Lancaster Music Festival is gearing up to welcome thousands of people to the city when it returns for its 10th outing this weekend.
Following a hiatus last year, the festival will showcase more than 400 performances from a diverse mix of local, national and international acts in over 40 venues across the city centre.
Musicians from Europe, Australia and the USA will join Lancaster based festival headliners Massive Wagons, The Lovely Eggs and Lowes on stages in pubs, bars, cafes, coffee shops, bookshops, squares and banks between October 10 - 14.
Expect to hear music - everywhere.
All three headline shows - at The Sugarhouse and new venue Kanteena - are now sold out, but there are hundreds more free performances taking place across the city throughout the day and night.
Lancaster Castle, which usually hosts the festival’s main stage, is still closed for repairs until the end of the month.
There will also be street theatre, magic and workshops, secret gigs, as well as stages in Market Square, Dalton Square and The Melodrome in Sun Square during the daytimes.
Holly from Lancaster duo The Lovely Eggs, who are headlining Kanteena on Sunday night, said: “This is the first time we’ve played Lancaster in nearly two years now so we’re really bang up for a good do!
“Kanteena has the makings of a great new venue so we’re chuffed to be one of the first bands to play there.
“The night is sold out but we’re hoping we might be able to squeeze a few people in on the door. It’s going to be a cracker!”
Brian Sensor, lead singer from New Jersey, US, based trio Sensory Hoverload, said the band arrives in Lancaster on Friday morning prior to their first show at The Wagon and Horses later that evening.
He said: “We’re looking forward to seeing acts from around the world and playing for fans we’ve gained over the past five years.
“It’s a non stop party over there. And of course the cask ale...you can’t get that in the States.”
The hub of the festival will be The Storey, in Meeting House Lane, where information will be available throughout the weekend alongside merchandise, workshops and talks.
It’s also where Lancaster band Dog Daisies will be playing songs from their debut album Eagletism late on Friday night.
The band’s lead singer Stephen Hudson said: “Imagine the film Stand by Me put to music and set on a motorway.
“It’s inspired by time-travel and the great outdoors, the music of Mike Cooper and Grandaddy and writers like Richard Brautigan and Annie Proulx.
“This album has been swimming in my imagination for the past five years and now I’m so excited for other people to hear it.”
Pablo Aguilar, Project Lead at Kanteena, said: “We have been given the chance to use this amazing setting to deliver a quality and varied line up of events to the area and hope to be the first of many new ventures to bring some energy to the city. We will open this Friday 11th temporarily until New Year’s Eve, after which we will close for a few weeks to polish the place and make a few adjustments before opening at the end of January.
“We look forward to welcoming everyone in to Kanteena”.
Lucy Reynolds, one of Lancaster Music Festival’s directors, said: “The squares will be filled with family street entertainment and live music...look out for the town crier who will be announcing Market Square acts on Saturday.
“The brand new busk stop scheme sees musicians playing in local businessess - from knitting shops to record shops, cafes to museums.
“The free craft workshops, Art of Music exhibitions and talks in the Storey complement the live music across the city and delve into Lancaster’s musical heritage.
“Thank you most of all to all the musicians who are coming out to play this weekend. We couldn’t do it without you.”
The festival was launched at Lancaster Brewery on Wednesday, with several venues hosting live music tonight, Thursday October 10.
More details are available at www.lancastermusicfestival.com, while paper brochures are on sale for £1 at all participating venues.