VisitBradford guide to festivals & events in September

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We’ve picked top events to help you plan your days out in Bradford & District this September.

Every September, we celebrate Heritage Open Days.  It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are FREE to explore.  The great doors of City Hall will be thrown open as part of the national Heritage Open Days on Saturday 9th September, you will have the chance to fully explore the corridors.  Walk up the grand central staircase of City Hall which dates back to 1914 and have a ‘Sneaky Peek’ self – guided tour.

Keighley Show will take place at the  Marley Playing fields, on Saturday 2nd September, all the traditional agricultural classes are on offer – such as cattle, sheep, pygmy goats, poultry, equestrian, handicraft and produce.  There will be stone carving, using traditional tools, by Swales In The Dales.  Returning by popular demand for a second year is The Sheep Show, providing a fun and educational look at sheep and their wool.  Favourites reappearing include the City of Bradford Pipe Band, terrier racing, vintage tractors and cars, and the West Riding Woodturners.

Bingley is getting ready to rock in September, The Bingley Music Festival is over the weekend of 1-3 September.  Headliners include Welsh rock legends, the Manic Street Preachers topping Friday night’s bill, the Kaiser Chiefs on the Saturday and the Wombats on the Sunday.  ***Weekend & Saturday tickets SOLD OUT! ***

Real Food Ilkley at South Hawksworth Street on Sunday 3 September (10am to 3pm) The open-air market celebrates the rich variety of locally produced food and drink.

A September highlight is the wonderful Saltaire Festival a ten-day annual celebration of music and art from 8 – 17 September.  Featuring music and family entertainment in Roberts Park and Saltaire village, and a continental market in Exhibition Road, 15-17 September, 9-5pm.  Other festival highlights include The Makers Fair a two day showcase of contemporary designer makers in Victoria Hall and the Open Gardens & Sculpture Trail at pop up houses around the village.

WOW! See the Soyuz TMA-19M descent module, the historic spacecraft that brought Major Tim Peake back to Earth after his mission to the International Space Station at the Media Museum, Bradford. From 27th September 2017.

From Salt to Silver, celebrated photographer Ian Beesley and renowned poet Ian McMillan have created a special show (in the roof space 4th floor) to mark the 30th anniversary at Salts Mill.  New poems by McMillan accompany old images taken by Beesley in 1984/5 to compare with photographs taken this year. Open 11-4pm daily September 8-17, then weekends only till the 29th October.


Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë were pioneering women writers and continue to inspire contemporary literature in limitless ways. The  Brontë  Parsonage Museum is delighted to be hosting its seventh Bronte Festival of Women’s Writing 22-24 September.

Join Big Time Gin at the splendid Victoria Hall, Saltaire.  Soak up the atmosphere and enjoy some fantastic live entertainment. ( 22 & 23 September)

Must see exhibition: Field Work: Ten Years of Photography by Liza Dracup at the Impressions Gallery.  Bradford born Liza Dracup is inspired by the landscape and natural history of the North of England.  Field Work presents a decade of her work and marks Impressions’ tenth anniversary in Bradford.  Inspired by historic methods and modern digital techniques, Dracup uses photography as an experimental tool to see beyond the human eye.  Her resulting images range from vibrant ‘hidden’ landscapes to meticulously detailed studies of plants and animals.

Our Hotpick! Wednesday 6th September, get an exclusive sneak peek into The Bradford Club a historic Bradford building.  Meet at the Impressions Gallery, Bradford booking recommended.

We’re really looking forward to this year’s Golden Years Film Festival, with an exciting line-up of screenings, talks and events – all celebrating life through film.  Stunning archive film sessions, taking a special look at the Brontë sisters and exploring Bradford’s 100-year film heritage.

Ilkley Literature Festival returns in October with another exciting line-up.  Now in its 43rd year, the Festival is the largest in the North of England, one of the most prestigious in the country and is regarded as a major highlight on the literary calendar.

Take a look at our events calendar and guide to what’s on in Bradford & the District.