During the 1980s the popular Bradford Festival included a broad range of performing arts and encompassed the Lord Mayor’s Carnival Parade and the Bradford Mela festival.

In the 2001 the festival was rebranded ‘Bradford International Festival’ and later split into its constituent parts with the Lord Mayor’s Carnival Parade and Bradford Mela Festival becoming stand-alone events.

In subsequent years, the Bradford Mela became Bradford’s main festival but, despite efforts to broaden its programming, it dwindled in popularity.

Since March this 2012 Bradford’s flagship public space, City Park, has been programmed with a series of highly successful events which have drawn thousands of people into the city centre and helped Bradford Council develop a reputation for staging high-quality large-scale outdoor events in City Park.

To rejuvenate Bradford’s main festival and to improve economic impacts, the Bradford Festival was successfully relaunched in 2013 and staged in Bradford’s multi-award winning public space City Park.

The Bradford Festival includes the most successful elements of past festivals and events to produce a high-quality, vibrant, colourful and inclusive programme which attracts a broad cross section of Bradford district residents.