2017

Where it all began

How it all began…
Way back in the mists of time – well, the summer of 1977 actually – a small group of like-minded people decided the market town of Leek should do more to to shout about the wealth of artistic and cultural talent its people possessed.

Thus was born Leek Arts Festival and into the world it came, kicking and struggling, for a week of events including a piano recital, a generous helping of folk music and a concert by Leek Choral Society.

So well received was Leek’s inaugural arts festival that within a few short years it was expanded – first to two weeks and then to cover the whole of May each year with a programme of more than 40 events.

Artists to have delighted Leek audiences over the years have included famous choirs and brass bands such as the Morriston Orpheus Choir and the Black Dyke Mills Band; members of the Halle Orchestra, Humphrey Littleton, Helen Shapiro, George Melly, Steve Gibbons, Climax Blues Band and, of course, the ever popular Fairport Convention.
And the programme now encompasses a whole range of non-music events including the Moorlands Open Arts Exhibition, poetry and prose, film and photography.Homegrown talent – including Demon and Hunter – have also featured heavily in the programme and the festival has provided a solid foundation for many artists and bands from across the UK and beyond who have subsequently gone on to greater things.

Despite various financial hiccups, the enthusiastic band of volunteers who make Leek Arts Festival happen each year, put their heart and soul into assembling the programme and trying – successfully, so far – to ensure it at least breaks even.

And a shortage of funding is often not the only headache to be overcome. In April 2012, just 10 days before the festival was due to get under way, we were informed that The Swan – the central venue for festival events for more than 30 years – was to close with immediate effect.

That particular crisis was solved by the actions of the Foxlowe Arts Centre trustees who stepped in and offered their facilities to a festival committee desperate for a new home.

As things turned out, the move to the Foxlowe proved more successful than either party could have imagined, with improved audiences at festival events and prodigious bar takings for the arts centre.

The Foxlowe Arts Centre is now the official home of Leek Arts Festival and we look forward to a long and happy relationship in the years to come.

Upcoming Events
May
30
Tue
7:45 pm Cinema – Manchester by the Sea (15) @ Foxlowe Arts Centre
Cinema – Manchester by the Sea (15) @ Foxlowe Arts Centre
May 30 @ 7:45 pm
Cinema - Manchester by the Sea (15) @ Foxlowe Arts Centre | England | United Kingdom
Manchester by the Sea (15) Foxlowe Films will be showing films every Tuesday evening during the Arts Festival 2017. All screenings will start at 7.45 and cost £5.00 per ticket. For full details of dates[...]
May
31
Wed
8:00 pm Peak District Big Band @ Foxlowe Arts Centre
Peak District Big Band @ Foxlowe Arts Centre
May 31 @ 8:00 pm
Peak District Big Band @ Foxlowe Arts Centre | England | United Kingdom
An evening of big band sounds and jazz with some of the most talented young musicians in the country. Directed by John Milner. The Foxlowe 8 for 8.30pm
Jun
1
Thu
8:30 pm Leek’s Secret Comedy Club @ Foxlowe Arts Centre
Leek’s Secret Comedy Club @ Foxlowe Arts Centre
Jun 1 @ 8:30 pm
Leek's Secret Comedy Club @ Foxlowe Arts Centre | Leek | United Kingdom
With Alistair Barrie, David Ward, Brennan Reece, Karen Sherrard and compere Dave Bryon Door open 7:30pm for 8:30pm start Tickets available from The Foxlowe or online
Jun
2
Fri
8:30 pm Neck + Support @ Foxlowe Arts Centre
Neck + Support @ Foxlowe Arts Centre
Jun 2 @ 8:30 pm
Neck + Support @ Foxlowe Arts Centre | England | United Kingdom
London-Irish contemporaries of their great mates, The Dropkick Murphys & Flogging Molly, Neck are, simply, the real deal. Known as ‘The Heavy Artillery of Irish Music’, and consisting of a Clash-inspired electric backline, an authentic[...]
Jun
3
Sat
8:00 pm Shappi Korsandi @ Foxlowe Arts Centre
Shappi Korsandi @ Foxlowe Arts Centre
Jun 3 @ 8:00 pm
Shappi Korsandi @ Foxlowe Arts Centre | Leek | United Kingdom
SHAPPI KHORSANDI – ‘OH MY COUNTRY!’ From Morris Dancing to Morrissey (plus support). Presented by Off The Kerb Productions. Shappi is celebrating the fortieth anniversary of her arrival in Britain. She’s reclaiming patriotism, sending a[...]
Jun
6
Tue
7:45 pm Cinema – Lion (PG) @ Foxlowe Arts Centre
Cinema – Lion (PG) @ Foxlowe Arts Centre
Jun 6 @ 7:45 pm
Cinema - Lion (PG) @ Foxlowe Arts Centre | England | United Kingdom
Lion (PG) Foxlowe Films will be showing films every Tuesday evening during the Arts Festival 2017. All screenings will start at 7.45 and cost £5.00 per ticket. For full details of dates etc visit www.foxloweartscentre.org.uk
Jun
8
Thu
8:30 pm Birmingham Conservatoire Folk En... @ Foxlowe Arts Centre
Birmingham Conservatoire Folk En... @ Foxlowe Arts Centre
Jun 8 @ 8:30 pm
Birmingham Conservatoire Folk Ensemble @ Foxlowe Arts Centre | England | United Kingdom
Another group requiring no introduction to Leek Arts Festival Fans. Always colourful and energetic, the Folk Ensemble are one of the highlights of the programme. Led by folk music legend Joe Broughhton, this group of[...]