New music festival planned for Ribchester

Owen Phillips of Ribcaged  announces the line-up for RIBFEST 2016
Owen Phillips of Ribcaged announces the line-up for RIBFEST 2016
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‘Let the music play on’ is the exciting message from a theatre company this week as it announces a new festival for the village of Ribchester.

Ribchester Festival of Music and Art may be no more, but a new festival - particularly promoting young people and including both popular and classical music, drama and art - is set to be held in the village renowned for its musical and threatrical talent this summer.

Having just marked its tenth anniversary, the professional theatre company with strong Ribchester connections - Ribcaged - is behind the launch of RibFest 2016.

Keen to promote Ribchester, there’s no stopping this successful company, which, after another busy and successful year, during which it was crowned with the ‘Creative business of the year award’ at the recent Ribble Valley Business Awards, is planning an action packed festival during the week commencing July 18.

Venues will include Ribchester village hall, St Peter and St Paul’s parish centre, the village pubs, the sports and social club and cafes, with highlight performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 22, 23 and 24.

Founder and director of Ribcaged, Owen Phillips, who was brought up in Ribchester, said: “We are keen to keep the flag flying in Ribchester with a summer festival to include particularly music, both classical and popular, but also drama and art.

“Ribcaged is keen to further the interest in music and the arts which has been promoted for nearly 25 years by Ribchester Festival of Music and Art after it was announced during the 2015 festival that it would be the last.

“As well as continuing the classical music element, Ribcaged, which was formed in Ribchester 10 years ago by myself and Ribchester resident Keith Flood, will also be intent on providing entertainment for all ages and tastes, with a particular emphasis on young people.”

Much of Ribcaged’s work takes place in primary and secondary schools with drama workshops and commissioned pieces on important social matters and early in 2015 Ribcaged won the prestigious ‘Spirit of the Community Award’ from the Yorkshire and Clydesdale Bank for its work in schools and the wider community on the very relevant issue of debt.

Ribcaged, in addition to its wide range of theatre work, has also presented several Cabaret shows over the years within Ribchester.

The company is also gaining recognition for its involvement in the musical ‘Stop the Train’ written and produced by another Ribchester man and Ribcaged regular, Rick Guard.

Owen says RibFest will reflect what the community wants to hear and see and Ribcaged will be actively seeking the views and interests of Ribchester and the surrounding area.

Keith added: “So great news for music and drama lovers. Make a note of the dates, week commencing Monday, July 18, with more news and views early in 2016.”