Barnsley town centre hosts an exciting programme of festivals and cultural activities throughout the year – delivered by two collaborative partners.
Barnsley Arts & Events team deliver a wide range of high-quality outdoor festivals – including Barnsley’s Big Weekend, Twisted Festival of Natural Art, Flavours Food Festival and Barnsley Bright Nights. The team were crowned Best Local Authority Events Team at the National Outdoor Events Association Awards (NOEA) in 2022.
Barnsley Civic deliver the annual Garden Party event which showcases the very best in outdoor arts performances. The town’s flagship multi-purpose arts centre seeks to bring wide-ranging, contemporary artforms to audiences from Barnsley and beyond.
Why we joined Without Walls
As a new member of Without Walls we aim to increase our ability to present performance work that is of national significance, raises aspiration and is relevant to our audience – narratives and thematic approaches will drive a sense of place and ownership of the programme whilst also providing economic impacts through overnight stay and visitor spend to both daytime and evening economies.
Working together both Barnsley Arts & Events and Barnsley Civic will use the Without Walls touring network programme and information on best practice within the field to stimulate communities with historic low levels of attendance and participation in arts activities.
Barnsley Town Centre's impact on their local community
Barnsley town centre’s festivals and events programme sits alongside their wider cultural activities and opportunities and reflects and supports our collective vision of Barnsley as ‘the Place of Possibilities’ as set out in Barnsley Council’s 2030 corporate strategy.
Their festivals are permanent features in our events calendars and are recognised as signature events within the town centre, borough and city region’s cultural offer.
Barnsley Bright Nights is now a member of the Light Up The North network of light festivals and they have the ambition to grow the event in terms of opportunities for artists in both developing and performing new light-based artworks and shows.
They have also been working with the Audience Agency to collate feedback and data from their 2021 events programme to further inform their activities and artistic programming.
Barnsley’s Big Weekend – Fri 14 to Sun 16 July 2023
The town centre’s summer celebration of outdoors art, sport and entertainment – including Mayor’s Day street theatre shows and walkabouts, Pride Barnsley, sports activities and new Brassed On music festival of brass bands featuring the world-renowned Grimethorpe Colliery Band.
The Glass Works and Barnsley Civic Garden Party – Sat 23 and Sun 24 September 2023
The Garden Party is an annual free festival of street theatre, dance and circus festival. The festival aims to engage families in Barnsley with high-quality, nationally respected outdoor arts and showcase the artistic offer available at Barnsley Civic to audiences from Barnsley and beyond.
Barnsley Bright Nights – Fri 24 and Sat 25 November 2023
Barnsley Bright Nights is our signature winter lights festival which includes the Christmas Lights Switch-On, illuminated parade and art installations across Barnsley town centre.