Crowds blown away at Routes music festival

Routes Music festival at the Orange Box, Halifax
Routes Music festival at the Orange Box, Halifax
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Crowds were blown away by the talent of young musicians as they played at Halifax’s first Youth Routes music festival on Saturday June 1.

An estimated 700 people flocked to Orange Box Young People’s Centre to see some of Calderdale’s best unsigned raw talent showcase both songs they had penned themselves and covers in eight hours of non-stop live music.

Routes Music festival at the Orange Box, Halifax

Routes Music festival at the Orange Box, Halifax

Around 27 local bands aged between 11 and 25 treated spectators to a variety of music on two open stages: the main stage and the acoustic stage.

Headlining the main stage were Tempus who truly ignited the crowd whilst 47 Minutes Late, Avenue, The Oreoh!s, Bagpipe Spiders and Iron Lotus and many more played their own selection of head-banging tunes.

With Taste in Colour headlining on the other stage, people lost themselves in the acoustic melodies offered by Lilly Bell-Penny, Galina Skvortsov and Jess Whelan.

Routes Festival was the first event hosted by Orange Box, in collaboration with Square Chapel for Arts and Youth Routes. The Centre, on Thomas Street, Halifax, is set to officially open in early September and will be equipped with recording and dance studios, a café, climbing wall and skate park.

A talent scout was present to spot upcoming musical talent and was thoroughly impressed by what Calderdale had to offer.

People took the opportunity to hone their musical skills in vocal and drumming workshops held by Raw Studios and enjoyed the DJ, Guitar and Ukulele sessions too.

Many committed volunteers helped sell customised merchandise including badges, plectrums and exclusive Routes Festival t-shirts, whilst others helped cook and serve chicken biryani and fajitas. Local restaurant Dandelion & Burdock supported the event by selling a delicious assortment of muffins.

The free event attracted a lot of positive feedback with @charliwardy tweeting “some really inspirational up and coming talent at the @RoutesFestival Fantastic Space!!”, @BenRothera tweeting “@RoutesFestival some brilliant ‘Fax talent on show, and a fantastic venue @OrangeboxHX” and @gayleappleyard saying “been down @RoutesFestival @OrangeboxHX Fab bands, music workshops, buns & of course a fab building full of smiley, happy people.”

Some suggestions for improvement for next year included better sign posting to better direct people to refreshments and the toilets, a better location for the acoustic stage, more variety of food, with a vegetarian option and for the café area to be more accessible and not so hidden away.

The money raised will be fed back into Orange Box Young People’s Centre so it can continue to offer a valuable service and opportunities for young people. Youth Routes and Orange Box plan to host another festival next year, expanding on 2013’s gig and are keen to get more young people involved in the planning, organising and running of it.

If you or anyone you know would like to be involved keep an eye on Routes Festival’s Facebook page: or Youth Routes Facebook page: Alternatively, keep an eye on the Orange Box blog:

By Jayna Patel (Calderdale Young Reporter)