Let’s champion our city as 
all-year round music venue

The Lancaster Music Festival team. Photo by Nick Dagger Photography.
The Lancaster Music Festival team. Photo by Nick Dagger Photography.

The organiser of Lancaster Music Festival said he’d like to see the city’s music scene thrive all year round – not just for five days in October.

Ben Ruth said there are currently 23 venues in Lancaster regularly showcasing around 60 music acts a week – and this was the whole point of setting up the music festival in the first place.

Speaking after the event, which attracted up to 80,000 people to the city between October 12 and 16, Ben said Lancaster Music Festival was set up to champion the music scene in the city, but had ended up championing itself. 
He said he’d like to see a more joined up approach to promoting music events in the city, and a year off for the music festival in 2018 would mean organisers could focus on Lancaster’s year round offer.

He said: “From what I’ve heard so far, some venues have reported their busiest Saturday trading ever.

“For others, it’s been their biggest day’s trading for the music festival.

“The festival was set up to champion the music scene in Lancaster. But what it’s been doing is championing the music festival instead, and that’s got to change to some extent.

“Taking a year off will enable us to focus on what’s already here.”

The Lancaster Music Festival board of directors is now looking to attract new funding in the form of sponsorship, and would like to employ a creative producer to take over the running of it.

Ben said: “If the pubs actually start working together for the good of the music scene, then Lancaster’s all year round offer could be greatly improved.

“I’ve been told that people get off the train and say ‘where is it? They expect to hear the music.

“There’s nothing at the Visitor Information Centre, so it’s about trying to get venues and artists to throw in a bit more energy to improve the scene that benefits everyone.

“We’re going to ask iLancaster at the university to create an app that venues and artists can upload information to.

“I also think an academy style venue would be a very good thing for Lancaster in conjunction with a year round events guide.”

Ben also thanked everyone involved in making Lancaster Music Festival happen, including directors, technicians and volunteers.