Lancashire Encounter Festival 2023: cultural celebration will offer 'something for everyone', organisers pledge

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Organisers of Lancashire’s Encounter Festival are promising “fun and thoughtful” performances as they unveil the line-up for the event in Preston next month.

The cultural display, which is staged every other year and is designed to celebrate the breadth of the county’s talent, takes place between 15th and 17th September.

Opening the festival on the Friday will be ‘The Lighter Jams’ bringing a mix of soul, pop, rock and reggae to Preston in the city’s mobile event tent at the University of Central Lancashire's (UCLan) University Square.

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On Saturday, festival-goers can enjoy free outdoor theatre shows at both Preston Bus Station and the Flag Market.

The Encounter Festival is coming to Preston in SeptemberThe Encounter Festival is coming to Preston in September
The Encounter Festival is coming to Preston in September

Meanwhile, an array of other “captivating performances” are the order of the day on the Community and Traditions Stage, which will spring up that day outside the Guild Hall.

The mobile event tent at UCLan will still be in action, offering ticketed dance workshops with Dance Syndrome, Jazz Swing Dance and Swati Dance Company - and culminating with Preston Beats Drum Circle.

Saturday evening will see the festival's signature Torchlight Procession start out from Moor Park at 7:15pm, winding its way to the Guild Hall for 8:30pm where music and dancing will “fill the streets”, according to Preston City Council.

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Sunday will bring a family-oriented day of fun and food to Winckley Square. The highlight will be the "Parade" show, which will roll along Fishergate, creating what is promised to be "a stunning spectacle" through the main shopping street.

Attendees are also being encouraged to visit the Creative Scrap Store at the bus station, where they can unleash their creativity in a range of special workshops using found and scrap materials.

Cllr Peter Kelly, cabinet member for culture and leisure services at Preston City Council, said: “We are delighted to unveil the exciting programme for Encounter Festival 2023.

“With a weekend filled with fun, thoughtful performances, and captivating experiences, this year's festival promises to be a true celebration of art and culture in Preston.

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“From the free outdoor theatre shows to performances at the Community and Traditions Stage, there's something for everyone to enjoy. We invite everyone to join us for a weekend of creativity, entertainment, and community spirit at Encounter Festival 2023.

To book tickets for the festival's ticketed activities, click here.

More information about the Encounter can be found on its official website.