Tour de Yorkshire announces arts festival

Hope & Social will perform during the Tour de Yorkshire Festival.
Hope & Social will perform during the Tour de Yorkshire Festival.

The first ever Tour de Yorkshire Festival has been launched to celebrate the county’s fantastic arts and cultural scene ahead of the inaugural international cycle race in May.

The Tour de Yorkshire Festival begins on 1 April 2015, and concludes on 3 May 2015, showcasing a month of events in the run up to race weekend.

Theatres, concert venues, festivals, galleries and museums across the county are taking the opportunity to promote their work with over 200 events expected in the programme.

The event follows last year’s hugely successful Yorkshire Festival, which was the first such event to precede the Tour de France.

The festival, which won Cultural Event of the Year 2014 at the UK Event Awards, included stage performances, art exhibitions, and music and dance events.

The Yorkshire Festival will return in 2016.

On opening day pianist Jessica Wei Zhu will appear at The Venue, Leeds College of Music and on race days another festival highlight includes fun and surprises from Leeds-based musical maestros Hope & Social, who will be performing at the start and finish towns.

Wakefield hosts the start of stage three on May 3. See today’s Wakefield Express for a special two-page report on the route.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The Tour de Yorkshire Festival is a fantastic opportunity to once again showcase the county’s amazing arts and cultural offerings, and after the incredible success of last year’s Yorkshire Festival, I am quite sure it will be prove to be another fantastic event for the county.”

Mark Fielding, Tour de Yorkshire Festival producer, said: “This month-long festival features some first class performances at leading venues right across the county, and with the programme already shaping up well, it promises to be a wonderful showcase for Yorkshire’s arts and culture.”

The Tour de Yorkshire Festival has been made possible with support from Arts Council England, T&R Theakston Brewers of Masham, commercial gas supplier CNG, and Wakefield Grammar School Foundation.

For more information on the Tour de Yorkshire Festival, and for a full, up-to-date programme, visit