April 12, 2013

About The Festival


The first Chapel Allerton Arts Festival took place in 1998, in response to a consultation event held to identify ways to increase the sense of community in the area. The idea for a local Arts’ Centre arose from the same event, leading to Seven opening on Harrogate Road in July 2007

This first Festival was a fairly small, low-key event. There were a few stalls on Regent Street during the day, followed by two bands on the back of a lorry in the evening. It was a great success, and over the following years the Festival evolved into the current format of three days of music, dance, stalls, children’s activities and art that celebrate the talent within the local community

Over the years there has always been a strong line-up providing plenty of entertainment and some very memorable moments. Who can forget an impromptu guest appearance from Corrine Bailey-RaeChumbawumba’s country and western bandthe Dead Pets or the incarnation of a very young 10 o’clock Curfew in

Other notable artists to have performed include 4 Day HombreBodixaChunky Butt Funky and Chicago Joe

The Jazz Sunday has also grown to become an important feature of the festival. The Jazz Sunday features a showcase of the best of up and coming bands from Leeds, with an entertaining mixture of jazz, blues and salsa. The last few festivals have seen bands such as Dread Supreme, Las Cameradas, Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra, Joel Purnell Quartet, Magic Hat Ensemble and Al Morrison’s Blues Experience. It is promoted by the Chapel Allerton organisation “Seven Jazz” who run the jazz events at Seven Arts Centre and in 2012 it was put nominated for a “best festival” award at the Jazz Yorkshire award ceremony in Dean Clough

Aside from the music there have been a lot of other exciting things going on. Where else would you see fairies dancing in the graveyard, a maze on the schools’ playing field, tree dressing, a giant puppet parade, bhangra dancers, Roger McGough, Michelle Scalley Clarke, a vintage tea dance, salsa dancers, trapeze artists, story tellers, a forest built in a single day, giant robots, scarecrow making, morris men, a graffiti project, Leeds Young Authors and Carnival Messiah…

The Arts Festival is entirely organised and run by local volunteers through Chapel Allerton Festival, a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. Although it receives some grant funding, it is largely self-funded and relies upon donations and sponsorship



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