New music. food, arts festival for Valley Gardens

Flashback to Thornborough Festival which helped inspire HappyGate Festival.
Flashback to Thornborough Festival which helped inspire HappyGate Festival.

By Graham Chalmers

A grass roots community event run by volunteers looks set to take over Valley Gardens in Harrogate for one day next summer.

HappyGate will be an inclusive and family-friendly outdoor daytime event featuring local arts, crafts, dance, poetry, live music and a local food market.

The proposed event is part of a growing trend towards independents events, cafes and shops in Harrogate and a reaction to the success of last year’s Tour de France ‘Fan Park.

Blake Sanders, formerly one of the organisers of local outdoor music events such as Dragongate Festival and Thornborough Festival, said: “The vision behind our grassroots community arts event is to bring the people of Harrogate together to celebrate our town’s rich artistic and musical talents. We want to engage with as many community groups as possible and give them a platform to show off their creative skills.”

The proposals include a large marquee to house an acoustic stage and bar, as well as space for exhibition stands.

The lead organiser of HappyGate is Gary Simmonds who runs the Sunrise Cafe on Skipton Road. Other members include Paul Rawlinson, owner of award-winning cafe/restaurant Balterzen and Norse who is organising a food market.

Also involved are artistKirsty Greenwood, Dan Mizen of Harrogate’s Active Audio studios, Lisa Brough, Suzie Hart MBE, Roosters Brewery and Harrogate Town Football Club’s 1919 venue.

HappyGate organisers are holding a Christmas fundraising event at Harrogate Town Football Club 1919 venue on Thursday, December 17 with live music and a disco.

Anyone who would like to get involved with HappyGate, should email joininhappygate.co.uk