A NEW family-friendly entertainment festival in the district headlined by a Bradford-born pop star has been announced.

Challenge Fest will be held over three days at Myrtle Park in Bingley next year.

The new festival will take place at the venue, which has held a host of music and entertainment events over the years, from Friday, May 24 to Sunday, May 26, 2024.

The first star-name performer to be confirmed for Challenge Fest is Gareth Gates. He was thrust into the limelight after he came second in the 2002 edition of ITV’s Pop Idol. The West Bowling-born star had a host of number one singles including a cover of ‘Unchained Melody’.


Initial details of the new festival were revealed in a teaser tweet posted by the organisers on February 25, but now further details have emerged.

The Challenge Fest tweet said: “A festival in Bingley you want? Done, 2024 May we will have the festival you wanted.

“Three full days of entertainment. Day 1 outdoor cinema, Day 2 free music all day plus children's entertainment, Day 3 Our lovely talent including Gareth Gates.”

The event will be split into three days and will kick off on Friday, May 24 with an outdoor cinema screening of a family-friendly film, yet to be confirmed.

The second day of Challenge Fest, held on Saturday, May 25 will feature free admission to those who attend. It will be showcased by a day of live music from talent who hail from in and around the Bradford district. Gareth Gates will also be performing on the middle day of the event, which will also include stalls and circus performers.

Challenge Fest will conclude on Sunday, May 26 with a day of chart-topping acts. The only name to be confirmed is a return to the stage for a second-successive day for Gareth Gates.

It is being organised by Ian Andrews-Swailes, who is also the chairman of the annual Saltaire Festival. He says more names will be announced for the festival in the coming months as planning continues.

Mr Andrews-Swailes said: “People have been wanting something in Bingley for a long time, probably since lockdown.

“It will be like a warm-up for Bradford City of Culture 2025. If all goes well, we will turn it into an annual event.

“Challenge Fest is going to be very diverse. It will have plenty of family stuff and family entertainment.”

Tickets for Challenge Fest are yet to be made available, but details will be announced in the near future, organisers added.

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