2017 - Darnhill Festival


 ‘Together is the word’

Saturday 1st of July saw the fourteenth consecutive Darnhill Festival in and around Argyle Parade, a community celebration organised by Cartwheel Arts in conjunction with Darnhill Festival Association.

This year’s festival proved to be a tough one to put together with funding hiccups and last minute bookings. Fortunately Heywood Township were able to provide funding at the last minute and this, together with contributions from Heywood Activities Partnership, Guinness Partnership and Crown Oil amongst others, enabled the festival to go ahead.

Darnhill has always been “weather lucky” and this year was no different with sunshine throughout the afternoon allowing over a thousand people to join together to celebrate community, culture and creativity once again.

The theme of this year’s parade was Space, in commemoration of the 60th year anniversary of the launch of Sputnik, the first satellite. The loud and colourful parade featured local Brownie and Rainbow groups, Chrysalis and Skylight Arts wearing cosmic outfits and carrying papier-mâché planets.

The event was attended by a host of local dignitaries: Mayor and Mayoress Cllr and Mrs. Duckworth, Councillors Ray Dutton, Jacqui Beswick and Alan McCarthy, and MP for Heywood and Middleton Liz McInness all of whom showed their support and enjoyment of the festival on stage.

After the Parade the Festival included a wide range of activities, including radio/podcasts workshops in the Aspire marquee, Skylight Circus Arts, multi activity sessions run by Rochdale Youth Service,  beat the goalie with Rochdale AFC and live music on stage with Bigsby Bros performing bigband classics, Mr. Bifta, Ashley O’Toole, Katie O’Malley, local MC Zen Anarchist and clog dancing with Oakenhoof Folk Arts.

There was a drumming workshop with Handmade Samba.  The Owl and Coconut and Ellie Paskell delivered mindful art sessions, Jodie Silverman made alien spaceships, Adel Kay created celestial brooches, Sacha Bradbury planets, Kate Philbin Spiders from Mars and Professor Jiggit made Space Eggs. Danielle Porter ran a Community Reporting Workshop at the Aspire tent where young people made a review of Darnhill Festival, interviewing artists and participants – including a local girl interviewing Rochdale’s Mayor and Mayoress - you can watch the video on the right hand side of the page.

Below is the Aspire. Darnhill Youth Arts project video where you can see all the young people participating in the project in action.


Kathleen Chorlton, secretary of Darnhill Festival Association, was delighted with the day: “Together is the word that best sums up today” she said “as together we made it happen, with everyone’s help. Together is how the people in our community want to work. Together is how families wish to have fun and together we will make Darnhill Festival happen once again next year.”

The success of Darnhill Festival relies on its positive impact on our local communities. The event creates a safe and joyful environment for children and young people to enjoy with their families and friends. It’s accessible and fun, and as always, brings inspiring activities, performances and a fantastic parade.

Feedback from this year’s event, revealed 93% of children and 77% of the adults enjoyed the event very much and 96% think that the festival is very important for the community. Residents believe that Darnhill Festival is great to get people together, celebrate community cohesion, helps to keep up the morale, brings diversity and culture to the community and raises the aims and aspirations of the local young people while having fun. To the question ‘Why is Darnhill Festival important to you?’ 58% answered “because it brings people and communities together

If you’d like to find out more about the Darnhill Festival Association, or get involved by attending one of their regular meetings that take place throughout the year, please email darnhillfestival@gmail.com

Keep updated with Cartwheel Arts events and activities signing to our newsletter, visiting our website or follow and like us on twitter and Facebook.

For further information contact:

Gala Pujol Freixer, Cartwheel Arts at 01706 361300 or gala@cartwheelarts.org.uk














News 21 June 2017
Creative CPD Training available
Creative CPD Training available

Cartwheel Arts have 2 programmes of CPD training coming up, providing you with creative methods to implement Best Practice.

CPD sessions will be delivered at our Art for Wellbeing Studio, Dandelion Create in August/September 2017

News Art for Wellbeing 02 March 2017
Do. Be.
Do. Be.

Cartwheel Arts and Link4Life are excited to announce the online presence of Do.Be.

Mapping and Best Practice project of cultural and sporting activities, which promote emotional wellbeing and resilience for children and young people in the borough.

Cartwheel Arts
110 Manchester Street
OL10 1DW


T: 01706 361300 
E: admin@cartwheelarts.org.uk

Company number: 2161995
Charity number: 519394

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