Entertainment review of the year for Lancaster and Morecambe
Reporter Michelle Blade looks back on entertainment and events of 2021
With Covid lockdowns and restrictions affecting the entertainment and hospitality industries, it's a wonder there were any gigs or events to go to this year.
But here is a look back at all the events in the district that did go ahead.
In March, young people from Lancaster and Morecambe took part in a new Digital Arts Festival alongside professionals including an actor from Channel 4’s hit drama, It’s A Sin.
Nathaniel Hall lead an autobiographical writing and performance workshop on March 13 following his appearance in It’s A Sin as Donald Bassett, the boyfriend of Olly Alexander’s character, Ritchie Tozer.
Read all about it here
Families enjoyed some egg-citing escapades from home during the Easter break with brand new, live Zoom adventure Curious Investigators.
The fun, interactive experience was presented by award-winning theatre company One Tenth Human and arts organisation The Dukes Lancaster, in partnership with development charity Global Link.
After the zoom sessions which families could enjoy in their own home, they could continue their investigations outside after the show in a fluffy chick trail around Lancaster city centre.
Kirkby Lonsdale CIC (Kirkby Lonsdale Community Interest Company) launched two online workshops in the new Phoenix Rising Art Taster workshop programme with Melling visual arts organisation Green Close in April.
The workshops took place online, offering the community a safe space to be creative, socialise and learn something new while the UK vaccination programme was still being rolled out and many social restrictions remained in place.
More Music was thrilled to be welcoming live music back to their venue in the West End of Morecambe from May onwards with a new programme of gigs, featuring diverse artists and musicians.
There were performances from Belshazzar's Feast, Midnight Racer and Viva Declaration amongst others.
The third book in a series on the history of Overton and Sunderland Point was made available.
Book 1’s (The Changing Faces of Sunderland Point) 119 pages dealt with the years of approx. 1841-1940, while Book 2’s (Sunderland Point, The Early Days) 129 pages covered the years before 1841.
The third book was Overton History from the Newspapers, the 122 pages dealing mainly with the 1800s.
A musical memorial festival was held on the beach at Morecambe’s West End in memory of musician Tom Marshall who passed away earlier in the year.
The event kicked off with the Ukelele Orchestra, then a whole cavalcade of acts including Jenny White, Vari, Matt Panesh, Joe Gardener, Jenii Lemme and Martin, Stevie Dylan, Andy Creevy, Deccan Traps and concluded with a set from the Melting Pot, which was the social music project started by Tom.
The Dukes in Lancaster was back to entertain audiences with its Autumn 2021 season – ushering in a celebration of The Dukes 50th Anniversary.
The new autumn season was packed with imaginative storytelling, gripping drama, heart-warming family shows, fantastic film, and cracking comedy.
March of the Mods Morecambe came to The Alhambra in September.
Part of the annual nationwide March of the Mods event it had been rescheduled and featured Supersonic Kicks, The Persuasion, The Reaction, Away from the Numbers, 48K’s, Tall Faces, Special Brew and Sharp Class.
There was a designated Northern Soul room.
There were a few events for Halloween 2021, including The Haunting of Blaine Manor at The Platform in Morecambe, Dracula:The Untold Story at The Dukes in Lancaster, adult pantomime Rapunzel at Morecambe's Winter Gardens and a showing of Nosferatu, a silent film classic with live music for Halloween, at Morecambe Winter Gardens.
There was a lot happening in the West End of Morecambe to mark the beginning of the festive season.
There was a wonderful day of community celebration that included the West End Christmas market and the fabulous Winter Lantern Festival, in and around More Music on Devonshire Road.
More than 100 people in Lancaster defied the freezing temperatures and the aftermath of Storm Arwen to enjoy some festive family fun for CancerCare.
This year saw the return of the charity’s Santa Dash to the city for the first time since the Covid pandemic struck last year.
There was also the first Santa Dash in Morecambe which was a great success.
Thousands of people flocked to Lancaster city centre for the Christmas lights switch on event in November.
Lancaster BID manager Tony Johnson said: "We decided to support more local acts this year and that went down very well. Statistically it’s the second busiest Sunday since the pandemic, only the Sunday of Lancaster Music Festival last month has been higher."
See the pictures here