Yorkshire Festival 2014 will be the first arts festival to coincide with the Tour de France in its 111 year history.
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A 100-day festival will precede the Tour De France’s Grand Départ in Yorkshire, where the first two stages of the 2014 race will be held. The Yorkshire Festival 2014 is the brainchild of Welcome to Yorkshire, whose Chief Executive, Gary Verity, described the event as “a countywide celebration of arts and culture creating excitement and anticipation in the 100 days before greatest free sporting show on the planet arrives in Yorkshire.” Backed by Yorkshire Water, Arts Council England and Yorkshire local authorities, the Festival has commissioned a total of 47 projects but the event will also include hundreds of fringe events. Highlights of the programme include new commissions from the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle for sculptor Thomas Houseago; a co-production from Leeds’ Phoenix Dance and Scottish public arts charity NVA featuring a peloton of 50 neon lit cyclists; and ‘Fields of Vision’ which will comprise of grass-based land art installations in the South Pennine Landscape. ‘Tour de Cinema’ will present cycling-based fiction and documentary films on 10 outdoor screens in locations across Yorkshire, in 35 local town halls as well as on city centre big screens. Henrietta Duckworth, the festival’s Executive Producer, said: “Yorkshire's a big wide county and we've worked with our world-class artists to create a rich and diverse programme of opportunities and surprises. It's a first for the Grand Départ and a festival of events across all art-forms. We invite everyone to explore the new, celebrate together and be part of it.”