Pullling a grand piano uphill

By | Category: Travel destinations
It's not Yorkshire but neither will this match the Tour de France de Yorkshire!

It’s not Yorkshire but neither will this match the Tour de France de Yorkshire!

Before you ask why anyone – other than for a university prank – might want to pull a piano, let alone a grand piano uphill, just remember that doing something like that gets publicity. And publicity is what most destinations want.

This destination is Yorkshire and the grand piano pulling is part of a £2 million cultural festival that is going to promote to coincide with the start of re Tour de France in the UK. Yes, it seems confusing to me that the Tour should start in Leeds  and spend two days visiting the cities and countryside in Yorkshire  (and then heads to Cambridge and London before remembering that France is the other side of the Channel) rather than France but I am not a sports organiser just someone who queries geography.

The Yorkshire Festival’s 47 projects include bicycle-themed performances, photography exhibitions and screenings as well as the piano pull. There will also be;

  • Fifty LED-lit cyclists will take part in a “ghost peloton” in Leeds in a collaboration between Phoenix Dance Theatre and arts body NVA.
  • Thomas Houseago will create two new sculptures – one for Leeds city centre and one for the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
  • Maxine Peake will make her stage scriptwriting debut with Beryl, about cyclist Beryl Burton, at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
  • Large-scale grass-based land art installations will be created along the route of the second day of the Tour de France.
  • Belgian theatre company Theater Tol will perform an aerial show about Italian cyclists Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi in Dewsbury.
  • A “tour de cinema” will include film screenings in 35 town halls and 10 outdoor locations.
  • Photographs of the Tour from the 1960s to the present day will be on show at the White Cloth Gallery in Leeds.
  • A “songwriting relay” will create folk songs and take them from town to town via bicycle.
  • Visitors will be invited to make musical instruments from bicycle parts in workshops run by the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

The festival actually ends when the Tour leaves Yorkshire but starts well in advance – on the 27th March. According to the festival’s producer,   “This is an opportunity to engage people with a programme of work that will capture the imagination, trigger some excitable and enjoyable activities and give people a chance to get involved in the Grand Depart in the 100 days leading up to the actual race.”

And if bicycles and culture attract us to Yorkshire, the festival will have served its purpose.


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