Yorkshire Festival: Shining spotlight on arts

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This year’s Yorkshire Festival is officially launched today with organisers hoping it will be a cultural showcase for Leeds’ bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2023.

The three-week long programme of music, arts and theatre events is a legacy of the festival which first ran in the run up to the Tour de France’s Grand Depart in 2014.

Now staged every two years, the highlight of this year’s festival in Leeds will see a giant glitterball suspended above the Duke Studios on July, the focus of a 24 hour party.

The event is just one of dozens which will take place from June 16 to July 3 and artistic director Matt Burnham believes that it will lay the foundation for even bigger artistic events in the future.

“I am pretty confident that we have go the balance right between grassroots, community events and performances by some worldclass companies,” says artistic director Matt Burnham. “This is still early days for the festival – it’s only in its second year – but Yorkshire deserves to have a major arts festival which takes in the whole of the county and I honestly believe that the 2016 programme will give us the foundations to deliver that.

“I spent most of my early years in Leeds and Skipton and it’s great to be back after 25 years. There is a real feeling in Yorkshire that we can now deliver worldclass events and a recognition the importance that cultural festivals have in bringing people together. As a prelude to Leeds hopefully becoming European Capital of Culture it should also show everyone else what we can do.”

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