Lancashire Encounter Festival will mark halfway point between Preston Guilds

The halfway point between Preston Guilds will be celebrated this year with a three-day family experience being billed as "remarkable" and "extraordinary."

By Brian Ellis
Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 4:55 am

The Lancashire Encounter Festival, which was born in 2015 as a legacy from the 2012 Guild, will hit the city centre over the weekend of September 16/17/18 with a full programme of art, culture and performance.

It will include a spectacular torchlight procession, open air music and performances across the city, together with a family picnic in Winckley Square.

“The Lancashire Encounter festival is a truly worthy legacy of Preston Guild," said Coun Peter Kelly the council's cabinet member for culture and art.

Performers on the Flag Market at last year's Encounter.

“When Lancashire Encounter began back in 2015 our aim was to capture and continue the passion, excitement and community spirit of the historic Preston Guild celebrations with opportunities for lifelong connections and friendships to be made, something which is even more important post lockdown.

“At this mid-way point between Guild celebrations, Lancashire Encounter offers an opportunity for local community and arts groups to perform alongside other local, regional and national groups in this remarkable, family-oriented festival."

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Since it began in 2015 the festival has succeeded in delivering a plethora of fascinating, profound and exciting performances along with cultural experiences to Preston city centre. The council says this year’s festival is set to be "just as extraordinary."

Festival fun in 2021.

A spokesperson for the organisers added: "2022 is a mid-way point between two guild years, the next is due in 2032. Lancashire Encounter provides an opportunity to continue and cultivate these connections, friendships and fantastic city vibes.

"This year you can take part in the family-oriented festival and celebrate the county's diverse cultural offerings, with quality high-profile arts including a packed programme of events and workshops for all ages."

The fun starts on the Friday evening with the MET Music Programme and launch event, featuring open air performances and music.

The torchlight procession will be the highlight of the Saturday programme as community groups come together to parade the city centre streets after dark, culminating on Preston bus station plaza with the projection of a live motion capture, musical theatre piece based on the painting Dorette, from the Harris collection.

And on Sunday the big picnic in Winckley will see bring families enjoy street theatre, Punch and Judy, circus workshops and more.