New Mills Festival embraces community

lantern paradeNew Mills Festival – always an explosion of community creativity – is this year bigger and bolder than ever before.

For two weeks the town will play host to a feast of gigs, gatherings, walks, talks and exhibitions with the now famous lantern procession as its finale on September 28.

Girl power is definitely topping the bill this year with three of the biggest events involving female singers.

Duo Rita Saxmark and Sabina Agnas are back by popular demand for the fifth time and will be performing their repertoire of songs at the Providence United Reformed Church on September 14.

Edale’s own folk singer Bella Hardy and her band The Midnight Watch will be at Spring Bank Arts Centre on September 20 and Ren Harvieu, whose debut album Through the Night made it to number 5 in the UK album charts will be performing at Torr Vale Mill on September 29.

This year the festival committee has decided to break with tradition and reverse the direction of the lantern parade and finish with a party instead of a fireworks display.

It will begin at the Rock Tavern pub and visitors will be led up Station Road to end in Market Street where the centre of the town will have been transformed for a continental-style street party.

“We’ve got food vendors from all over the world and we’re going to have acts like fire eaters and jugglers,” explained co-ordinator Lyn Bannister.

“A lot of shops will be staying open and all the pubs will be open and I think it is going to be a really good community event.”

For full details of the many events running from September 13-29 check out the festival facebook page or go to