Video & photos: Kirkstall Festival returns to huge crowds and glorious sunshine

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Kirkstall festival 2022 pipers
Pipes entertained the crowds at Kirkstall Festival 2022. Photo Keef Williamson

Words & Video: Keef Williamson

Thousands of people flocked to the return of Kirkstall Festival after a two-year absence due to Covid.

Held in the grounds of Kirkstall Abbey, yesterday’s festival featured performances of all types, from orchestras to rock bands, battling Vikings to stand-up comedy.

Video captures sunny Kirkstall Festival 2022. Video: Keef Williamson

Like a mini-Glastonbury, these took place simultaneously in multiple venues – the main stage, the ruins, the tea tent, main arena, small arena and the cloisters. There was also a huge funfair at the entrance, then refreshments from the Kirkstall Bridge Inn, Butler’s of Kirkstall Forge, and numerous food trucks.

The footpath encircling the Abbey was lined on both sides with stalls from dozens of small businesses and community organisations.

vikings kirkstall festival 2022
Beware the Vikings in Kirkstall! Photo: Keef Williamson

The glorious weather brought out enormous crowds, but one of the organisers told WLD­:

“The sunshine has been a bit of a problem for a few vendors with stalls in full sunshine selling things like chocolate and candles!”

Meanwhile WLD editor John Baron was chilly in the shade under a leafy tree!

Scary times on the Ghost Train at Kirkstall festival. Photo: Keef Williamson

The festival is run entirely by volunteers from the Kirkstall Festival Committee. If you’d like to get involved with next year’s Festival, visit their website.

WLD reader and photographer Susan Tellum was also on hand to capture the festivities. Check out her slideshow of images below:

This year’s festival was held on Saturday, 9 July 2022.

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