Rhubarb Festival 2021

Next year will see Wakefield host the 15th annual Rhubarb Festival (we know, we feel old, too).

We can't wait to revel in all things rhubarb in February 2021 (dates still to be confirmed!), when the festival will once again be painting the town pink, and turning the merrie city into one big veg-themed party!

But that still feels a way off, especially in these not-so-bright times, so to cheer ourselves up - and to give you a little taste of what to expect at next year's festivities - we've put together this page showcasing some of the most amazing things from the spectacular celebration that was Rhubarb Festival 2020.

Rhubarb Festival
Rhubarb Festival
Food and Drink
Cupcakes, cookery demonstrations and craft gin... Foodies rejoice, because the Rhubarb Festival has plenty for you to sink your teeth into!
Arts
Looking for more than food and drink? How about comedy nights, live music, art installations and more? The merrie city’s got you covered.
Heritage
Step inside a real rhubarb shed. Relive history through photography. Join the party and see how a community celebrates its roots!
Rhubarb Festival
Food and Drink
Rhubarb Festival

The Rhubarb Festival is the first food and drink festival in the national calendar - and it starts things off with a bang.

2020's Food & Drink market was bigger and better than ever, with a footprint spreading like rhubarb roots all over the city, connecting Trinity Walk to The Ridings by way of The Bullring, Precinct and Former Market Hall.

Wakefieldians don't rest on their laurels: always looking to get even more people excited about rhubarb, the festival added new Vegan and Arts & Crafts markets in 2020. Hello plant-based pleasures and handmade homewares!

Rhubarb Festival
Rhubarb Festival
Rhubarb Festival
Rhubarb Festival
Arts

Wakefield's an art city. In fact, we love the arts as much as we love rhubarb. So in 2020, the Rhubarb Festival went bold, and combined the merrie city’s favourite things.

For the whole week, the town played host to exciting live music and innovative performance artists. There were community art installations, and an exhibition of photographs by Martin Parr.

And to top it off, the festival brought back its Comedy Club. It featured 6 cracking comedians, including former Britain’s Got Talent contestant Daliso Chaponda, and Show Me The Funny winner Patrick Monahan.

 

Rhubarb Festival
Rhubarb Festival
Rhubarb Festival
Rhubarb Festival
Heritage
Wakefield knows where it’s going… and where it came from. Heritage is important to folks round these parts, and the 2020 festival rightly reflected that.

From local folk musicians to a morris dance-off, the festival was infused with the flavours of history.

The star of the heritage-show was artist Tony Wade’s Rhubarb Shed: a real forcing shed in the heart of the city. The video on the left played at the entrance to the shed. So switch off the lights, get comfy and pretend you’re there! And if you want more information, why not read Tony's statement here.
Rhubarb Festival
Rhubarb Festival
Rhubarb Festival
Rhubarb Festival
Rhubarb Festival
But wait, there’s more! The festival was home to a world of rhubarb-flavoured family fun, too.

The former market hall housed a whole host of things for kids and families to enjoy, including a cosy reading corner, craft activities (including an awesome videogame using real vegetables as controllers) and storytelling workshops.

Next door, the “Rhu-Barn” had the lot: mini tractors for kids to ride, Rhubarb and Custard cartoons, and the Bewonderment Machine, an extraordinary cycle-powered carousel featuring carved woodland animals, music and puppetry.
Rhubarb Festival
Rhubarb Festival
Rhubarb Festival
Rhubarb Festival
Rhubarb Festival

What's next for the Rhubarb Festival? Well, whatever it is, it'll be big, bold and above all - people powered.

The Rhubarb Festival can't exist without the wonderful people of Wakefield. Whether they're artists, chefs, stallholders or performers, people from all across the district make the festival what it is. 

And like any good gardener, the festival organisers at Wakefield Council are always on the lookout to cultivate fresh new talent. So if you want to be involved (and come on, cocker, why wouldn't you?) then get in touch with them! You can contact the Rhubarb Festival team through their Facebook page (just to your right) or you can email them here