A summer of festivities at Barnsley town centre

As part of an exciting year-round calendar of events to attract more visitors to Barnsley town centre, three popular family events are back this summer and are set to be bigger and better than ever.

Now that building works at the Glass Works is complete, which has continued to increase footfall into the town, it’s time to believe in the possibilities of Barnsley and look to the future with excitement and optimism. This year’s focus by Barnsley Council has been to promote the profile of the new-look town centre and support the independent businesses that call it home.

Each month of the year has a different theme, with an array of events, offers and competitions taking place to boost the visitor experience.

Food lovers alike will relish in the events planned this May, while all the family will be set to celebrate our natural environment in June.

Be sure to put these dates in your diary as these are events you don’t want to miss out on.

Flavours Food and Drink Festival

Thursday 19th to Sunday 22nd May

Following on from its past success at Elsecar Heritage Centre pre-pandemic, Flavours Food Festival returns with a new venue, across more days, and exciting stalls and cookery demonstrations to tickle your tastebuds.

Built around the town’s eclectic food and drink offer, explore the region’s best food and drink within a village atmosphere in the Glass Works Square. Browse the many stalls to sample and buy artisan products including cheese, chocolate, brownies, breads, jam and gin produced by Yorkshire makers.

There will also be a selection of street food vendors with flavours from around the world to tempt you. Try Italian topped focaccia, Turkish barbecued kebabs, Japanese Gyoza dumplings, and Spanish churros dipped in hot milk chocolate.

Feed your foodie flair in the kitchen by being inspired by the chef demos taking place throughout the event. The line-up includes chefs from some of the independent eateries in the town centre, who will all be showing different techniques and cuisines.

Throughout the four-day event, there will be a display of live music and street performers to keep the crowds entertained with a festival atmosphere.

Opening times: Thurs 19th 10am-6pm, Fri 20th & Sat 21st 10am-8pm, Sun 22nd 10am-5pm

Town centre food and drink trails

This summer, discover Barnsley’s independent food and drink outlets by taking on one of the new culinary trails around the town centre.

There are three unique trails – beer, cocktails, and coffee – that each include ten venues to visit. The maps include charming illustrations of each venue by Yorkshire artist, Lisa Maltby, along with information about each.

When you visit each venue, be sure to collect a stamp from staff when paying your bill. Once completed, redeem at the prize stall at either Flavours Food and Drink Festival or the Jubilee weekend celebrations.

Pick up your free pocket-sized map from customer service points at the indoor market, Library @ the Lightbox, town hall, or Alhambra.

Twisted – Festival of Natural Art

Saturday 28th May – Sunday 12th June

Do you remember Barnsley’s fantastical beasts from last year? Well, the giant willow sculptures are back for 2022 alongside a host of natural art events.

The Twisted trail will see eight beasts pop up around the town centre at various venues from Eldon Street to the Metrodome. Barnsley Council have worked with three willow weavers, Sarah Hayes, Emma Parkins and Leilah Vyner to create sculptures using sustainable materials.

As with last year, the beasts are inspired by Barnsley legends, people and myths. The popular griffin and unicorn are returning along with six new beasts created specifically for the event. The eight remaining original beasts from last year – bear, cat, elephant, kestrel, lion, mermaid, reindeer and whale – will take pride of place at Barnsley’s principal towns.

In keeping with the natural theme, a series of events are planned over the two weeks.

On launch day, join in the fun from 11am to 4pm. Activities for families to take part in will include willow weaving and land art school in the Glass Works Square, with stone balancing, mandala art and chalkboard painting. Take a free ride on the Bewonderment Machine, a cycle powered carousel.  Barnsley Libraries will also be doing readings of the popular Stick Man story.

There will be a special visit from the Mayor of Schwabisch Gmund, Barnsley’s twin town in Germany, as well as performances from the Frumptarn Guggenband and Silkstone Morris Dancers.

Throughout opening weekend, why not join the Un-Naturalists for a walking history tour with a difference. These eccentric performers will be retelling Barnsley’s heritage from the town hall to the Glass Works at 12pm and 2.30pm on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May.

From Monday 30th May, be amazed by spectacular sand art as artists Sand in Your Eyes create a giant sculpture in Glass Works Square. Across the jubilee bank holiday weekend on Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd June, they will also be holding family sand workshops for visitors to make their own sculptures – albeit on a smaller scale.

On Saturday 4th June, more natural art activities continue with willow dream catcher making and Royal cardboard crown workshops at the Lightbox.

Barnsley Live

Saturday 18th June 12pm-10pm

Music lovers rejoice. The ever-popular charity live music festival is back for 2022 with the biggest and best Barnsley Live yet.

After last year’s gig in October, the annual one-day event is back to its early summer slot where over 200 bands and musicians are set to take to stages across 20 of the very best venues in the town centre. The line-up will include a range of genres, from rock and punk to folk and blues, as well as a bit of pop for good measure.

The free event showcases an eclectic mix of venues that are just a stone’s throw from each other, creating a trail of performances in micropubs and mega crowds. New for this year is an outdoor stage in the Glass Works Square, bringing an urban festival feel to the town centre.

As ever, Barnsley Live supports nominated local charities through the donations of its generous attendees. Not only will you be helping raise funds for good causes, but also backing some of the town’s first-rate musicians.

For the full line-up and to plan your listening schedule, download the Barnsley Live app from the App Store of Google Play.

Coming in July and August

Get set for a summer of fun with Barnsley’s Big Weekend, the annual Mayor’s Day, a new brass band music festival and Dancing Town.

Full details of all upcoming events can be found here