More than 50,000 people enjoyed dazzling performances and one-off spectaculars this weekend as Yorkshire Festival came to an exhilarating finale with feathers filling the skies in Hull and Big Disco bringing people together in parties across the county.
These two ambitious and world-class events marked the end of the UK’s newest international festival, which has attracted more than 165,000 people to hundreds of events by over 900 artists from 22 countries over the last 18 days.
Friday saw the world’s largest disco ball rigged up over Duke Studios, Leeds, where 5,000 danced beneath the 10 metre high glittering globe to Donna Summer's I Feel Love while more than 20,000 danced at over 100 Little Discos across Yorkshire. DJs played throughout the day and into the night with a stellar line up including DJ Yoda, Alex Metric, Utah Saints, Greg Wilson, Foz, Brett Domino and Capital FM’s Adam, Danny & JoJo.
On Saturday night one of the international highlights of the Yorkshire Festival programme, Place des Anges, saw a host of stunning angels appear above the heads of more than 10,000 people in Hull's Queen's Gardens. The show - which saw the skies fill with feathers - was made possible through an ambitious partnership between Yorkshire Festival and Hull UK City of Culture 2017, and presented in association with the Amy Johnson Festival. All 10,000 free tickets for the event were snapped up in just 51 minutes.
Yorkshire Festival’s Artistic Director Matt Burman said: “This year's Festival has been an incredible success. Our audience figures make us the fourth largest international arts festival in the UK and in only our second edition, this is a fantastic achievement. I'd like to thank our audiences for giving such a warm welcome to artists from all over the county and across the world and huge thanks to our team and all our partners who have worked tirelessly and enthusiastically to bring Yorkshire world-class artistic experiences.”
Festival Chair David Lascelles said: “Place des Anges was an unforgettably spectacular climax to a wonderful eighteen days. The Festival has brought artists from all over the world to wow audiences across the county and audiences from across the world to celebrate the very best Yorkshire has to offer. And that’s something we should all be very proud of.”
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “This year’s Yorkshire Festival has truly been a magical spectacle of performances that will go down in history. The festival has shown that Yorkshire can stage not only world class sporting events but also high calibre cultural shows and festivities that attract tens of thousands of visitors and generate the support of communities right across the county.”
Yorkshire Festival highlights have included Carabosse's magical and memorable Fire Garden which showcased Valley Gardens in Harrogate in a whole new light to crowds of over 20,000, and Handmade Parade and Cardboardia's joyous and celebratory event in Hebden Bridge for an audience of almost 10,000.
Imran Qureshi's Garden within a Garden, co-commissioned by Bradford MDC, 14-18 NOW and Yorkshire Festival, is a beautiful and contemplative pair of works in City and Lister Parks in Bradford, which will remain in situ for audiences to view throughout the summer.
Talking Statues has brought municipal statues in Leeds to life with Vic Reeves, Brian Blessed, Ian McMillan and Game of Thrones actress Gemma Whelan lending their voices to the city's icons, and the statues will keep their voices for the next year.
The Stopping Train, a Sonic Journey created by writer Blake Morrison and composer Gavin Bryars, has been experienced by train passengers travelling between Goole and Hull and will be available to be download for free until the middle of July.
And chip shops across the county have played host to the sold-out #chipshopthemusical - a brand new show fusing UK grime and Yorkshire brass, complete with complimentary fish and chips.