The ‘Yorkshire Festival’ has announced that ‘Hebden Bridge Piano Festival’ and ‘Imove’ are working together to create ‘The Grand Departs’, an epic musical and physical feat of strength and endurance, to celebrate the Tour de France’s visit to Yorkshire. On April 5 a team of Calderdale’s most resilient cyclists will pull a grand piano from Mytholmroyd up Cragg Vale Road to the top of Blackstone Edge. This is the longest continuous ascent in England and has been included in the Tour de France route through Yorkshire as a particularly grueling feature of the race.

A bespoke vehicle called ‘PianoPorté’ is being designed and built for The Grand Departs by local sculptor Andy Plant. It will be powered by cycles and will be around 20 feet long.

Throughout the climb local and international pianists will play music, specially composed by the piano festival’s Director  David Nelson.

The Grand Departs is an official part of Yorkshire Festival 2014, the first ever arts festival to precede the Grand Départ in its 111 year history. It is also supported by Calderdale Council and Legacy Trust UK.

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