Credit: Diane Muldowney

A family fun day bringing Pendle’s diverse communities together is taking place on Saturday 29th June in Nelson, Lancashire.

The Pendle Festival of Culture is part of This is Nelson, which is the arts and culture strand of the Nelson Town Deal. The Festival is taking place along Market Street and Scotland Road in Nelson town centre from 12noon to 6pm. The theme of this year’s festival is “Proud to be Pendle” in celebration of Pendle Council’s 50th birthday.

The festival will feature a spectacular line-up of local and international musicians and performers, including Aaron Hipgrave- Lewis, Sista Jam, BlowJangles, The Nasheed Choir, Stone the Crows, and headlining the event will be internationally renowned British – Indian Banghra artist, H-Dhami. There will also be over 20 interactive art workshops, craft stalls, face painting, character appearances, street food, spoken word, storytelling and funfair rides.

Community Groups and local residents from across Pendle have also been helping shape the Festival Arch, an art installation jointly commissioned by and which will be shared with the National Festival of Making over in Blackburn in July, by artist and design collective Dual Works. Dual Works have designed a bespoke structure informed by the local communities across our two Lancashire towns reflecting the sense of place and geography that draws us together and unites us, co-created by the community. Over the past few weeks communities have been contributing to the development of the festival arch and over the weekends, the structure will welcome guests and become a pop-up space to interact with.

Kicking off the day will be the arrival of the Peace Walks, and for the first time this year, there will be three routes to choose from. Walk leaders will guide people along the routes starting from Brierfield, Colne & Barrowford crossing through scenic countryside before joining together along the canal and making their way into the centre of town.

People wishing to join the Brierfield to Nelson walk should meet at 9.45am at the main entrance of Pendleside Hospice on Colne Road, BB10 2LW. For the Colne to Nelson walk, meet at 9.45am at St Bartholomew’s Church, 28 Ivegate, Church Street, Colne, BB8 0LQ. And to join the new route from Barrowford to Nelson, meet at 9.45am at Pendle Heritage Centre, Colne Road Barrowford, BB9 6JQ. All groups, families, organisations and individuals are invited to decorate a flag that they can carry with them on the day. The flag is an expression and celebration of how people connect to the chosen theme through words, images and colour. Maj from Walk and Talk said: “These walks will be a fantastic opportunity to get together with friends and family, as well as meet new friends whilst taking in Pendle’s beautiful countryside.”

There will be something for everyone, with a Young Person’s Makers market, interactive street-based Climate Fresk and Climate Talkaoke, where anyone can join and share their views on the climate crisis. For those who missed This is Nelson’s ‘Stories We Tell: Nelson’, an immersive audio experience celebrating the stories and lives of ordinary residents, there will be chance to hear the audio alongside footage from the events, plus find out more about This is Nelson.

Holly Noonan of Building Bridges Pendle, one of the This Is Nelson partners said: “Please come along and join us at this fantastic event, especially if you’ve never been before.  We have a wonderful opportunity to come together to celebrate our cultures, communities and each other.”

Over at 3B Systems, with kind permission of the owners, visitors can add their audio to the Nelson Sound Map and enjoy interactive artist-led play sessions from Hwa Young Jung who has been recruiting local people for Nelson’s first ‘Play Respond Unit’ as part of This is Nelson. Visitors can also have a go at immersive digital experiences created by students from Nelson and Colne College alongside Associate Artist and Nelson Reimagined Curator Andy Abbott including a demo version of the ‘Dreamwork: Pendle’ virtual reality video game.

At 2pm there will be an ‘in-conversation’ between the artists, Boff Whalley, Burnley-raised musician, writer, fell runner and playwright best known as lead guitarist for the anarcho-punk and folk band Chumbawamba, and Emma Bearman of Playful Anywhere, a Leeds-based social enterprise with a mission to catalyse creativity,  inventiveness and playfulness where we work, live and travel.

For more information about the Festival and to register for The Peace Walk and flag kit, email

Early thanks are given to our sponsors and supporters for this event, the Big Lottery Community Fund, This is Nelson, Nelson Town Council, Pendle Borough Council, Pendle Walk and Talk, NHS Active Pendle, St Bartholomew's Church, Pendleside Hospice, Colne BID, 3B Systems, Building Bridges, BPRCVS, Super Slow Way and Volunteer Police Cadets. Pendle Festival of Culture is part of This Is Nelson, supported by Arts Council England.




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