FOR those who are passionate about contemporary and experimental music, there's only one place to be in November - and that's Huddersfield.
Tonight marks the start of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, an event not just awaited by the town's own music fans but by devotees of innovative classical contemporary music from around the globe.
The festival spans 10 days, a whole clutch of venues across the town and offers more than 50 concerts, performances and other events.
It is easy to play the numbers game when talking HCMF but for those outside the contemporary music circle, it is a sure way of catching the attention, of underlining just how big and just how influential this festival on our doorstep actually is.
In the coming days, there will be no fewer than 10 world premières, four UK premières and performances of nine new works commissioned by HCMF.
Performers will be arriving from Australia, Canada, Vietnam, America, Finland, German, Norway and the Netherlands. Sit in any of the venues and you'll likely as not hear accents from many of those countries among the audiences too. Fans of contemporary music certainly travel.
Over the years, music aficionados have realised that for almost two weeks, in often admittedly cold and grey northern England, they can hear some of the most exciting and adventurous works on the contemporary music scene.
This year, the mix includes everything from things that most people interested in music will be familiar with - large-scale orchestral works, chamber opera, guitars, music theatre, free improvisation and even laptops, to things that may be a little less common - try biotechnology, scientific research and found objects!
As ever, this year the festival is the place for those interested in new music to hear, and often see, a dazzling line-up of international composers and musicians plus many events that they simply cannot see elsewhere in the UK.
But what the festival also offers is atmosphere, camaraderie, a certain Hub, the popular meeting place which this year will be based at the Lawrence Batley Theatre. It is the place to find food, drink and of course, conversation.
Highlights this year include Missing Morty! a major look at the life and music of the American composer Morton Feldman who died in the late Eighties.
This first weekend of the festival will highlight the work of composer and virtuoso bassist Barry Guy who is also this year's HCMF composer in residence.
There's also a birthday celebration on the cards with the festival delighted to be able to pay tribute to pianist and composer Michael Finnissy's contribution to British contemporary music. A full day's programme dedicated to Michael will include a world première of a new piece, an hour- long song cycle, commissioned from him jointly by the festival and the BBC. Happy 60th birthday Michael.
Elsewhere there is much to enjoy, courtesy of HCMF's education and outreach programme which works hard to include local schools and a good many other people in the work that it does.
The generally idea is to keep your ears - and your mind open. And that's how to enjoy yet another contemporary music festival.