IT is one of the most important occasions on Cleckheaton’s calendar.

Now in its 31st year, Cleckheaton Folk Festival attracts around 4,000 people every year who come to savour the sounds as well as the colour and creativity.

Running over the weekend July 6, 7 and 8, this year’s festival programme includes well-known artists including Friday evening’s main headliner at Cleckheaton Town Hall, MrsAckroyd.

Granny’s Attic take to the stage on Saturday along with Dougie MacLean and the Wilson Family. Sunday sees first-time performers at Cleckheaton Folk Festival, fiddle-singers and multi-instrumentalists The Rheingans Sisters who were the winners of the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for ‘Best Original Track.’

Other artists performing during the weekend include: Anthony John Clarke; Bernard Wrigley; Blackwater; Chechelele; Copper Kettle; Dougie Maclean; Gilmore & Roberts; Hebric; Jack Rutter; Moore, Moss & Rutter; Pete Norman & Cath Charnock; Shaun Hutch; Son of a Gun; The Heathen Kings; Threadneedle Ceilidh Band and The Waite Collective.

Music and sing-a-round sessions are taking place throughout the weekend in venues around the town including The Commercial pub in Bradford Road and The Wickham Arms in St Peg Lane.

Starting with the popular parade at 11am on Saturday, the weekend also boasts a range of fun-packed activities including the festival street market in Albion Street.

Also on Saturday arts project Creative Scene, in partnership with Kirklees Council, are providing diverse street entertainment including Indian style entertainment alongside the traditional Morris dancers.

The finale is the Family Fun day on Sunday offering free activities and a Punch and Judy show on the Savoy site in the town centre.

For the event administrator, Janice Minich, Cleckheaton Folk Festival is a real family affair. She became involved in the event 12 years ago. Her husband, David, is the festival director.

“I think it is brilliant that it is still going ahead despite a lack of funding this year,” she says.

Janice is referring to the Government funding cuts which, she believes, has affected most of the arts.

Instead, organisations such as Cleckheaton Folk Festival are relying on the stalwart supporters without whom the event wouldn’t be possible.

“We do have good support from our local traders placing their advertisements in the programme,” says Janice.

The festival is one of the biggest events on the Cleckheaton calendar, along with the Christmas lights switch-on.

“Cleckheaton Folk Festival has a reputation for being one of the smallest, friendliest festivals in the area. Regulars come back year in year out,” says Janice.

Weekend tickets and individual tickets are still available. For more information, or to get involved, visit