llkley will be rocking when a new music festival hits the town this May Day bank holiday weekend.
Running over three days, Ilkley Rocks is an extension to the Ilkley Carnival format and will showcase a range of live bands.
In light of this year’s carnival theme, ‘the Yorkshire Tour’, Ilkley Rocks will feature solo performers and bands from across the region, including Bradford artist Liam Jarvis and Keighley quartet Rock Bottom Risers.
With more than ten main acts scheduled, Ilkley Rocks founder and co-organiser Danny Greenwood is confident the festival will have a significant impact on the community and its music scene.
“Ilkley Rocks is a great example of how the Ilkley Carnival is expanding every year and gives us further opportunities to raise vital funds for the community,” he said. “We have an exciting mix of local talent coming to the town and we’re positive that the success of Ilkley Rocks will mean it becomes an annual event.”
Luke Scott from Keighley rock ’n’ roll band The Ramblers said: “As a local band we’re aware of how Ilkley Carnival has grown over the years and have heard of the huge difference the funds raised make to local charities and groups. It’s great to have been asked to take part in the first-ever Ilkley Rocks festival – we’re determined to kick it all off in spectacular style.”
Bands will play at The Hollygarth on Leeds Road, Ilkley, on Saturday, May 3, and Sunday, May 4, starting at 6.30pm on both dates, and on the carnival field on Monday, May 5, when ten bands will play in the beer tent from noon.
Ilkley Carnival committee member Colin Watson added: “We want the carnival to evolve into an event which extends to much more than one day out in the town. Ilkley Rocks is just one of a number of ideas we have for broadening the appeal of Ilkley Carnival and its capacity to have a significant impact on local groups and charities. We hope everyone will get behind Ilkley Rocks to not only help raise more funds for local charities – such as our primary beneficiary the LS29 Special Needs Support Group which is receiving 50 per cent of all profits raised – but also show their support for the local bands giving up their time to perform for us.”
The carnival has long been a part of Ilkley life but three years ago its popularity was dwindling. Colin says that since 2012 the committee has worked hard to get the carnival recognised as a significant part of the town’s calendar – “not only for the groups that benefit from funds raised but for the generations of families whose children are involved in the parade and would miss it if it wasn’t there.”
He added: “We now have fantastic local business and community support and Ilkley Rocks is the most recent development in the carnival’s evolution.
“It aims to take the carnival to a whole new audience and extend our fundraising efforts to three days. To have the generosity and support of so many local bands from Bradford, Ilkley, Keighley and Leeds, of such exceptional quality, is fantastic and shows there’s a new generation wanting to be involved.
Tickets for Ilkley Rocks are available from ilkleycarnival.org or by contacting Colin Watson on 07885 200640.