Race countdown begins with arts festival

Hope & Social perform on stage.
Hope & Social perform on stage.

A two month long arts festival to mark the first ever Tour de Yorkshire started this week.

The festival will showcase the county’s vibrant arts scene before the international cycle race in May.

Theatres, concert venues, galleries and museums will be promoting their work with more than 200 events.

It follows last year’s successful Yorkshire Festival which preceded the Tour de France.

Pianist Jessica Wei Zhu kicked off the Tour de Yorkshire festival at The Venue, Leeds College of Music on Wednesday.

Northern Ballet’s Elves and the Shoemaker also performed at Harrogate Theatre.

And as part of the festival, the Stanley Ferry Viking era logboat went back on display at Wakefield Museum this week.

The Hepworth Wakefield, which will be one of the best vantage points to see the riders pass through the city, is also hosting events throughout the festival.

Spectators can watch the world’s top cycles from the gallery’s garden on Sunday, May 3.

But before that, from on Sunday, April 19 it will be running an introduction to felt making where people can take their work hom.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity said: “As we saw in last year’s Yorkshire Festival our county has an amazing array of art and culture.

“The festival is the perfect platform for artists of all kinds to show off their talents.”

The Tour de Yorkshire takes place from Friday, May 1 to Sunday, May 3.

During the race musicians Hope and Social will be performing at the start in Bridlington and the finish in Leeds.

The band said: “Last year’s Yorkshire Festival was an incredible experience for us, working with 1,500 people across the county.

“We’re thrilled to be joining in with this year’s Tour de Yorkshire and inviting the good people to come bang the drums, sing the songs, and make as much racket as we possibly can.”

For more information visit www.tourdeyorkshirefestival.com.