Festival season in Bradford this July. Virtually.

This time last year it seemed Bradford was hosting a festival almost every weekend. We had the Bradford Festival, the Literature Festival, the Fringe Festival, the Science Festival, the North Parade Festival, the Food & Drink Festival. This year has been just that little bit different. While some of us may be emerging from lockdown this weekend, large public gatherings are not yet allowed so there’s still plenty of online events and activities in Bradford to keep us entertained.

And Bradford yer doing us proud. We have digital Literature and Fringe Festivals, online storytelling and poetry nights, quizzes, markets and discos. I’ll be adding to the list, so any suggestions please do share. I’ll also post new events and activities on my Facebook and Twitter pages.

Best of Bradford:

  • BCB Radio is doing sterling work keeping us up to date with all things Bradford, they’re keen to hear from you too with your experiences in these strange times. Find BCB at 106.6fm or online.
  • The team at Visit Bradford has put together a huge range of activities and things to do on their regularly updated website.

Events in date order:

  • Front Room Poetry hosted by Kirsty Taylor featuring London based artist MOAK and followed by an open mic with Bradford’s best poets. 2 July at 7pm.
  • Tenx9 bring their storytelling night online via zoom on Friday 3 July at 7.30pm – this month’s theme – privilege.
  • Bradford Cathedral’s Faith Tour Online visits five places of worship in real time on Saturday 4 July from 10am to 3.30pm.
  • The Bradford Fringe Festival goes digital and a month of comedy, drama, poetry and workshops begins in conversation with comedian Billy Pearce on Saturday 4 July at 7pm.
  • This year’s online Bradford Literature Festival culminates with actor Christopher Eccleston and poet Lemn Sissay in conversation on Sunday 5 July at 9am via youtube.
  • Dave the Quizmaster  hosts his regular Bradford quizzes online Tuesdays and Thursdays and can deliver bespoke quizzes to your mailbox too.
  • The Live Room in Saltaire presents a weekly live online gig every Friday or Saturday at 8pm. Tickets on the website.
  • Cafe Scientifique returns with a discussion on “Covid19 – the greatest ever scientific race”  in conjunction with the Science and Media Museum on Thursday 16 July at 6.30pm-8pm.
  • Join the online Bradford Street Market every Thursday from 9am with the best of Bradford’s independent makers, producers and artists sharing their wares.
  • Ursula from Plant One on Me Yorkshire hosts a plant care Instagram live every Sunday at 4pm with tips on a different plant each week.
  • For T’ Culture, Social Unity evening every Thursday with the best of live poetry, music, spoken word, and theatre from traditionally underrepresented artists across West Yorkshire.
  • Front Room Disco DJ Wil Oddsox brings an eclectic range of music to your living room via youtube and Spotify every Saturday from 8pm.
  • Join the Thornwood Alpacas and Care Farm in Oxenhope for Facebook live videos, virtual zoo and their animal care online classes. The centre reopens 4 July.

Places to visit:


  • The Bradford Literature Festival has launched a range of online groups and meetups including poetry nights and a book club. Take a look at the website and sign up to the newsletter for regular updates.
  • Bradford-based theatre company Bloomin Buds has been delivering arts and crafts activities and music to isolated people and those without access to the internet. It’s also in the process of putting some of its performances and activities online too.
  • Take part in the Impressions Gallery’s Family Archives project, share your stories, photos and heirlooms during lockdown.
  • Cook with Luigi from Emporio Italia restaurant in Ilkley, sharing his favourite Italian recipes.
  • Join Us Move Play has a new website full of simple, fun activities and games to keep kids active during the lockdown.
  • Check out ICLSEducation on Instagram with creative ‘how to’ videos from origami, drawing, stress balls to face masks.
  • Cecil Green Arts has a weekly creative arts challenge #Bradfordconnects using objects around your home.
  • Hive Community Arts Bradford has a creative hour of classes via Facebook. Choose from Arabic calligraphy, painting, printmaking, pottery and woodwork.
  • The Yorkshire Film Archive has over 100 years of Bradford on film to watch for free.

Classes and learning:

  • Don’t miss Kala Sangam’s morning dance exercise classes. If you’re working from home, take a break at 10.30 every weekday with a super mini dance routine to stretch those limbs.
  • Liberty Arts Yorkshire has launched its dance classes online from tap to adult dance fit, 80s and even 50s jive. See the website for payment details. It also has free bedtime stories for children on its Facebook page.
  • Join Lloyd Thompson on Tranquil TV for his online breakdance lessons.
  • Lisa Kate Health & Fitness has moved her yoga, pilates and barre classes online. Pay weekly or monthly for different classes every day.
  • Lucy Yoga will be putting her dru yoga classes online soon. In the meantime, try out her recent youtube class.

Bradford Podcasts

  • For a very Bradford view of the world, my new podcast Know Your Place Bradford features good people doing good things in the city.
  • Novameets is presented by musician David Nowakowski speaking to the great and good of Bradford often with a sporting focus.
  • So This Works  is a podcast about work and life balance with film maker Marcus Lee of Reel Street Productions.


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