Folk-a-holics flock to Spen

Edmund & Hilary.
Edmund & Hilary.

Spen played host to a festival to remember, as people turned out in their thousands to celebrate the Cleckheaton’s biggest annual event.

Cleckheaton Folk Festival attracted its biggest attendance yet, as events and concerts throughout the weekend put the town into a state of folky-fever!

Crowds of onlookers watch the parade through the centre of Cleckheaton.

Crowds of onlookers watch the parade through the centre of Cleckheaton.

The parade on Saturday attracted crowds of curious onlookers as mythical beasts, miners and morris dancers took over the town centre.

There was also a stir on the stage, as headliners Demon Barbers XL brought their unique brand of folk-hip-hop to a packed-out town hall on Friday night, playing to waves of rapturous applause.

Organiser David Minich said: “This was the best festival so far. The parade in particular was as good as any we have had before.”

“We have grown so much since we first started. You could tell by how packed the town hall was for the shows just how popular the festival has become.

Princess Zeta on her dragon and Dotty Daffodil, walking on stilts through the streets of Cleckheaton as part of the parade.

Princess Zeta on her dragon and Dotty Daffodil, walking on stilts through the streets of Cleckheaton as part of the parade.

“I would say that my highlight of the festival was on Friday night when I saw my wife dancing with hip-hop dancers – it’s not every year I can say that!

“I never thought that a group with a scratch DJ and hip-hop dancers would be as well-received at a folk festival as the Demon Barbers XL were, and I think that is testament to how good the band is.”

This was the 26th annual Cleckheaton Folk Festival, and David believes there can be opportunities to grow further in the future.

He added: “With the Tour De France coming to Yorkshire next year, we may even try looking into partnering up with a French folk festival, but it is just an idea at the moment.”

Visit www.spenboroughguardian.co.uk to see highlights of Friday night’s concert – along with a special guest!