Roald Dahl theme and July 4 date for festival

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Heptonstall Festival will have a Roald Dahl theme this year as the family-friendly music and arts event moves back to its original date of Saturday, July 4.

Fancy dress is encouraged with visitors being urged to dress up as their favourite character from one of Dahl’s books - whether it’s ‘Willy Wonka’, ‘Matilda’, ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ or even ‘The BFG’!

The day will include live music on two stages from young local acts, and more established artists from further afield. The festival strives to give young performers a platform alongside more established acts, offering them a professional level of production.

The Lottery Winners return by popular demand after their astounding performance at last year’s event, as does folk legend Tim O’Connor and upcoming local trio The Tiny Minds. Liverpool band Takotsubo Men make their first appearance at the festival this year, alongside a host of other talented musicians including the village’s very own Rayen.

The festival is proud of its awesome location with the main stage in the picturesque ruin of St Thomas the Apostle church with the acoustic stage in Weaver’s Square where the music kicks off at midday.

There are a bumper crop of activities this year, with a special Words and Pictures Roald Dahl story-writing competition. Local children’s author Liz Flanagan has agreed to judge the contest and all prizes have been generously donated by The Book Case in Hebden Bridge.

Liz is the author of ‘Cara and the Wizard’, ‘Starlight Grey’ and ‘Dara’s Clever Trap’. The drawing competition, inspired by Roald Dahl’s creations - is for Year 2 pupils and under. The poetry and writing competition for Years 3 to 8 encourages children to use Dahl’s characters or make up their own. Poems can be up to 250 words and short stories can be 600.

Application forms with the rules can be found at The Bookcase and on the site. Winners will be announced on the day of the festival.

There’s also a family treasure trail, a fun dog show, reptiles display, children’s parade, and puppet show.

For the more energetic, the Heptonstall Festival Fell Race will be the first of the festival activities, starting and finishing in the village.The entry fee is £5 and the route plunges deep into the neighbouring valley before working its way to the top of nearby peaks.