Burnley Canal Festival 2022

28 August 2022

Thousands flock to Burnley Canal Festival, back after a three year absence. There were traffic jams on the towpath, and some strange craft on the water, as Burnley Canal Festival made a welcome return after an enforced absence of three years.  We had than 5,000 through the gates, as the hugely popular free festival returned to its traditional slot over Bank Holiday weekend, but at a brand new canalside location.

BCF 2022 was based at Finsley Gate Wharf, with additional activities up and down the towpath and on the water of the Straight Mile. The old British  Waterways depot had lain derelict for many years, but is now reborn as a hospitality venue, with complementary community facilities run by Canal and River Trust. The venue opened during the pandemic, so 2022 was a first opportunity for the Canal Festival to showcase this important new staging post on the Leeds Liverpool Canal.

Visitors to the Festival site enjoyed a wide variety of free, have-a-go workshop activities, a music stage, walkabout performers, a purveyor of giant bubbles and even a pair of outsize dodos. Families were able to follow an explorers’ quest along the towpath, take a ride on a trip boat or mess around in canoes. The Festival was even visited by a mysterious golden barge, named Opal’s Comet.

Nick Hunt, Creative Director of Mid Pennine Arts, said ‘We are delighted to be
back after such a long and challenging time for everyone. We’re especially pleased to be able to introduce Festival goers to this lovely new facility at Finsley Gate Wharf. We were blessed with the weather, and we couldn’t be happier with the fantastic support we received. Seeing crowds of people exploring up and down the towpath makes all the hard work worthwhile. We’ll be getting back to work with our partners to learn from this one, and make BCF 2023 the best festival it can be.’

“A brilliant time had. 10 out of 10. Would recommend!” Festival attender, 2022

Find details of the programme on the Burnley Canal Festival website.

You can find lots of photos from the day in the BCF Facebook album.