When: August and September
Where: The Piece Hall, Halifax
What is it?
The Piece Hall, an iconic building in the heart of Halifax, will be re-opening on Tuesday 1st August, and will be hosting a series of events to celebrate.
Taking place over three weekends in August and September, Welcome is a festival of free events that will launch The Piece Hall as a landmark cultural destination, celebrating people, place, art and culture.
The first in a series of cultural seasons, Welcome will run from Tuesday 18th August to Wednesday 2nd September, welcoming local people and visitors to the UK’s only surviving cloth hall.
With support from Arts Council England, the magnificent central courtyard will become a creative arena and a backdrop to an awe-inspiring programme of cultural activities for all to enjoy.
Events will include:
Andy Sheppard’s Saxophone Massive, Friday 18th August at 6.30pm
Internationally celebrated UK saxophonist and composer Andy Sheppard, will feature in a performance together with around 120 players recruited from across the town, region and country. Saxophone Massive is a feast for the eyes and ears, onlookers will be treated to an extraordinary performance as music reverberates amongst the Georgian galleries in a spectacular musical fanfare. Free, ticketed event.
Welcome Weekend, Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th August, 12pm – 5pm
Welcome Weekend brings an extravaganza of street performance, music, comedy and theatre to The Piece Hall courtyard with an array of colourful artists from around the world. Expect creative, spontaneous and downright silly entertainment for all ages, including two temperance campaigners strolling the colonnades of The Piece Hall, gently encouraging on issues of moral etiquette. There will be puppet theatre featuring an octogenarian couple, and the Vegetable Nannies, two everyday gardeners who’ve taken their young vegetables out on a day trip. Not to mention The Smallest Theatre in the World, performed to an audience of two inside the sidecar of a motorbike. There will also be dancers, illusionists, aerialists, stilt walkers, and acrobats. Free, no tickets required.
Albesila, Architects of Air, Friday 25th – Monday 28th August
Architects of Air have travelled to 40 countries across the world and are marking their 25th anniversary by creating a stunning new luminarium Albesila, to be showcased in Halifax. A giant extraordinary inflated sculpture, half the size of a football pitch, and at points 9 meters high, the structure made up of domes, mazes and intimate pods will be taking over The Piece Hall courtyard over the Bank Holiday weekend. Visitors are invited to explore the seamless tunnels and spiralling spaces, immersing themselves in a vivid world of colour and sensory sound.
Albesila is free and unticketed, although visitors may be required to queue as capacity inside is limited. After dark, the Albesila architecture will be lit from the inside for a glowing display, in contemporary contrast to the surrounding Grade I listed building.
Enchanted Chandelier, Transe Express, Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September, 7pm
The award-winning French company will perform in awe-inspiring style as their dazzling aerial show, Enchanted Chandelier brings to a close the Welcome programme.
A circus of the sky, bell-ringing musicians and trapeze artists will weave their way amongst the crowd before being suspended at the heart of a giant structure that reaches to the heavens, 50m (165ft) above the audience. The bells and music will ring out across Halifax as the structure rises, coming to life above The Piece Hall’s dramatic colonnades and reaching into the night sky. Free, ticketed event
The Piece Hall will reopen on 1st August, Yorkshire Day. At 10am the bell will once again ring to mark the start of trading at The Piece Hall, echoing the first ever day of business in 1779 and heralding a new chapter for the magnificent Georgian structure, as a contemporary leisure, retail, cultural and heritage destination.
More info: www.thepiecehall.co.uk