Uniting to celebrate all things Hyde Park

People dance to music at the Hyde Park Unity Day. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe
People dance to music at the Hyde Park Unity Day. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe
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IT WAS borne out of riots that left a pub gutted and the area the focus of national headlines.

But 20 years later, Hyde Park Unity Day is making headlines for all the right reasons - bringing together thousands of people to celebrate LS6.

Children take part in a dance competition at the Hyde Park Unity Day. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

Children take part in a dance competition at the Hyde Park Unity Day. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

The date of each year’s event is only announced two weeks before the big day, but that didn’t stop 5,000 people from across the Hyde Park area descending on the event on Saturday.

It was made possible thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers, many of whom were up early on Sunday morning, bracing their fuzzy heads and the rain to clean up after the event.

The day included dozens of performances by bands, acts and DJs across various stages and tents, as well as a dog show, sports, yoga, crafts and arts workshops.

Committee member Amit Roy said: “The music speaks for itself, with so many bands and DJs coming together to perform, but for me, it’s what happens around the edges - the groups of kids playing football, or the kids creating paintings with their handprints - that really makes Unity Day. It was a lovely crowd and a lovely atmosphere.”

Leeds band Dr Crow and the Forbidden Zone perform at the Hyde Park Unity Day. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

Leeds band Dr Crow and the Forbidden Zone perform at the Hyde Park Unity Day. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

Unity Day is a chance for the people who live in the area to re-connect.

“When we started there was a real need for something like this - and there still is now, but for different reasons,” Mr Roy said.

“At the time there was a need to give the area a positive identity and to make sure it wasn’t just known for having back to back houses and bars on windows. Now, it’s all changed. When the students are here there is a real energy and a buzz, but the people who live here can feel lost among them. So when they leave for the summer, it’s a chance for the community to come together.

“This year’s events was great. Even the weather was good. It was spitting a little, but then at 3pm when the steel band came out and hit their first note, the sun came out. It was something special.”

Children play with a bubble gun at the Hyde Park Unity Day. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

Children play with a bubble gun at the Hyde Park Unity Day. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

People dance to music at the Hyde Park Unity Day. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

People dance to music at the Hyde Park Unity Day. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

A member of the Foxwood Steel band performs at the Hyde Park Unity Day. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

A member of the Foxwood Steel band performs at the Hyde Park Unity Day. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

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