Festival is live and kicking

Rik Scholes performing at Harry's Bar as part of Wigan Live Festival

Rik Scholes performing at Harry's Bar as part of Wigan Live Festival

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THE organisers of a festival which saw Wigan town centre packed out with local music talent have hailed the event a massive success.

The Wigan Live Festival saw more than 40 acts take to the stage at nine venues across the town centre last month, with the entertainment ranging from buskers singing for shoppers to performances from a Polish brass band and a samba ensemble.

The free event’s success is all the more impressive as it was the first time the organisers had put on a music festival and it was created for the princely sum of £56.

The organisers are now already planning for next year’s event and hope Wigan Live will become a central fixture on the borough’s annual arts calendar.

Organiser Timothy Critchley, 24, said: “It was absolutely brilliant, and to see the town so busy was just unbelievable.

“The festival is all about showcasing local talent and providing a free event for the community. We had lots of volunteers helping out and everyone involved did a fantastic job.

“Everything ran smoothly, even in the venues that do not normally have live music on, and we’re on our way to persuading them that putting on acts will help sales and showcase local talent as well.”

The festival arrived in Wigan following the success of similar events across the North West, including in Preston, Leyland and Chorley.

The day included a huge range of musical genres, with everything from a Proms in the Park event to buskers running through their repertoire of indie, punk and rock tunes in the town centre.

Events took place in a host of venues across the town centre, with pubs and clubs including The Raven and Little Fifteen on Wallgate and The Tudor on New Market Street.

Timothy is now hoping the festival will continue to grow, and is already inviting acts to send applications to play at next year’s festival. Anyone who would like to help out behind the scenes is being asked to get in touch about roles on the committee and as a volunteer.

The organising team is also currently picking a charity to receive the proceeds from the day of music making, which will be announced on the Wigan Live Facebook page.

To find out more about the event and to for updates on next year’s event, visit www.wiganlivefestival.co.uk or www.facebook.com/WiganLiveFestival