Posted On: 14 Jul 2017

Taking place over three weekends in August & September ‘Welcome’ is a festival of free events that will launch The Piece Hall as a landmark cultural destination celebrating people, place, art and culture.

The first in a series of cultural seasons ‘Welcome’ will run from the 18 August to 2 September 2017, welcoming local people and visitors from across the North of England back to the UK’s only surviving cloth hall. With support from Arts Council England the magnificent central courtyard will become a creative arena like no other and a stunning backdrop to an awe-inspiring programme of cultural activities for all to enjoy.


Friday 18 August


Andy Sheppard’s ‘Saxophone Massive’, (Free, ticketed event)

Internationally celebrated UK saxophonist and composer Andy Sheppard, will feature in a performance together with around 120 players recruited from across the town, region and country.  Saxophone Massive is a feast for the eyes and ears, onlookers will be treated to an extraordinary performance as music reverberates amongst the Georgian galleries in a spectacular musical fanfare.


Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 August

Daily 12-5pm

Welcome Weekend, various artists (Free)

Welcome Weekend brings an extravaganza of street performance, music, comedy and theatre to The Piece Hall courtyard with an array of colourful artists from around the world. Tickets are not required. Expect creative, spontaneous and downright silly entertainment for all ages.

  • Artizani – ‘Syrovy’: street theatre where everyday objects conspire against the harassed performer - newspapers become sails, there is a waterfall of cutlery, he dances with chairs and clothes confound him
  • Circus Raj: Rajasthani street performers including dancers, illusionists, aerialists, stilt walkers, acrobats and slack-rope walkers.
  • Curious Cargo - ‘The Temperance Society’: Two temperance campaigners will stroll the colonnades of The Piece Hall, gently encouraging on issues of moral etiquette.
  • Desperate Men - ‘Slapstick & Slaughter’: A lively theatre show exploring art’s reaction to war in a playful, physical and blackly comedic fashion
  • Fairly Famous Family – ‘Grow Your Own’: comedy gardeners bring a show packed with skilful, wholesome fun including a recreation of Peter Rabbit’s escape from Mr. McGregor
  • Frolicked – ‘Never too old’: puppet theatre featuring an octogenarian couple who delight and entertain with their antics… and arguments
  • Kapow – ‘Adrift’: A story of two women lost at sea on a moving wooden raft told through dance, theatre, circus and music.
  • Osadia: Celebrated Barcelona street theatre performers create daring and evocative hair makeovers, transforming the audience with their weird and wonderful creations
  • Plungeboom – ‘The Vegetable Nannies’ - two everyday gardeners who’ve taken their young vegetables out of the ground on a day trip
  • The Smallest Theatre in the World – ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’: A comedy of errors performed to an audience of two inside the sidecar of a Royal Enfield Motorbike
  • Whalley Range All Stars – ‘Ye Gods’: a model town complete with vivid sound installation becomes the venue for irresponsible behaviour and a miniature apocalypse


Friday 25 to Monday 28 August

Fri 12-7pm, Sat – Mon: 10am - 7pm

Albesila, Architects of Air (Free)

Architects of Air have travelled to 40 countries across the world and are marking their 25th anniversary by creating a stunning new luminarium Albesila, to be showcased in Halifax. A giant extraordinary inflated sculpture half the size of a football pitch and at points 9 meters high, the structure made up of domes, mazes and intimate pods will be taking over The Piece Hall courtyard over the Bank Holiday weekend. Visitors are invited to explore the seamless tunnels and spiralling spaces, immersing themselves in a vivid world of colour and sensory sound.

“What motivates me to design is the fact that I continue to be struck by the beauty of light and colour found in the luminaria. These structures nurture an awareness of a pure phenomena that gently cuts through everyday conditioned perceptions...” Alan Parkinson, designer and founder of Architects of Air.

Albesila is unticketed, although visitors may be required to queue as capacity inside is limited. After dark, the Albesila architecture will be lit from the inside for a glowing display, in contemporary contrast to the surrounding Grade I listed building.

Friday 1 & Saturday 2 September


Enchanted Chandelier, Transe Express (Free, ticketed event)

The award-winning French company will perform in awe-inspiring style as their dazzling aerial show, Enchanted Chandelier brings to a close the ’Welcome’ programme with a dreamlike and breathtaking spectacle, showcasing The Piece Hall in a mesmerising new light.

A circus of the sky, bell-ringing musicians and trapeze artists will weave their way amongst the crowd before being suspended at the heart of a giant structure that reaches to the heavens, 50m (165ft) above the audience watching from below. The bells and music will ring out across Halifax as the structure rises, coming to life above The Piece Hall’s dramatic colonnades and reaching into the night sky.

All events are free but tickets for Saxophone Massive and Enchanted Chandelier must be pre-booked. Tickets will be available from 1 August at and from the Welcome Centre in The Piece Hall. 

Supported by
The Piece Hall heritage regeneration project is also supported by Garfield Weston Foundation and The Wolfson Foundation.
The Piece Hall is independently managed by The Piece Hall Trust, a registered charity, number 1156948. Registered in England and Wales, number 08906735.
Designed and developed by COAL/FACE © Copyright The Piece Hall Trust 2021