In a Festival first, the Huddersfield Literature Festival will this year have a Tipi as a venue – with a Dragon and Dragon Queen to launch it! In partnership with Huddersfield Live and supported by sponsorship from Huddersfield Town AFC, the Festival Tipi will go up in the courtyard of Lawrence Batley Theatre in the second half of April and will be open to all. 

There will be a free Tipi Launch event from 5pm on Wednesday 17 April, where children and adults can get up close and personal with a Dragon and Dragon Queen – with prizes for the best costumes inspired by Game of Thrones characters. There will also be a special performance from Huddersfield musician, Joel Simmy, whose music has been featured on BBC Radio 1Xtra, Capital Xtra and Kiss Fresh FM, and who will be running rap/creative writing workshops as part of the Festival’s schools programme. 

Following launch night, the Tipi will be open daily from Thursday 18 April to Sunday 28 April. Opening hours will be 11am – 10pm, apart from Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 April (5pm – 10pm).  On 28 April there will be a free evening Wrap Party. 

Huddersfield Live will be serving hot and cold drinks inside the Tipi, and there will be seating and a performance area. Planned activities in the Tipi include children’s book readings, Dinky Disco and an appearance from The Tiger Who Came to Tea, plus Open Mic nights, local author talks, craft and writing workshops, and activities run by local community organisations. 

Festival director, Michelle Hodgson said,“We are really excited about this Festival first and can’t wait to welcome people to the Festival Tipi. We want to stress that the Tipi is open to all, not just those attending the events and activities taking place inside the Tipi or at the Lawrence Batley Theatre. Sam Watt and the Huddersfield Live team have done a brilliant job of organising the logistics, and we’re also grateful to Huddersfield Town Football Club for the sponsorship and Lawrence Batley Theatre for opening up their Courtyard. With luck, there will be some spring sunshine and a festival atmosphere to entice the local community out in support.” 

Rachel Taylor, Huddersfield Town supporter services manager, said, “As a Club, we’re delighted to be supporting the Huddersfield Literature Festival, and are proud to be the first sponsors of their first ever Festival Tipi. We always want Huddersfield Town to support our local community, and this festival is a wonderful part of the cultural life of our town. Helping improve, grow and provide enrichment for the town are values as goals the Club and Festival share, and we hope this year’s event is another resounding success!” 

Sam Watt from Huddersfield Live said, “We are delighted to be working with Huddersfield Literature Festival and look forward to bringing the Tipi to the Festival as an additional element for everyone to enjoy. Working with local organisations such as Lawrence Batley Theatre and HTAFC to highlight what Huddersfield has to offer is what we are all about.” 

The multi-award winning HuddLitFest will launch on 11 April 2024 with a performance from the Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage and his band LYR, followed by a high-profile and diverse programme, including broadcaster Gavin Esler, comedian Helen Lederer, explorer Ash Bhardwaj and crime writers Mark Billingham & Abir Mukherjee. There will also beworkshops, performance poetry, community projects and online events. Family activities will include eco-craft and crime-busting workshops, the chance to meet The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the annual Stafflex Free Family Day.  

Most Festival events are already available to book on the Festival website and early booking is recommended. Further information can be found at: https://www.huddlitfest.org.uk/