Embracing the Yorkshire Festival by getting on your bike for Le Tour art

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Cycling while wearing a remote-controlled light suit in the middle of the night might not be your every day commute.

But organisers of the Yorkshire Festival 2014, the first pre-Tour de France arts festival, are appealing for riders to don the outfits as part of a peloton of 50 illuminated cyclists to help make one of the spectacular events on its programme a reality.

The choreographed Ghost Peloton ride, put together by Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre and NVA in partnership with charity Sustrans, will take place outside The Tetley on May 16 and 17 in the build up to the Grand Depart on July 5 and 6.

The evening light show is one of 47 projects that forms the £2m arts festival’s programme, which features dozens of opportunities for cycling enthusiasts to become part of the celebration from March 27 onwards.

Paul Osborne, of Sustrans in Yorkshire, said: “This will be a stunning celebration of cycling; creating images and memories which will last long after the Tour comes to Yorkshire.

“With the peloton made up in part by Sustrans volunteers and following sections of the National Cycle Network, we are delighted to play our part by engaging with the local cycling community.”

Volunteer marshals and riders are needed for rehearsals and two days of performances in Leeds, while joining the peloton project could raise the prospect of becoming a longer term member of the touring performance piece.

Creative director of the Ghost Peloton, Angus Farquhar, said: “It is a simple but profound way to experience the beauty and intensity of road racing.”

Festival organisers Welcome to Yorkshire are also appealing for riders to give other planned performances and art installations a rolling start.

Opportunities include delivering a yellow conductor’s baton to brass bands as part of the mobile Tour de Brass concert, sending cycling photos to be part of the Bicyclism exhibition at Leeds City Museum and donating old bike parts to the Tour de Force Bicycle Orchestra where they may be turned into instruments.

Henrietta Duckworth, executive producer of festival, said “The festival is a brilliant celebration of culture and cycling happening indoors and outdoors in all parts of the county.

“The activities will appeal to riders of all ages and abilities so if you’re already a cyclist, take part and get involved. If you’re inspired by the Grand Depart coming to Yorkshire but don’t already ride, come along to experience everything cycling and the festival has to offer.”

The Yorkshire Festival will feature art forms such as theatre, craft work, sculpture and land art across the county from March 27 to July 6. It will tee up the Grand Depart’s Leeds to Harrogate stage one race on July 5 and the York to Sheffield stage two race the following day.

Visit www.yorkshirefestival.co.uk for details or email volunteers-yorks@sustrans.org.uk to get involved with the Ghost Peloton.




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