Heptonstall Festival - Saturday, September 20, parade at 11am, and fun all day!

Neil Bob Herd is on the music bill
Neil Bob Herd is on the music bill

The fabulous Heptonstall Festival takes place again this Saturday with a unique combination of the Wizard of Oz procession and performance in the old church ruins in the, an afternoon of a dozen or more top bands on two stages and a evening classical music concert.

There will also be a dog show and bouncy slide at a third venue.

Children and families will gather at 9.45am at Munchkin City in Heptonstall School playground, met by the Mayor, the Good Witch (Ursula Holden Gill, last year’s Red Queen), and the bad witch (Sonya Moorhead). Then, led by the Emerald City band, everyone will process to the Emerald City itself (that’s the old church ruins) to meet the Wizard of Oz and much magic for the whole community.

In the afternoon there will be no fewer than 13 bands and other acts performing on two stages, produced by Matt Gallop, in the old church ruins and on Weavers Square.

The Ruins Stage will have acts from noon till about 7.30pm and the Weavers’ Stage operates from 1pm until 6pm. Headline bands include The Lottery Winners and Neal Bob Herd. The comperes will be Alexander Wells and Mike Hancock.

As evening falls and lights and candles are lit, there will be a classical concert in the ruins, one of the highlights last year, starting at 8pm with the Three Valleys Gospel Choir and Due Voci (Viv Burr and Mandy Doyle), who will close the day.

A major innovation this year will be community activities at Heptonstall Sports and Bowling Club, the centrepiece of which is a “Scrufts” fun dog show with £1 registration at the club starting at 1pm, open to all dogs (pedigrees and cross-breeds) in 15 categories, including “toffs and mutts”, “prettiest bitch” and “waggiest tail”. There will also be a photo exhibition, a bouncy slide and family-friendly refreshments.

There will over 20 stalls, in Weavers Square, the ruins and on Towngate, including delicious foods from all around the world and two bars.

There will be a tarot reader, tree huggers, vintage clothes stands and much more. The Festival organisers are most grateful to Calderdale and Heptonstall Councils, Heptonstall and Colden Schools, the two village pubs and the bowling club for all their support.

- Festival traffic - and how to get to the big event

On Saturday, September 20, Heptonstall Festival Day, the main village street (Towngate and Smithwell Lane) will be closed to traffic from 9.30am till 5pm, with just access for residents with their own parking space and disabled visitors allowed.

There will be a main Festival car park at the top of the village, by kind permission of Anthony Holt, so all festival-goers coming by car are asked to drive around the Heptonstall by-pass (Lee Wood Road and Draper Lane) to access the village at the top. Parking will be well signposted.

The 596 bus route to Blackshaw Head will also by-pass the village and drop festival-goers at Draper Corner. The alternate buses which general go to Slack will terminate in the middle of Heptonstall.

A festival spokesman added: “But, of course, the best, and healthiest way to get to Heptonstall is to walk up the hill!”

- This is the running order for the two Heptonstall Festival music stages:


Noon, Katie Ritson

12.50pm, 3 Men & A Box

1.40pm, Magic Show

2.30pm, Feather Teeth

3.20pm, Tim O’Connor & Doc Rossi

4.20pm, Neil-Bob-Herd and friends

5.40pm, The Tiny Minds

6.40pm, The Lottery Winners


1pm, Incidentals

2pm, Le Neon Noire

3pm, Last Chance Saloon Band

4.20pm, James Paul

5.20pm, Harry and MK

Then there is the evening classical concert which will close this year’s event:


8pm, Three Valleys Gospel Choir, who will be followed by Due Voci