New indie festival in Valley Gardens aims to be 'inclusive'

Harrogate's cherished Valley Gardens.
Harrogate's cherished Valley Gardens.

The organisers of Happygate, the first-ever grassroots arts and music to be held in Harrogate’s Valley Gardens, say they aim to make this new event truly inclusive.

Run by a committee of volunteers with any profits going to local community groups and charities, this all-day event is packed with events and is open to all.
Main organiser Gary Simmonds said: “Happygate is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re five or 95.
“It doesn’t matter what your gender is, colour, income bracket, sexual orientation or ethnic background.
“It doesn’t even matter whether you voted in or out. There will be something for everybody at Happygate.”
Running from 11am to 9pm on Sunday, July 24, various local groups will host family-friendly activities at the bandstand, the Sun Pavilion, the two domes at the Colonnades, the lawns and more.
The main stage in Valley Gardens will showcase a wide variety of talented local musicains – from rock to Motown, from indie to swing to modern choir All Together Now while a second stage will offer acoustic musicians.
Helping to create a party spirit will be the area’s two tops DJs, Trev and Rory Hoy, part of a cast of vinyl DJs.
Other events at Happygate include African drumming from Drums Agogo, cheerleading from Harrogate Hornets, circus skills from Butterfingers, trickery from Magic Andrew, an exhibition of local artists courtesy of Beulah62, a treasure trail, a skool disco and craft skill classes. As well as story stelling, Happygate will also include a poetry corner run by Steph Jones of successful annual literary performance festival Release the Hounds.
Food and drink will be on offer throughout the offer with beer provided by award-winning Harrogate brewers Daleside.
Happygate’s main aims are: to promote the vibrancy of the town, encourage community cohesion, showcase the fanastic artistic and musical talent in Harrogate, support local businesses and donate to local good causes.
This all-day celebration of everything local will be raising funds for Fighting Ependymoma, Craft Aid International, a Harrogate-based charity run by Susie Hart MBE, and Harrogate Homeless Project.