Heckyfest to honour memory of festival supporter Jo Cox

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Organisers of this year’s Heckyfest are hoping the event will be a fitting tribute to festival supporter Jo Cox.

The MP, who was killed in Birstall last month, worked with Donal O’Driscoll to promote the growth of the festival and build on its success in Heckmondwike.

Donal has faced a tough year after the death of Heckyfest’s regular ice cream man, Sarfraz Khan, and the serious illness of Angie Greenwood, who heads the team of face painters.

The 14th annual event takes place on July 16-17 with two days of live music and family activities. Seventeen acts have been booked for Saturday and nine for Sunday, and performers will be split between two stages. The Batley and Spen District Committee of Kirklees Council stepped in to provide a funding boost for the event after public crowdfunding donations fell short of the target figure.

“Obviously I’m delighted to continue receiving the backing of our local councillors but the tragic death of our local MP Jo Cox has been very difficult for me. Jo worked with me keen to build on the success of the town’s music festival. She wanted to see other events develop for Heckmondwike and build on its cultural diversity,” said Donal.

“I, like so many others, feel totally robbed of a very special person with such a huge and energetic talent. Add to that the murder in April of my long-standing and always-smiling ice cream man Sarfraz Khan and the serious illness currently being endured by Angie Greenwood, it’s going to be difficult for me striking that balance of making it another very happy event.”

Ska House will close the show on Saturday and Sunday’s programme will be opened by the 20-piece Mirfield Swing Band. Dewsbury band Eric the Viaduct return after a three-year hiatus and local group Eternal Teenage Syndrome will also play on Saturday. Music starts in Green Park from 11am both days, Please note that glass bottle are not permitted.