Barnsley town centre is gearing up to host a vibrant and lively festival later this month, promising an unforgettable weekend filled with music, dance, circus acrobatics, and outdoor arts for all to enjoy. The Barnsley Garden Party is a collaborative effort between The Glass Works (Barnsley’s new shopping and leisure destination), and The Civic (the town’s contemporary arts centre). It’s set to captivate visitors from near and far.
Barnsley Garden Party: a fusion of arts and culture
This annual event first graced the town’s streets a decade ago. It is being brought to life by Without Walls, a consortium of festivals and arts organisations dedicated to bringing extraordinary outdoor arts experiences to towns and cities across England.
Scheduled to take place on the weekend of 23 and 24 September between 11am and 4pm, the garden party has been commissioned by Barnsley Council and Barnsley Civic. This exciting collaboration coincides with the ongoing £4mn transformation of Barnsley Civic, which will soon open its original doors on Eldon Street, joining the old facade with its newer site.
Anthony Baker, chief executive at Barnsley Civic, expressed his enthusiasm, saying:
“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with The Glass Works for the Barnsley Garden Party. Prepare for a weekend of sheer spectacle with extraordinary live performances by the UK’s finest street performers and outdoor artists. This free family event is not to be missed.”
Spectacular performances: the heart of the garden party
One of the highlights of the festival will be the performance by the resident theatre company, Markmark, with their show ‘The Maniax’. This exciting comedy performance will feature Houdini-style escape artists showcasing daring stunts, illusions, and brilliant comic routines.
Another eye-catching act will feature four performers dancing, leaping, gracefully balancing, and throwing themselves with acrobatic prowess around, on, and inside a rotating 7-meter-high hourglass located in The Glass Works.
For music enthusiasts, Mr Wilson’s Second Liners will take the stage, offering an anarchic New Orleans-style brass band experience playing a rousing selection of 1990s dance classics.
Cllr Robert Frost, cabinet spokesperson for regeneration and culture at Barnsley Council, shared his excitement, saying:
“This year’s garden party promises an incredible display of high-quality outdoor arts, making it an unforgettable weekend for all. The Glass Works has brought a vibrant sense of community back to the town centre, and events like the garden party really put Barnsley on the map. It’s brilliant to see the improvements being made to Eldon Street, and this cultural festival will bring the whole town together across many different venues and locations. The weekend will be full of fun, and what’s even better is that the entire event is free.”
Anticipating a weekend of art and culture
Without Walls, the driving force behind this outdoor arts extravaganza, is a consortium of over 35 festivals and arts organisations dedicated to bringing fantastic outdoor arts to communities in towns and cities across England. Since its inception in 2007, Without Walls has commissioned and toured over 200 new shows, captivating audiences both in the UK and internationally across 22 countries. The organisation is proudly supported by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation. To learn more, visit their website.
Barnsley Civic is a year-round cultural hub, offering a diverse program of theatre, dance, music, comedy, family events, circus performances, and art exhibitions. Its mission is to provide a space where people can access exceptional cultural and creative experiences.
As September approaches, the anticipation for the Barnsley Garden Party continues to grow. With a dynamic blend of artistic performances, live music, and a lively atmosphere, this free family event promises a weekend of entertainment that will leave lasting memories for all who attend. Don’t miss the chance to be part of this vibrant celebration of art and culture right in the heart of Barnsley town centre.