With the school holidays now upon us, parents and kids alike will be delighted to hear that the acclaimed Leeds Den Building Festival is back for its third year – and looks set to be bigger than ever.
Over 2,000 people from across Leeds and beyond have, in the past two years, gathered to get creative and build dens from recycled materials. The 2016 event is once again taking place on Brewery Green in front of The Tetley, on the weekend of the 3 & 4 September. Spread over a long weekend, it looks like to attract a big crowd again, with more den-building kit available to them that ever before.
Furthermore, there’s a top £50 cash prize for the team who creates the most collaborative, innovative and impressive den – as well as runner up prizes.
From pirate ships to steam trains, the Tardis to country cottages, families and friends have built a wild and wide range of dens – from only cardboard, tape, and a few other materials. The event has proved to be a real spectacle of DIY creativity and collaboration, and offers a tangible glimpse of what Leeds could have in store as it prepares its bid to be European Capital of Culture in 2023.
The Leeds Den Building Festival was first conceived in 2014 by Leeds charity Together for Peace (T4P), as a means to enable a wide range of people – across age, background, community, and more – to enjoy low-tech creative play together, whilst re-using unwanted materials. Following highly successful events in 2014 and 2015, this year’s event is being coordinated in close partnership with The Tetley and The Den Building Experiment. Thanks also to Leeds City Council for their Play Enabling Grant, and all the in-kind supporters and donors.
T4P project coordinator Ed Carlisle comments:
“We never dreamt how successful the Den Festival would be, but so many people love building dens! It’s a lot of work to organise – particularly sourcing and collecting the tons of cardboard. But it’s so worthwhile, as you see all these different people get stuck into a shared creative task. We’re looking forward to another busy event this year – and will be interested to see if the cash prize ups the ante!”
To help cover costs of this charity-organised event, tickets are £2.50 per head or £7.50 for a group of four. Children under five go free with a pre-booked group. Some free places are also reserved for those facing financial hardship. The events have typically sold out in advance in the previous years, so pre-booking is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment. However, some tickets may be available on the day at £4 per head.
Tickets can be booked at: leedsdenfest2016.eventbrite.co.uk.
Leeds Den Building Festival takes place on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September 2016 at: The Tetley, Hunslet Road LS10 1JQ