Yorkshire Festival, 2014

In the 100 days preceding 5 and 6 July, when Yorkshire plays host to the Grand Départ, 47 cultural events will take place across the county backed by Welcome to Yorkshire, Yorkshire Water and the Arts Council England.

Leeds born and Los Angeles-based sculptor Thomas Houseago has been commissioned to create two large-scale sculptures for Leeds city centre and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. This will be his first commissions for his home county, and the first ever commissions to be made by the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle.

Phoenix Dance Theatre will join forces with Scottish public arts charity NVA to create the world’s first Ghost Peloton, led by Phoenix artistic director Sharon Watson and NVA creative director Angus Farquhar. Ghost Peloton incorporates a riding team of 50 road racers, stunt cyclists and large-scale projection of dancers all utilising unique remote controlled light suits to produce a stunning live choreography; this project builds on the worldwide success of Speed of Light, which was first commissioned for the London 2012 Olympics.

Fields of Vision will comprise of huge, grass-based land art installations in the stunning South Pennine Landscape bringing together artists, young farmers, cyclists and the community to create works that will be visible along the Tour de France route. Films and documentaries will be shown with Tour de Cinema on 10 outdoor screens. Two new films will be made from fantastic archive of cycling through the century, including a new film from award-winning filmmaker Daisy Asquith.

West Yorkshire Playhouse will host Beryl written by TV star Maxine Peake to celebrate the extraordinary sporting achievements of Morley cyclist Beryl Burton. Beryl is a specially commissioned adaptation from Peake’s acclaimed 2012 Radio 4 play and marks her stage writing debut.

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The Yorkshire Festival 2014 will be a countywide celebration of arts and culture creating excitement and anticipation in the 100 days before the greatest free sporting show on the planet arrives in Yorkshire.”

Yorkshire Festival, York, 27 March until 6 July 2014. For more information, visit www.yorkshirefestival.co.uk.

1. Maxine Peake, courtesy of Yorkshire Festival 2014.