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Stars come out for rock 'n' roll picnic
Buy this photo » Ben Skirrow, nine, from East Carlton, and Tommy Matthews,11, from Ilkley, sample the food.
A star line-up will take centre stage in the Riverside Gardens in a weekend of rock ’n’ roll, partying and picnics.
The third week of Ilkley Summer Festival will see two days of music, entertainment and family fun in the park by the river, in a new event for this year’s festival.
After the busy three-day Continental Street Market on The Grove, the focus will move to the Riverside Gardens.
The highlight of the admission-free Picnic ’n’ Rock event, on Saturday, will be a live performance by rising star Imelda May.
The Irish rockabilly-style singer has shared a stage with some of the world’s best-known musicians and singers.
She gathered fans with recent television appearances and, this summer, she has performed at top live events including Glastonbury Festival.
Born in Dublin in 1974, Imelda sings at The Candy Box Burlesque Club in Birmingham, and has won acclaim much further afield with her two albums, Love Tattoo and No Turning Back.
She appeared on BBC2 music show Later…with Jools Holland in September 2008, going on to make more live and television appearances this year, and winning best Irish female at the 20009 Meteor Music Awards. She performs covers and songs she has written herself.
The Bradford Council-staged event is set to have a retro 1950s feel. Ilkley’s own Jolly Jivers will be DJs, and the other bands in the line-up include Five Dollar Shoes, of Ilkley, Boogie Up A Storm, from Bradford, and Leeds rock ’n’ roll band Juke Box Jive.
The concert stage is to be set up inside an open marquee at the Riverside Gardens, to give the audience some shelter from the elements come rain or shine.
The owners of some classic American cars have been invited to come along to the event and a dance floor will be set up inside the marquee. The Jolly Jivers hope to have some rock ’n’ roll dancers there, and to persuade some Mods and Rockers to put in appearance too.
The Picnic ’n’ Rock concert will take place from 1pm to 9pm.
A children’s fair will be set up in the Riverside Gardens all day Saturday and Sunday.
Christchurch, on The Grove, will also be a venue for live music on Saturday. Christian singer/songwriter Garth Hewitt will perform at the church, starting at 7.30pm.
Picnic ’n’ Party will be the theme of the second day of music and entertainment, from 4pm to 8.30pm on Sunday. Top of the bill is tribute band Abba Gold, who have performed more than 2,000 shows, playing to more than 2 million people.
Billed as the best Abba tribute band in Europe, Karen Graham (Agnetha), Mark Stratton (Bjorn), Emma Jones (Frida), Andrew Bowen (Benny), plus Paul Evans as drummer Thor, their largest single audience was a crowd of 93,000 when they played at a festival in Aberdeen in 2001.
Music will also come from band Psycho Slinkys, who play a mix of covers and original material.
Street theatre performance group Bread and Butter Theatre Company will add Ilkley to their impressive catalogue of venues, which ranges from Los Angeles Comedy Cabaret Club and the Millennium Dome to village halls in Shetland and even the world’s largest pantomime horse race.
Those in search of a quieter afternoon on Sunday looking at artwork, can drop into the third Open Studios event of the month, being held by sisters Joy Godfrey and Chris Bailey. They will open up their workshops, on Back Nelson Road, from 2pm to 4pm on Sunday, letting visitors see their work, and discuss their techniques of painting, silkscreen printing and fused glass.
The next in this month’s series of family workshops at the Manor House Museum and Art Gallery, Castle Yard, will be a look at Fossils, Plants and Animals on Tuesday.
More guided heritage walks will take place on Wednesday. A walk in search of Prehistoric Rombalds Moor will set off from the Cow and Calf car park, Hangingstone Road, at 2pm. The Villas of West Ilkley will be the subject of another guided heritage walk later in the day. This walk will start at the Manor House at 7pm.
Children can explore life in space next Thursday when the WOW Space Bus comes in to land on The Grove.
Science, technology, maths and engineering – but made fun to learn – will combine in a space-age experience.
Youngsters can climb aboard the Space Bus from 11am on Thursday to enjoy experience a flight simulation and animation landscapes of the Moon and Mars.
A Lego mind storm, mobile planetarium, activity pods and science experiments can also be found aboard the bus.
Highlights still to come in this year’s Ilkley Summer Festival include the Latino Cabaret on The Grove, raising money for breast cancer charities, and the Last Night of Proms festival finale, another open-air concert on The Grove.
Theatre, music, street circus and dance will combine in the Rombalds Revels workshops and activities, from August 20 to 22.
The events are presented by the Friends of the Manor House in partnership with Olicana History Society and Ilkley Playhouse.
Places for budding actors aged 16 and over can be booked in two days of theatre workshops at Church House, Church Street, under leading Yorkshire Theatre director Nobby Dimon. The workshops will culminate in it a performance of A Plank & A Passion – a ‘mercurial mix of medieval murder mystery and modern theatre methods’ on August 22.
Junior theatre workshops for under 16s will take place at Ilkley Playhouse, Weston Road, on the creation of a piece of theatre telling the story of Noah’s Flood, in the style of a medieval mystery play.
As well as the lively theatre performances resulting from the workshops, there will be more street entertainment with its roots in the Middle Ages on August 22. Morris dancers, jugglers, stilt walkers, fire eaters, magic and music will be on offer in the Manor House courtyard.
There will be a chance to sample sweet delights made to medieval recipes and a chance to buy plants used in cookery and medicine in the Middle Ages.
A procession will take place, and anyone who would like to join in can drop into a free workshop at the Manor House on Thursday August 20, to make a suitable hat, helmet or banner.
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