Valley Gardens to host return of independent festival

Flashback - DJ Trev with crowds at Happygate  festival last year in the Valley Gardens. (1607244AM5)
Flashback - DJ Trev with crowds at Happygate festival last year in the Valley Gardens. (1607244AM5)

Thousands of people will once again be flocking to Happygate festival in the Valley Gardens this summer.

Organisers of this community-led, independent arts and music day for all the family say they had no choice but to bring it back.

Chief organiser Gary Simmonds said: “We are putting on Happygate again this year. We had to really, seeing as it was more successful than we expected!

“We have two main aims, firstly to raise money for two very deserving local charities, and secondly, to entertain the good people of Harrogate without it costing them an arm and a leg.”

A combined effort between local community groups and independents, the free all-day event will offer a wide range of entertainment, from local rock groups to dance DJs to, arts and crafts to children’s activities.

The over-riding concern at Happygate is to be friendly, relaxed and truly inclusive.

Gary Simmonds said: “It’s a festival for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re five or 95; it doesn’t matter whatever your gender, colour, income bracket, sexual orientation, or ethnic background.

“It doesn’t even matter whether you voted in or out, there is plenty for everybody at Happygate.”

Taking place from 11am to 9pm on on Sunday, July 23m, two local charities will benefit from this year’s Happygate:

Ependymoma, a children’s brain tumour research charity set up in memory of Chris Bramhall a local musician.

Craft Aid International, run by Susie Hart MBE, a Harrogate-based charity that enables, empowers and supports people with disabilities and provides free weekly therapeutic craft workshops for disabled adults within the local community, particularly those who are socially isolated.

The events at Happygate include:

Brass band music by The Harrogate Band.

Local rock bands and acoustic acts.

Local DJ's including Rory Hoy and DJ Trev.

Modern choir All Together Now.

Daleside Beer tent and various food stall.

Craft Aid International's handcraft demonstration.

Art and sculpture.

Childrens' activities.

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