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January 25, 2019 Nicola Jones0

Happy Valley Pride is an eclectic, alternative and inclusive, week-long festival for everyone. Celebrating LGBT+ life in Hebden Bridge and surrounding areas.  This year, it will be taking place earlier than in previous years, during the week of 22 to 28 July 2019.

Founded in 2015, the festival has rapidly grown in size and stature – last year we attracted over 3,000 attendees across 15 events and 7 days. Set in the stunning location of the Calder Valley (recently recognised in National Geographic’s Cool List 2019) we’ve built an enviable reputation for creating a distinctive, LGBT+ arts-focused programme.

The decision to move the festival was taken to guarantee the calibre of artists and performers now expected of Happy Valley Pride, as the previous dates were close to other key festivals, notably Edinburgh Festival.

Our Chair and Festival Programmer, Tim Whitehead:

“In the last couple of years, we have managed to attract an incredibly diverse and reputable range of artists. Camille O’Sullivan (recently voted in the Top 25 Jools Holland’s performances) headlined last year, due to an unusual change in schedule. In 2016, BBC Radio 4 regular, Zoe Lyons was another coup and a total sell out. We were aware of other artists we’d loved to welcome to Happy Valley Pride, yet missed out simply because they were booked for Edinburgh. We’re now planning a superb week, which we’re excited will offer something special for everyone and offer our best Pride yet.

At the heart of this, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to to the local community and businesses who have supported us in funding the festival, such as local artist, Kate Lycett, whose unique artwork donation attracted national interest via our art auction.”

Which brings us on to the first confirmed event for 2019 – the auspicious return of legendary London-club night, Duckie. Having lured them to Yorkshire from their Vauxhall Tavern residency – last year’s inaugural visit to The Trades Club sold out in 48hrs post-announcement. Its cult cabaret line up of renowned performance artists is bound to guarantee Happy Valley Pride will stand above the Pride crowd.

With a growing Committee of volunteer trustees and loyal festival team, we’ve quickly built a strong reputation and year-round profile via social nights, community involvement and regular Trades’ Club fundraiser nights. Working alongside local schools and other community groups, we seek to raise understanding and acceptance of the LGBT+ community via art projects.

With plenty still to do, those interested in getting involved please visit the ‘Get Involved‘ page for more info.

Camille O’Sullivan performed at Hope Baptist Church for Happy Valley Pride 2018

Kate Lycett’s – Tree of Life which raised funds via our art exhibition and auction in  2018


Readers Wifes
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Bourgois & Maurice

August 20, 2018 Nicola Jones0

So, when I arrived in Hebden Bridge back in 2003, if you mentioned ducks, it was in the context of the quaint tradition of the busiest day of the year, where a river of yellow plastic ducks are chucked into the river and encouraged to compete with the real ones, on a short journey down river, every Easter Bank Holiday. Let’s not knock it, it draws crowds annually. But this year, we re-defined Duckie in Hebden Bridge.

The anticipation was palpable.  As soon as it was announced, tickets sold out in just 48 hours. The Trades already having a reputation for hosting some of the best nights this side of the Pennines, joining forces with a club night that has successfully ran for over two decades. It was the perfect combination of people, place and undoubtedly, occasion.

Happy Valley Pride’s loyal contingent is a true mixed tribe. Often commented on is the fact that so many have ‘escaped’ the city to move here, renounced by many locals as ‘oftcummers’ – it’s always a balancing act.  Being part of the community, whilst nostalgically reflecting on a misspent youth in the UK’s cities.  And for the LGBT+ community in particular, that obviously comes with a doubtless, crumpled ticket to the clubs of the 90’s and 00’s.

So, did it live it to expectations.  As they say in Yorkshire, “By gum”, it did.  Outfits were planned, yet discarded on arrival due to the first big downpour in weeks, coinciding with a crammed and sauna-like dance floor.  Monster Munch hanging from the ceiling and Readers Wifes playing long-forgotten tunes.  It was reminiscent of Narnia meets Nightmare on Elm Street.  Dark, sexy, tribal.

Interspersed with brilliantly original cabaret performances from Bourgeois & Maurice (last year’s sell out), new friends, Barbara Brownskirt – (“Judy, Judy, Judy …. Dench” is STILL being repeated as a highlight), Victoria Sin – who knew sandwich-making could be an art form and finally the vision of Ursula Martinez streaking down Holme Street will live on as legendary.

We didn’t want it to end, but of course it had to and it all felt like a dream. There’s talk of turning the tables, with rumours of a road trip – Happy Valley Pride Goes to Duckie.  We’re already clicking those red heels and channeling Dorothy ‘There’s no place like Duckie’.

It was reminiscent of Narnia meets Nightmare on Elm Street.  Dark, sexy, tribal.