was inconvenient.”

The plans are to surround the football pitch with herras fencing commonly used on building sites to create a secure camping area.

Volunteers from the Hebden Bridge Round Table will ensure the safe running of the site, and will operate a ‘once in once out’ policy for vehicles to ease congestion in the town.

It’s a scheme that could be extended to provide accommodation for other events during the summer.

“This isn’t just about bringing in people for the Blues Festival.

“For any other similar event, there becomes the availability of this accommodation - this can bring more tourists to the town,” said Jason.

Councillor Dave Young (Calder, Lab) supports the scheme, he said: “We’re short of affordable accommodation in Hebden Bridge, and We do get an influx of people for the festival. It’s abviously better for the town if those visitors stay for a few days - the campsite’s right in the centre of town, so it will be convenient for everybody.”

 

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