Countdown begins for music fest as 50 city venues sign up

Lancaster Music Festival.'Lancaster Batala drummers performing in Market Square.
Lancaster Music Festival.'Lancaster Batala drummers performing in Market Square.

It’s just two months until Lancaster Music Festival will once again bathe the city in its warm, fuzzy glow.

October 8 – 12 are the dates for your diary, with nearly 50 venues gearing up to take part in what has become one of the biggest events of its kind in the country.

Festival coordinator Ben Ruth says: “We’re seeing more streets lighting up now with musical activity: King Street should be renamed Quirky Street, with Filberts the bakery and the Assembly Rooms joining Atticus to form a varied row starting with the Ring O’Bells and ending at the Robert Gillow,” he says.

“And Church Street too. Last year saw the Sun Hotel debut and that is now joined by Squires Snooker Hall with 15 acts over the weekend, followed up with the Crafty Scholar looking to do more live music With both putting it on late, along with the Study Room opposite, we expect Church Street to be busier than it’s ever been.

“Barclays Bank has completely ignored our Unofficial Bank Holiday – Take Monday Off mantra – and is actually opening on a Sunday and putting on bands, and we’ve got school workshops at Storey too.

“And for the first time ever the Ashton Memorial at Williamson Park will be involved for one event on the Friday night, courtesy of Friends of Williamson Park.

“Another first for this year’s festival is a camp site right in the city. Lancaster Cricket Club will be Lancaster Music Festival’s official campsite with tents allowed on the green and camper vans on the tarmac. It will have a late bar, breakfast and full showering facilities.

“And yes, we will be doing the Castle concerts again with a couple of surprise headline acts and far more catering, including a bigger bar to avoid the four deep at the bar problem last year.

“And with seven international acts from as far away as Brazil, Armenia, USA and Paris joining hundreds of local and national artists there really is something for everyone.

“Oh, and it’s free.”