The popular Preston Arts Festival 2022 is currently underway, showcasing the vast range of artistic activity in and around the city.
Preston Arts Festival first began in 2002 and has been an annual event ever since, apart from a hiatus in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Running from June 10 to June 19, the organisers, Preston Arts Association (PAA), brought the festival forward to June this year, rather than its usual Autumnal date, in the hope that it will have better weather and longer evenings.
PAA began the festival with the aim of promoting awareness of the arts in and around Preston and helping to publicise the talents of the fifty or so member groups.
The Association now works closely with many partners to display what the city has to offer, and this year’s festival, as always, provides a showcase for local arts organisations and individuals, whilst also entertaining and enlightening audiences.
2022’s festival got under way last Friday with a singing workshop at Much Hoole, followed by Preston Musical Comedy Society’s performance of Calendar Girls the Musical at Preston Playhouse and Damson Poets’ open mic poetry reading at the Continental.
Saturday then saw a repeat of last year’s Preston Portrait Challenge in the Guild Hall Foyer, with the deputy mayor and mayoress of Preston as models.
The official launch of this year’s Preston Arts Festival took place on Sunday at St George’s Church, Lune Street with the Mayor of Preston and Cllr Yahub Patel in attendance,
This included a free concert featuring organist Rob Mosley, St John’s Church Girls Choir, pianist Paul Greenhalgh and Chinese dancers from UCLan, as well as a martial arts/taichi demonstration by UCLan Confucius Institute
Throughout the 10 days, the festival features a vast range of music, including a Tribute to Bruce Springsteen at the Conti; Sugarstone, A Second Generation and Zvilnik at The Ferret; a concert by The Harris Music Club in St George’s Church; a concert by Preston Cecilian Choral Society at St Leonards Church Penwortham; and ‘Thank you for the Music’ a show in St Georges church devoted to musicals.
Other events so far have included a ‘Find Your Voice’ singing workshop, a ‘Dancing the Next Step’ class, an ‘Improve your photography’ workshop, a Martial Arts demonstration and Taichi participatory workshop, the Book launch of The Attendant’s Room by Dorothy Nelson, as well as talks on the history of 5 Winckley Square, and Musicals from Roger and Hart to Rogers and Hammerstein.
Many events are yet to go ahead, including all day festivals, participatory sessions and talks. See the full list below:
-Tonight (Tuesday 14) 19.00-20.30: session with Preston People’s Choir in room 226 at UCLan Media factory. Free to first time attenders. Free parking on Media Factory car park.
-Tonight (Tuesday 14): Showcase (open Mic) at The Ferret. Open to anyone who turns up on the night to perform – poetry readings, comics, dancers, musicians and bands. Free event.
-Tonight (Tuesday 14) 19.30-21.30 : A presentation by Preston sculptor Peter Hodgkinson at Preston market. Tickets £5 from Ticketsource or on the door at the Boatyard at theContinental.
-June 13,15,16,17: Friends of Winckley Square present a Jubilee Exhibition in the Central Methodist Church, Lune St. Free event
-Throughout the week: 5 guided walks arranged by the Friends of Winckley Square
-Wednesday 15, 18.15-19.45: session with Worldwise Samba Drummers in room 226 at UCLan Media factory. Free to first time attenders.
-Wednesday 15: Spin City Open Decks. The Ferret invites guest DJ’s to provide music throughout the evening. Free event.
-Wednesday 15: Fired4U on Hennel Lane, Walton-le-Dale. Adult’s pottery painting evening. Booking essential via www.fired4u.co.uk or 01772 203060
-Wednesday 15, 19:30: Painting the North. A talk by Richard Catmore on the Ist floor Stanley Arms, Lancaster Road. £5 Ticketsource or on the door.
-Thursday 16, 19:30: the HP Lovecraft show of ghost stories. Tickets can be bought here.
-Friday 17: Lancashire Archives present All life is here... an exhibition and readings from an ongoing project based on historical court documents.
-June 18-19: New Longton Artists Members Show - Annual Art Exhibition at New Longton Village Hall - free event (June 18-19)
-June 18-19:Preston Portrait Challenge Exhibition at New Longton Village Hall (presentation at 11.00 on Saturday 18– free event)
-Sat 18: Circle Dancing with Rosemary Forrest at Venue Galloway Hall, Fulwood. No partner or experience needed. £5 or pay what you can.
-Sat 18: Lessons on the potters’ wheel. One to one half hour sessions; learn to throw your own pot and return to paint it once it has been fired for you. £45.00. Booking essential via website www.fired 4U or call 01772 203060
-Sat 18: an all day indie rock festival at the Contiential, featuring The Empire Police, Sugarstone, The Ruby Tuesdays, Audrey’s Dance and a BBQ.
-Sun 19, 13.00-15.00: Participatory session with Preston Scratch Band at the Larder, Lancaster Road. Bring your own instrument, £5 per participant on entry.
-Sun 19: Preston Arts Festival’s Finale Concert featuring members of Preston Opera, Preston Flute band, the Dunelm Duo, and organists Harry Spencer and Sam Walmsley.
The Festival events guide giving all the details of content, times, location and price is currently available in a number of locations. including your local library.