Okay, so this post is about a festival in Heckmondwike, which I know isn’t in Leeds BUT… it is in West Yorkshire and it is about an ace event, and it is my blog – so I can do what I want.

Heckyfest is an annual event held in the Green Park in Heckmondwike. It’s organised by the same crew who bring us the Crown of Lights acoustic and band nights – free monthly gigs at the Comrades club. (Speaking of, Mr James Preston is playing there on Friday 4 March, doors at 8pm – I look forward to seeing you there!)

James helps out with the sound at Heckyfest each year and I generally set up camp there and watch the bands whilst various friends come and join me throughout the day. This year, it’s intended that the festival will take place on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 July.

Here are some reasons why HeckyFest is great:

  • There are 26 acts (16 hours of music) across the two days, showcasing some of the best of our local (and not so local) talent
  • It’s FREE to attend
  • There’s entertainment for the kids including face painting and a bouncey slide
  • There is always a really friendly couple in a burger van, and they sell perfect festival burgers – a thin beef patty with a square of melted cheese in a floury bap – yum
  • You can bring your dog
  • It’s fun for all the family – you quite often see four generations of the same family there
  • There’s an ice-cream van – or you can nip across the road to Maccy Ds for a McFlurry
  • You can bring your own booze (no glass though please) so it’s a cheap way to enjoy a few drinks with friends
  • It’s right next to the bus hub so getting there is easy
  • There are plenty of shops around, including Morrisons, so you can get yourself a picnic
  • There’s always a great atmosphere
Issimo playing at HeckyFest 2015. (Image taken from Crown of Lights Facebook page)

Issimo playing at HeckyFest 2015. (Image taken from Crown of Lights Facebook page)

Here’s the catch though – the organisers need £16,000 to make this two-day event happen. Previously, Kirklees Council has funded the festival, with some support from local businesses. This isn’t sustainable however and this year we need to raise the money rather than rely on the Council. £16k sounds a lot doesn’t it, but when you factor in the insurance, stewards, overnight security, safety officer, first aid, stage & PA, toilet hire, kids entertainment, litter pickers, tech crew costs, refuse collection, not to mention the crowdfunding fee itself, it soon adds up.

That’s why Donal O’Driscoll, the festival organiser, has set up a crowdfunding page: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/14th-heckyfest. There are a number of pledge options, starting at just £5. Your money is only taken after 13 March and only if the organisers reach the £16,000 target. Although the team is encouraging all types of pledges, and it’s great to see people donating any amount, we really need local businesses to get involved and go for some of the sponsorship packages if we’re going to reach our target.

So here’s my plea to you – if you could donate a tenner to make this amazing event happen, that would be great – but what would be even better would be if you could think of some local companies you could ask if they’d be interested in pledging. There are plenty of sponsorship options, starting from £60 for a quarter page ad in the glossy festival programme, right through to £1,000 for a banner on the railings around the park, a banner on the main stage and a stall/exhibition stand over the two days.

Without wanting to give too much of a hard-sell, it really is a very cheap way of promoting your business to thousands of people. All ages attend HeckyFest, and the majority of people are from West Yorkshire so it’s ideal for any local company.

You can donate on the webpage, or if you’re interested in sponsorship options and want to talk it through, you can contact me or e-mail Donal O’Driscoll (donal@crownoflights.org.uk).

Go on – support your local community – keep the music scene alive – help make HeckyFest happen.