Hebden Bridge Arts Festival will not take place in 2020 and this is why

The organisers of the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival have announced that they will not be holding the event this year.

Hebden Bridge Arts Festival in 2017
Hebden Bridge Arts Festival in 2017

The decision comes amid a period of transition for the festival, as artistic director Helen Meller has stepped down and they are recruiting a new chair and trustees.

The remaining board members have opted to take a 'fallow year' while they fill the positions.

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Traditional crafts under threat and locals priced out as bohemians descend on Hebden BridgeHebden Bridge Arts Festival has been running since 1993 and attracts thousands of visitors to the town, which is known for its creativity and diverse, tolerant community. It began as a six-week summer literary festival but has evolved into a 10-day event with street entertainment and audience participation.

Helen Meller has resigned after a seven-year tenuare as artistic director. She returned to Yorkshire after a career in publishing in London to take the helm and succeeded in bringing top writers and artists to the Calder Valley.

In a statement on the festival website, Helen said:-

“I have absolutely loved my time as festival director but after seven years, it’s time to move on.

"There have been so many unforgettable moments and I feel proud and privileged to have been able to work with so many inspiring people in so many different ways. I want to thank the festival board and teams past and present, our funders and supporters, our partners and collaborators, our loyal volunteers and all of the talented artists and performers who have delighted and entertained us."

Local website HebWeb also confirmed in January that the board had decided to take the opportunity to plan for the festival's long-term future by taking some time out from immediate organisational duties.

Acting festival chair Amanda Dalton and her team are now seeking new trustees and will be interviewing prospective candidates later this month.