BRADFORD Council has announced an eclectic range of high quality acts and activities for this year’s Bradford Festival.

Bradford’s very own multi-award-winning singer-songwriter and powerhouse of blues and rock, Chantel McGregor, will headline the opening night on Friday, July 12.

Bournemouth-based folk-fusion band, Black Water County, promise to have festivalgoers up on their feet with their unique blend of folk, punk and catchy pop melodies with sing-along choruses.

Formed from original members of The Beat and Dexys Midnight Runners, The Beat Goes Bang are set to thrill fans of Ska with new songs created within the popular 80s genre.

Winners of UK Bhangra Awards, innovative six-piece British Asian-fusion band from East London, The Harvey Sahota Band, will bring their unique fusion of Bhangra, reggae, urban, pop and dance to Bradford’s Centenary Square.

Bradford Festival is known for its creative, quirky and colourful street theatre and this year’s event will be packed with fun and surprising acts from across the UK.

Exuberant all women street theatre troupe, Circo Rum Ba Ba will stage L’Hotel - an enchanting show incorporating acrobatics, circus-style globe walking, French finesse, trumpeting and mime mayhem.

Audiences will be invited to watch in amazement as the charming, eccentric, tiny ‘hotel’ erupts into a glittering cabaret, dances into dream-filled slumber and wakes to clattering kitchen choreography.

SEED by Sheffield-based theatre group, Pif Paf, will feature their trademark blend of humour, pathos, science and renowned design in a show starring a Rockabilly Tree-Planting Anarcho-Nomad and a giant snail.

Giant Dragons by flamboyant stilt walkers, An Act Above, will veer between high-energy prancing and sculptural stillness bringing colour and surprise encounters to the three day festival.

A beautiful classical Indian dancer will ‘sketch’ a lion with her feet while dancing on a white cloth spread over red coloured powder in Simhanandini by Annapurna Indian Dance.

This striking, rare and ancient Indian temple ritual dance will be performed by renowned British classical Indian dancer, Abhinandana Kodanda.

Annapurna will also stage Dance of the Brass Plates - a magical act performed on the rims of brass plates by gorgeous young temple dancers in breathtaking authentic costumes.

Both pieces feature live Mridangam drumming by international percussionist, Pratap Ramachandran.

Festival organisers have once again programmed a wide range of workshops and activities to give children and adults the opportunity to try out and learn a range of arts, crafts and music.

Bradford’s School of Rock and Media will give people the chance to unlock their inner rock stars by learning some drumming, guitar, bass, DJ and music recording session basics.

Festivalgoers can also discover the ancient Oriental art of lantern making by learning simple traditional paper cutting and paper folding techniques with professional Chinese artist, Ping Kelly.

Urban designer, consultant, and teacher, Mahmud Manning will help people discover the beauty and majesty of Japanese Enso calligraphy by drawing a circle, triangle and square using large brushes on canvas and paper sheets.

Finally, master puppet-makers, Cecil Green Arts, will run mask and hat-making workshops allowing people to take part in the fun of the festival by parading their colourful creations.

Vanessa Allen, Bradford Council’s Major Events Programme Manager, said:

“The Bradford Festival has a rich variety of high quality street theatre, music, dance and workshops.

“This year’s line-up looks fantastic and there should be something for everyone.

“The Bradford Festival offers fantastic opportunity for people to come into the city and enjoy three days of high quality entertainment.”

The 2019 festival will feature over 21 musical acts, 20 street theatre shows, three dance pieces and 15 workshops.

The festival will be staged in the multi-award winning public space, City Park, from July 12-14 and entry is free.

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