New arts festival coming to the High Peak

A new festival featuring live music, storytelling, and community art installations, is launching in the High Peak later this year.

By Louise Cooper
Friday, 20th May 2022, 5:08 pm
The Festival Sessions will take place in Hayfield in September
The Festival Sessions will take place in Hayfield in September

The Festival Sessions will take place in Hayfield from September 2 to 4 after securing funding from Arts Council England, National Lottery.

The festival will feature a varied programme including drag and vogue, DJs, live music, storytelling and community art installations.

Artists from Manchester, Sheffield, and the High Peak will perform in different sessions over the weekend including a cabaret night, family festival, dance party, Zen Tent, ‘Introducing’ session and an experimental art installation with something to appeal to a wide variety of audiences.

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Festival Director, Joss Underwood said: “Our vision for the festival is to be inclusive and accessible to people of all backgrounds, which is why the programme is so varied. We want to ensure that the art we put on is representative of People of Colour, LGBTQIA+ and those who are neurodiverse. There isn’t enough visibility or diversity in the arts in rural areas and that is why our festival exists.”

Festival organisers are also inviting local talent to get involved for an ‘Introducing’ session. This will take place on the afternoon of Sunday September 4 and will showcase emerging talent from the High Peak and surrounding areas.

“We want to provide a platform for emerging artists to perform. Whether you are a storyteller, DJ, musician, or poet, we want to hear from you. The Arts Council England, National Lottery funding has allowed us to create these new opportunities,” said Joss. Artists will receive payment and be matched to a mentor to help develop their creative practice and expand their network.

Lyndsay Thomas, project manager, said: “This funding also means that we can have an ambitious programme with talented artists and community engagement and keep ticket prices low. Even better, all young people aged 15 or under are free. This makes sessions like the ‘Family Festival’ event affordable for young families.”

Glossop Artist, Richard Knox is the lead artist on a new and experimental light and sound installation for the festival. He said: “This is ambitious stuff and it’s great to see these things happening locally. As an artist, it is important to have opportunities to make work that pushes boundaries and makes people question things. It’s fantastic to be involved with a festival that is putting representation and diversity at the centre of its programming”.

To find out more about the festival, and book tickets, see www.festivalsessions.co.uk.

Anyone interested in performing at the introducing session can apply at https://thetentpeople.co.uk/introducing-stage.