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Young bands and performers took to the stage for the first ever Routes Festival at the Orange Box Young People’s Centre, Halifax.

In a joint collaboration with Square Chapel Centre for the Arts and Youth Routes, a day of live music and workshops was held at the venue on Thomas Street.

Youth festival at Orangebox, Halifax. Adam Fleming and Petula Hason perform on the new acustic stage.

Youth festival at Orangebox, Halifax. Adam Fleming and Petula Hason perform on the new acustic stage.

The free festival showcased music ranging from metal to pop, indie to acoustic played on two open stages from some of Calderdale’s best unsigned artists and bands aged between 11-25 years.

Paula Atherill, of Youth Routes, said: “Routes festival is the first of its kind in Calderdale and we are focused on creating development opportunities and roles for young people to get involved. We want young people to have a great time showcasing their talents as well as gain some specific life skills by volunteering for specific tasks. The roles include: catering, music tech, compering, merchandise sales, photography, filming and reporting.” Youth Routes and Square Chapel hope the festival will turn into an annual event and plan to take it elsewhere, possibly expanding it to discover upcoming young music talent in Kirklees.

Kane Rattray, from Square Chapel Centre of Arts, said: “It can be so difficult for young artists to get breaks and book appropriate gigs. We want to provide that initial platform for them, so they can then go on and book gigs independently and confidentially.”

The aim of the festival was helping young musicians develop the experience and knowledge so they feel comfortable to book their gigs on their own.

Youth festival at Orangebox, Halifax.

Youth festival at Orangebox, Halifax.

Young volunteers also had the responsibility in stewarding, marketing and helping to set up equipment.

The catering filming and photographing was also undertaken by young volunteers, whilst an enterprise team sold merchandise to make a profit.

The volunteering opportunities were a result of Youth Routes’ aim to help young people develop invaluable life skills, gain work experience and mix with people from diverse backgrounds to increase their social networks and community knowledge.

Set to officially open at the beginning of September this year, Orangebox also made its debut as a youth venue. The centre was designed by a committee of young people and is funded by the Department for education through the MyPlace scheme.

Youth festival at Orangebox, Halifax. Saphistarr play in the new venue.

Youth festival at Orangebox, Halifax. Saphistarr play in the new venue.

Its facilities include a climbing wall, skate-park, recording studio and dance studio to cater for all of Calderdale’s young people’s interests.

Read about the Routes Festival from a teenager’s perspective online at www.halifaxcourier.co.uk