The official site for the Yorkshire Festival 2016

2016 Community Commissions Announced


Eight brand new community commissions have been announced as part of Yorkshire Festival 2016.

From Turner Prize winners in Sheffield to fantastical beasts prowling the streets of Doncaster, an exciting range of unique community based projects will entertain audiences across the county.

There will be performances in chippies across Yorkshire with #ChipShopTheMusical while statues across Leeds will be given life when they make phone calls to passers-by.

Expect musicians to play in remote spots in North Yorkshire - from prehistoric rocks to heather moorland and rugged beaches – and the hunt is on for volunteers to take part.

Artistic Director Matt Burman said: "These community commissions are a vital strand of our programme, as important and brilliantly engaging as any of the world-class artists we're bringing to Yorkshire from across the globe. They represent the innovative ways that ambitious artists across the region have found to talk with people and change the ways we see the world around us."

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “Yorkshire Festival is shaping up to be one of the most exciting cultural events the county has ever seen. Make sure you don’t miss the chance to take part!”


Brand new community commissions include:

God's own County together with the help of The Professors Theatre Companywill light up Weston Park Museum in Sheffield from dawn until dusk on the first day of Yorkshire Festival on June 16.

Great Big Donco artists and communities will bring The Great Big Donco to life when it’s assembled and animated with storytelling and song by local people in a special outdoor performance. The Great Big Donco is being produced with Right Up Our Street and darts (Doncaster Community Arts).

Talking Statues Leeds. If statues could talk, what stories would they tell? Pass a Talking Statue, swipe your phone on a nearby sign and presto, you get a  call from the Black Prince or a lion guarding the Town Hall.  Each has a story to tell. Together they tell Leeds’ story. Working in collaboration with The West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds Libraries and Museums, Talking Statues Leeds breathes new life into the city’s famous statues.  

#ChipShopTheMusical will involve performers touring chippies across Yorkshire. Seafish and Arts Council England, under Grants for the Arts, are backing the project. The co-producers are Emma Hill Writes, Bolton Octagon and Freedom Studios.

Play Far Away Day is looking for music groups, from school choirs to adult ensembles, to play al fresco in some of North Yorkshire's most beautiful landscapes on Saturday 18 June. Organised by youth music development charity, NYMAZ, Play Far Away Day aims to show that everyone should have access to music wherever they live while also fundraising for local youth music projects. To take part, get in touch on Twitter via #playfarawayday, [email protected] or 01904 543382.

The Brutalist Playground by 2015 Turner Prize winner Assemble and artist Simon Terrill. Taking place at S1 Artspace, Park Hill, Sheffield, The Brutalist Playground, which was originally commissioned by RIBA in 2015, explores post-war design for play and the concrete playgrounds that were part of post-war housing estates in the mid-twentieth century, including Park Hill estate itself.


Recorded Delivery will see award winning writer, artist and Huddersfield postman Kevin Boniface takes to the road to produce a series of monologues (audio and visual) about the people and places he encounters on his rounds. The project will be documented by filmmaker, Ed Cotterill and shared and downloaded at Holmfirth, Hebden Bridge and Grassington Festivals.


Sew Within will transform unwanted household fabric and materials into new useable items such as bags for life apron cushions. Workshops will involve designing sewing and having a finished product to take home. The sessions will encourage recycling, improve skill set and engage communities in Bradford


The full Yorkshire Festival programme will be revealed on April 14. Headline acts include Big Disco which aims to break world records with the biggest dance event in history.

In Sheffield on 25 June, French and Basque performers Les Commandos Percu & Deabru Beltzak come together in an explosion of fireworks, percussion and dance.

In Bradford there will be a European premiere performance by the Nile Project featuring an incredible collaboration between musicians from 11 countries along the Nile.


The Yorkshire Festival is the UK’s newest international festival. It will build on the resounding success of the first edition in 2014 and promises world premieres and UK exclusives with spectacular outdoor performances as well as music, theatre, arts and dance from theatres to clubs.


For more information, go to or follow on Twitter @YorkshireFest or on Facebook yorkshirefestival



- ENDS -

Editors’ Notes:

  • Yorkshire Festival 2016 runs from 16 June - 3 July with preview events around the Tour de Yorkshire weekend at the end of April.


  • Yorkshire Festival is backed by Welcome to Yorkshire with government funding through the Arts Council England as part of the Northern Powerhouse initiative.


  • Yorkshire Festival will present dozens of performances all over the county.


CONTACTS FOR COMMUNITY COMMISSIONS (for journalist’s use only, not for publication)

God's own County. Sheffield. Steve Pool Tel: 07812082742; email: [email protected]

The Great Big Donco. Doncaster. Charlotte Taylor, [email protected] 07891 135582

Talking Statues. Leeds. Kelly O'Reilly Tel: 020 7253 3214, Email: [email protected]

#ChipShoptheMusical. Pan Yorkshire.Alex Chisholm, 01274 730 077 or 07770 405627; Email: [email protected]

Play Far Away Day. North Yorkshire. [email protected]

The Brutalist Playground. Sheffield. Holly Grange Tel: 07760 996464, email: [email protected]

Recorded Delivery. Helen Meller, 01422 417373, [email protected]

Sew Within. Bradford. Rozina Tariq, 07597159150, [email protected]

For further information contact:



Jo Francisco

Senior Press Officer

Email: [email protected]

Direct Line: 0113 322 3563

Mobile: 07769257327



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