A MINI festival will run this weekend following the cancellation of the Challenge Festival in Bingley.

A smaller, indoor festival will now take place at Bradford and Bingley Rugby Club.

A spokesperson for Bingley Music Town said the rugby club stepped in to save the music that would have been on the bandstand over the weekend.

It will run on Saturday and Sunday, and there will also be music in the Market Square as well as in pubs and clubs.

“The mini-fest will run the same artists (from the Challenge Festival) at the same time, on the same days, just at a different place," said a spokesperson. 

“The event will start at 12 noon on Saturday, May 25, indoors at the rugby club, with acts throughout the day and again on Sunday, May 26.

“Thank you to everyone that has stepped in to offer help and support, including our sponsors.

“To all our artists - thanks for your patience and understanding.

“Thank you also to all the people who have offered sympathy, help, ideas and solutions over the last 24 hours or so, including venues, events organisers from Bradford.

“Thank you to our volunteers that have been fielding messages and enquiries and exploring ways to proceed, and still want to help out this weekend.

“I'd also like to personally thank all the people involved in Challenge Festival, because without their help to start this journey, we would not be in a position to still have a great weekend of community-led music.”

The news comes after the Challenge Festival was cancelled just days before it was set to go ahead.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Myrtle Park in BingleyMyrtle Park in Bingley (Image: Newsquest)

Organiser Ian Andrews-Swailes has been liaising with Bradford Council’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG) regarding the event, but on Tuesday took the tough decision to cancel it amid safety requirements from the group. 

“At the end of the day, we just couldn’t do it,” he told the T&A.

"Even when I removed the A-listers from the event and advised them that this was just a community event in the park, they were putting on ever-increasing demands," he said.

In a recent post on Facebook, Mr Andrews-Swailes said: “We have had to cancel the Challenge Festival over safety concerns.

"Another great event cancelled because of unrealistic demands such as fencing a woodland area in case of fire amongst many others.”

He claimed SAG had been "trying to stop this event from the word go" but a spokesperson for the group reiterated that its objective is not to stop events but to ensure they are run safely. 

A spokesperson said: “The Safety Advisory Group (SAG) is a multi-agency group with representatives from West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Council departments including licencing and Environmental Health.

“SAG has been working with the organiser of Challenge Festival to ensure the event could be held safely.

"Assurances were asked of the organiser following the latest draft of plans to ensure contingencies were in place, and it was our understanding that these were being addressed.

“SAG’s objective is not to stop events, but to provide professional advice to event organisers to ensure that events are run in a safe manner.

"Public safety must be a priority at any event and different types of events require different levels of safety plans.

“The organiser has taken the decision to cancel this event.”

Mr Andrews-Swailes spoke of his disappointment.

He said: “I’m really gutted. All I wanted to do was to give Bingley something they could be proud of and run for themselves in the future.”

The Challenge Festival did originally have three big names set to perform, with Bradford popstar Gareth Gates, Peter Andre, and Ellie Sax all announced as acts.

In April, however, Mr Andrews-Swailes told the T&A that both Peter Andre and Ellie Sax would not be performing, but Gareth Gates was still confirmed for what would instead be a free two-day event.