Concert aims to raise vital funds to support Kirkstall Festival

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kirkstall festival
Kirkstall Festival is run by volunteers.

Kirkstall Festival will be holding a special concert to raise much-needed funds to help secure the future of the popular annual event.

Two covers bands – Weetwood Mac & Gary Stewart’s Graceland – have both agreed to play a fundraising event in Kirkstall Abbey the night before the main festival on Friday, 12 July. This will be the first time the two bands have appeared on the same bill, ahead of their hugely anticipated gig at York Barbican on 21 December 2024.

Attendees will be able to hear some of the greatest hits from two of the most successful albums in musical history – Rumours and Graceland – together with other tracks from two of the most successful recording artists the world has ever seen.

The Kirkstall Festival has now been a mainstay in the Leeds social calendar since 1981, attracting up to 25,000 people of all ages each year to the picturesque grounds of the 12th century Kirkstall Abbey.

The 45th annual Kirkstall Festival will take place on Saturday, 13 July 2024. The event is a full un-ticketed event which usually attracts around 25,000 people.

One of the organisers, Nick Davis, told WLD the festival is organised by unpaid volunteers and is the largest such event in Leeds.

He said costs for insurance, marquees, generators, tables, chairs, communications, artists, toilets, toilet rolls, bin bags, skips and signs are going up every year. In 2000 the Festival cost £6,000 to stage, but with additional health and safety costs, more events, additional paperwork, licenses, permits, the cost has grown over the years to around £33,000.

“We receive around £8,000 in grants, sponsorship, and donations (although these are proving harder to come by),” Mr Davis added. “The rest has to be raised on the day. We hope people will support the festival and help secure our financial future.”

The festival is organised by unpaid volunteers – the largest such event in Leeds – and all proceeds will go to support the Festival.

Tickets, priced £20, are available, along with Butler’s and Kirkstall Forge VIP tickets at £45. A bar and food will be available. Tickets can be booked here.

Volunteer at KirkFest

Are you looking to volunteer at Kirkstall Festival this year? Organisers are having a social meet-up to bring everyone together at the Kirkstall Bridge Inn at 7pm on Sunday, 28 April. All welcome.

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