The word is out as Halifax gets a brand new festival

Halifax Festival of Words

Friday, 7th September 2018, 11:10 am
Updated Friday, 7th September 2018, 11:11 am

October 11-14

Two of Halifax’s independent businesses, The Book Corner bookshop (Piece Hall) and The Grayston Unity bar have joined together to organise and curate the first ever Halifax Festival of Words, which has been sponsored by Halifax BID.

It’s a festival that celebrates the use of language through books, music, spoken word and illustration.

Michael Ainsworth of The Grayston Unity said: “Since opening in 2016 we’ve held book launches and lots of gigs in what is ‘Independent Venue Week’s’ smallest venue in the UK’, but we wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before in Halifax.

“The festival came about from conversations with one of our regulars Martin Riley. We came up with idea and then approached Halifax’s great bookshop, The Book Corner to see if they were up for the idea. Happily they were.”

Sarah Shaw of Book Corner: “We feel privileged to bring an independent bookshop back into Halifax. We have had lots of support from local people and have some brilliant regular customers. We want to celebrate our first year by being involved in this super community event and to spread the word further.”

Added Martin Riley: “For people who love music, books and ideas the last few years have seen a small renaissance in Halifax.

“Not only fascinating gigs, talks and screenings at The Grayston but the first new bookshop, the Book Corner, to open in the town in my lifetime. It seems like there’s never been a better time to bring it all together and celebrate what we’ve got.’

The festival takes place across the following venues, The Book Corner, The Grayston Unity and the Albany Arcade within Halifax Borough Market.

Among the events are band Hookworms interviewed by Elizabeth Alker (BBC 6 Music), Q&A with Embrace and Merlin Kelanovic (Tour Manager of The Charlatans, Klaxons, Divine Comedy), Jim Ghedi playing live, a Q&A withJames Endeacott and DJ set, plus Kevin Duffy – founder of Bluemoose Publishing.

Young adult authors Liz Flanagan and Melvin Burgess, local poets including Vicky Gatehouse and Gaia Holmes and a special Turn The Page – a regular poetry, spoken word and open mic night.

Find the full programme of events at