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Ilkley's unique garden music festival returns

For a second year, music will fill the streets and gardens of Ilkley on 9th July as members of the community play and sing across town for Ilkley Live.

The festival started last year as a way to bring the community together after lock-down and was so popular that it is back. And it looks like it will be even bigger this year.

The festival, which organisers believe to be the only one of its kind, is run by the community for community. Anyone can play in their garden (or borrow one) and the program is published so that the public can walk from one garden to another to see music of their choice.

It was an immediate hit, says organiser Dan Hammond: ‘As soon as we posted the first announcement that the festival was to take place, people loved the idea and started signing up and practicing! It was a wonderful afternoon, and everyone said we had to do it again.

‘The heart of the festival is the community. It is very much a do-it-yourself event and no money changes hands. People have improvised stages, offered their gardens, talked to venues to secure a place to play… It has been truly heartening!’

Anyone who wants to play can just sign up at, any performers who need a space to perform can request on the website and the community will find a spot for them.

The provisional festival line-up is available, which so far includes a flute duet, a full jazz band and several great pop and rock outfits.

Photos: from the 2021 Ilkley Live


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