East Lancashire’s culture vultures have an idyllic location to celebrate the arts this weekend when the eagerly anticipated Cloudspotting Music and Arts Festival takes place in Gisburn Forest, near Slaidburn.
Regional music acts – from quirky solo performers to emerging and established bands – will play alongside UK and internationally known groups, many of whom have already enjoyed a busy summer playing the country’s largest festivals like Glastonbury and Latitude.
Cloudspotting begins today (Friday) with entertainment from 4pm and continues through the weekend until 1am on Monday.
It all begins when Ribble Valley-based progressive jazz act the John Wickham Trio open the festival’s lawn stage, followed by Blackburn experimental rock outfit Sky Valley Mistress, who launch the main stage.
Live music sets take centre stage from midday until midnight each day, with two stages alternating, so no one needs miss a beat.
Other East Lancashire-based acts performing over the weekend include Good Foxy, The Remedy, Bad Cardigan, Joe Martin, Sweeney Astray (solo) and Shantytown Junction, all on Saturday, with Bird to Beast, Harp and a Monkey and Panjenix on Sunday.
They will perform alongside headline acts which include Melt Yourself Down (Friday), The Leisure Society (Saturday), John Bramwell (I Am Kloot) and Cate Le Bon (Sunday).
In addition to music there will be an abundance of activities on offer for a younger audience, including building a giant “tetrahedron” featuring artwork contributed by festival visitors.
Families are encouraged to attend en masse, as under-16s are charged just £3 each.
Outdoor theatre takes centre stage on Saturday lunchtime when Ribcaged Productions premiere their latest play, “No Man’s Land”.
It is based on the enriching story of the Dick Kerr Ladies football team, who enjoyed much success at the time of the Great War.
On Sunday, there will also be a hybrid performance of poetry and song based on the poems of William Michael Neary, who has worked with a number of locally based singer-songwriters to tell a true story from the Forest of Bowland, entitled “Far More Grace Than Me”.
A late addition to the programme on Sunday has been arranged by one of the event sponsors, Creative Lancashire’s SoundBytes initiative. John Bramwell, the singer with popular Manchester band I Am Kloot, will precede his evening performance on the main stage by taking part in a live interview with award –winning journalist John Robb, in the Bitter Suite at 3-30 pm.
l A limited number of weekend camping tickets (£80 for adults and £3 for under 16s, valid from noon Friday to Monday morning) are still available.
Customers are advised to buy tickets in advance. They are available from The Grand box office (01200 421599) or via www.thegrandvenue.co.uk or www.wegottickets.com.
Day tickets are available for Friday (£25), Saturday (£30) and Sunday (£30), under-16s are charged £3. There will be a small increase to these charges for tickets bought “on the door”.