One of the UK’s biggest urban, dance and indie festivals has announced it is coming to Preston – and has promised to bring big-name acts to the city.
Evolution will take over Avenham Park on Saturday, September 8, for a one-day music festival as part of the 2012 Guild celebrations.
Evolution, the North East’s biggest annual music event, attracted 60,000 revellers to the Newcastle area last year and pumped £3.2m into the local economy.
Organisers are remaining tight-lipped about the line-up for the 15,000-capacity Preston gig, to be renamed G-Volution, but said it was likely to share some acts with its North East counterpart.
The event at Newcastle Gateshead Quayside has already confirmed rap superstar Dizzee Rascal, indie favourites Maximo Park, dance hero Deadmau5, folk pop favourites Noah and the Whale, and Brit-nominated hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks on its bill on June 3 and 4.
Festival organisers are also keen to add Lancashire-based unsigned acts to the Preston bill to help give new talent a big break.
Jim Mawdsley, Evolution festival director, said: “It’s the first time we have branched outside of the North East and we’re really excited to be coming to Preston.
“We’re the biggest event north of Leeds (festival) and south of T in the Park.
“Everyone on our line-ups tend to be very current and are based around new and cutting edge music.
“We always include an element of local emerging talent too and we will be looking out for acts.
“The Guild is a big part of the North West and we are proud to be involved. It will be a real crowd-pleaser.”
Talks are ongoing with a number of artists and the line-up for G-Volution is expected to be confirmed in the next couple of months.
Opera superstar Jose Carreras has already been announced for a Proms in the Park classical event the night before.
Stella Hall, Guild festival director, said organisers were keen to cater for all ages and musical tastes.
She said: “The Guild is for everyone and we want to reach out to all age groups and people from all backgrounds.
“It’s thrilling Evolution is going to come out of the North East for the first time and come to Preston.
“It’s not about parachuting in the same acts (from Evolution) but there may be some overlap.
“They are not going to announce any names yet but that’s the calibre of acts involved.”
The gig is expected to bring a big money boost for Preston’s economy, with revellers spending money in hotels, restaurants and bars.
When Radio 1’s Big Weekend two-day music festival came to Moor Park in May 2007, business leaders estimated it had injected around £1m into the city.
And music fans were delighted with the Rock in the Park festival in Avenham Park two years later.
Preston Council leader Peter Rankin said he hoped the event would present the city in its best light to visitors.
He said: “The Guild will attract people from across the North West, the UK and internationally, so it’s fitting that we welcome them with the party of the year, of which G-Volution will be one of the biggest highlights.
“The festival will welcome some well-known names to the city and show Preston at its best.”
Tickets will go on sale after the line-up in announced.