The North Parade Music and Arts Festival returned for its fourth year, seeing the street of independent businesses packed out as Bradfordians descended to enjoy a mixture of live music, international food and drinks.
Following a depressingly wet start to the morning, by the time the festival began the sun had emerged and the rest of the event remained bright and warm. Visitors to North Parade on the day could enjoy outdoor stands from Peacocks, The Sparrow, Wireless Bar and the Pirate Pop-Up from Al’s Dime Bar for more liquid refreshment, with everything from speciality beers to mango cider. For fans of something a little more refined, there was a ‘Pimp Your Prosecco’ stand.
As for food, there was a range of options from the Bridge Project, alongside some great international-style offerings from Kitty’s Caribbean Kitchen, bakery products, brownies and vegan offerings further down the street. There was also a range of pies and pasties on offer from the Quality Yorkshire Pie Company which included a pizza-styled one designed by the nine-year-old daughter of the owner, showcasing some entrepreneurial ideas at a young age.
There were also a range of stalls from local companies, some making the short journey from their Sunbridge Wells premises to the outdoor stands, including soaps, incense and a range of wittily labelled mugs for the less easily offended! The event also expanded out further with a fairground as well as the Bradford Print Fair which saw the cream of the city’s artistic talent showcasing and selling their artwork.
To accompany the stalls and refreshments was a packed schedule of musical entertainment with a stage at either end of the Parade. The owner of Napoleon’s Casino, Baz Bradley, abandoned his own stage to deliver some great indie numbers to start the day off. With a voice sounding like the Manic Street Preachers and looking like a musical cross between Michael Stipe and Bono, Baz lit up that end of North Parade. His great repertoire included a number he wrote to prove to his son, who is in a death metal band, you can have a song with two chords. The stage also showcased the country-tinged duo ‘Hymn For Her’ as well as another guitar-led singer whose husky voice complimented a great range of songs.
Over on the bigger Napoleon’s stage there was a great range of acts which pulled in huge crowds. Christy Sherry opened up, his fun pop-punk songs matched his enjoyable mid-song banter. His lack of a guitar strap which meant he had to do most of his set from a stool until a kind member of the audience provided him with one! Sherry and particularly his take on ‘Tainted Love’, was a favourite from the day.
Later in the day we got a floppy-haired metal-guitarist CPSD, the brassy Analog Bombs that brought the audience to their feet and headliners Regan ending the day with their tight rock-numbers. For those keen to keep the party going after the 7pm finish there was a great after-party held that night at the Underground featuring ‘Phil Dirt’, a returning ‘Hymn for Her’ and the ‘Hoodoo Operators’.
The fourth annual North Parade street party was another great success, showcasing the incredible independent businesses that line the street, mixing entertainment with quality food and drink. With the event expanding with the Bradford Print Fair and other events such as the Big City Play Day and the Drunken Film Fest taking place close by, it was a great showcase for the great things Bradford has to offer.