'˜Boom town' is live and rocking

Penwortham will be rocking for its busiest music event of the year this weekend.

Driftwood performing outside the Spar shop in last year's Penwortham Live
Driftwood performing outside the Spar shop in last year's Penwortham Live

Yet the boom town’s biggest pub is refusing to take part– and the three newest venues nearly didn’t make it due to council red tape.

Still, Penwortham Live, now in its sixth year, will draw crowds on to the streets on Friday and Saturday to celebrate a feast of local musical talent. A total of 22 venues from a wine bar to a Spar shop, an estate agent’s to a barber’s, will stage 164 performances ranging from folk, blues, jazz, acoustic pop, classic rock, French café music, punk and rap.

“This year we have new venues, including some in Lower Penwortham, which we’re really excited about,” said organiser Nigel Stewart from the Creative Network. “I always look forward to this weekend. It’s a lot of pressure, but also a huge buzz. I say it’s like Glastonbury without the mud!”

The Fleece Inn, so long the hub of the town centre, has decided not to join in. A spokesman said: “We aren’t taking part, basically because we couldn’t come to an agreement with the organisers on staffing levels and their policy on what they wanted at the pub.”

There were fears newcomers The Lime Bar, BonBon Coffee Bar and the Tap and Vine micropub would all be unable to enjoy their first Penwortham Live because of the strict conditions of their planning applications which ban music.

“It was a bit of a nervous wait, but thankfully we’ve all resolved the issue,” said BonBon’s Sylvia Holmes.