Barnsley’s Big Weekend is back this year with a huge range of fun and entertainment for everyone.
Kicking off on Friday 15th July, get set for three days of free events and activities for all the family to get involved in.
Barnsley Town Centre will be buzzing with fun, with events such as town centre cycle races, Mayor’s Day, Pride Barnsley, a new funky brass band festival Brassed On!, live music, outdoor sports and much more.
The annual summer event started in 2019 and celebrates the best of Barnsley. Get the date in your diary – this is going to be a brilliant weekend in Barnsley town centre.
Friday 15th July
Barnsley Town Centre Races
Putting the weekend’s wheels in motion is the elite road race series that will see cyclists tackling a testing loop circuit of the town centre.
As part of the British cycling calendar, join thousands of spectators who will descend on the town to see the racing as it plays out. The event starts with a community ride at 4pm for younger families, before riders from under 12s right up to national men and women’s racers take on the circuit.
Starting and finishing at the Town Hall, the course takes on a number of streets around the town, from Eastgate, Regent Street, Mandela Gardens, Back Regents Street, Eldon Street, and Market Hill. The mixture of surfaces will provide all riders with an exciting challenge on this twisty, technical and fast circuit which will encourage frenetic and thrilling races all night long.
5.00pm – Under 12s
5.30pm – Under 14s
6.00pm – Under 16s
6.45pm – Regional/Amateurs
7.30pm – Women’s National Circuit Series Race (5 laps)
8.45pm – Men’s National Circuit Series Race (5 laps)
Saturday 16th July
Join in the celebrations of officially welcoming Barnsley’s new mayor, Councillor Sarah-Jane Tattersall as she takes a tour of the town. Meet the Mayor at one of the town’s many cultural venues including Cooper Gallery, Experience Barnsley, Glass Works Square, Library @ the Lightbox, and Mandela Gardens.
There will also be a range of family activities throughout the day. Take a ride on the famous travelling machines Flycycle and Submercycle on May Day Green – but don’t forget your imagination. Check out the Slazenger exhibition at Experience Barnsley and laugh along with the Anyone for Tennis street theatre show. At Cooper Gallery, there will be the launch of Barnsley sculptor Graham Ibbeson’s new exhibition High Noon to Midnight made up of drawings of his life-life sculptures and statues. And speaking of statues, look out for Pop-up Pedestal street theatre statue at Gallery @ The Glass Works.
What better way to celebrate Barnsley than with a festival dedicated to a northern tradition – brass bands.
Brassed On! is a brand-new festival showcasing the best traditional brass bands with modern, funky sounds. There will be 12 bands performing on the day at three outdoor stages set up at Glass Works Square, Alhambra shopping centre, and the Town Hall.
For a traditional sound, the festival will welcome the famous Black Dyke Band, Barnsley Metropolitan Band, young ensembles from Barnsley Music Hub and more mature players from the U3A Old Blowers.
But brass isn’t just a blast from the past. Brassed On! will get the party started with brass versions of classic ‘90s house anthems performed by the renowned acid brass band WFEL Fairey Band, drum and brass from Flat Cap Brass, Balkan sounds from The Baghdaddies and carnival grooves from Bombay Baja, Europe’s leading Indian brass band.
And there’s only one band who could close the show. The finale will see the legendary Grimethorpe Colliery Band performing a ‘greatest hits’ set including music they performed for the classic Brassed Off film.
Barnsley’s biggest LGBTQ+ event is back with a new location for 2022. Mandela Gardens will be a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities with an afternoon of music, entertainment and stalls, including Pride Brass Band.
There will also be a Family Catwalk Extravaganza fashion show at The Civic at 1pm featuring glamour, glitz and grace.
Alongside the free event, there will also be a comedy cabaret night at The Civic from 7.30pm featuring three of the UK’s finest LGBTQ+ comedians, Stephen Bailey, Sian Davies and Robert White along with Glitterbomb Dancers cabaret dance troupe. Tickets are £11.50 and can be booked via The Civic.
Summer Reading Challenge Launch
Join the Barnsley Libraries team at Library @ the Lightbox for the launch of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, plus activities for families.
Aimed at children aged between four and 11, the challenge encourages reading for pleasure over the school holidays. This year’s theme is ‘Gadgeteers’ which will spark children’s curiosity about the world around them through resources and activities from the Science Museum Group.
Sunday 17th July
Big Dino Show
Get ready for some roarsome fun as May Day Green is taken over by roaming dinosaurs big and BIGGER!
Visitors young and old will marvel at this interactive show. Meet Tiny the huge Triceratops and Zoom the rideable T-Rex in the ’How to Train Your Dinosaur!’ show. Have your photo taken with the baby dinosaurs and cheeky pterosaur. The dino wranglers will also be giving talks for you to discover lots of fascinating Jurassic facts.
What’s Your Move
Finish off the big weekend with a big day of sporting activities to boost your physical and mental health. The Glass Works Square will become an arena of free outdoor games for everyone to try.
Aim high with the giant climbing wall, or head underground’ in the mobile Cavebus.
World recorder holding freestyle footballer, Ash Randall, will be showing off his skills and inviting the public to test out their tekkers with football tricks. If athletics is more your game, the team from Totally Runable will be hosting a mix of physical games and puzzles.
There will also be information and advice about summer sports and fitness clubs happening all across Barnsley.
For more information visit www.barnsley.gov.uk/events