Irish blues musician to launch Lancashire R&B festival


Acclaimed Fermanagh blues musician Pat McManus will launch an award-winning R&B music festival in Lancashire this August bank holiday weekend.

The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival celebrates its 26th year this outing, as it brings some of the best R&B music to Colne.

It’s been voted Best Blues Festival in Europe for two years in a row and this years line-up will not disappoint blues fans with Anson Funderburgh, Davina and The Vagabonds, Billy Boy Arnold, Avery Sunshine,The Climax Blues Band and Nikki Hill all joining the bill.

Pat McManus
Pat McManus

Pat McManus opens the international stage on the first day, followed by Eugene Hideaway Bridges and Coco Montoya.

These Blues musicians – and hundreds more – will be performing at eight official venues throughout the four day event this August Bank Holiday weekend – Friday, August 28 to Monday, August 31.

For a full list, check out the website at

“The legacy of the Festival continues as we mark our 26th year of bringing some amazing Blues musicians to this part of the world. Every year we try to cater for all musical tastes and keep the Festival alive and exciting and again, we are really pleased with the line-up we have secured,” said Festival organiser, Alison Goode

“There are some old favourites, some new faces and unusually, quite a few female acts. We also have a one-off in the form of the Alligator Records Night, which should be amazing and a real coup for the Festival!

“We were absolutely delighted to be recognised for the second year running, as the Best Blues Festival in the European Blues Awards, which proves we must be doing something right, as these awards are voted for by the Blues fans themselves.”

With some crackin’ big Blues names, great music and a fantastic atmosphere, you can be sure to be entertained this August Bank Holiday as we celebrate 26 years of The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival.

This year will see a rare treat for Blues fans with an Alligator Records Night, presented by Alligator Records President Bruce Iglauer and featuring Tommy Castro, Selwyn Birchwood and Jarekus Singleton – a fantastic coup for the Festival.

There is also a new Roadhouse venue for 2015 – The Little Theatre will be transformed into The Little Acoustic Stage for the Saturday and Sunday of the Festival.

The Little Theatre is one of the oldest – and smallest – amateur run venues in the country. Colne Dramatic Society bought the former Victorian stable block in the early 1940s and following a long labour of love refurbishment, opened it in 1949. It is a perfect Victorian Music Hall design – but in miniature, with fixed, tip-up chairs and a proscenium arch stage. And with just 72 seats, any performance held here is sure to be an ‘intimate’ one!

And ticket prices remain the same for another year, with an early booking initiative to buy before June 26th.

As well as the International Stage, there will also be some popular favourites and new faces appearing on the British Stage and the Acoustic Stage, as well as the five official roadhouses.

There will be an afternoon of Jazz on the Sunday, with Courtney Pine heading the bill; Radio Lancashire will once again be broadcasting live from the British Stage at certain times over the weekend; There will be some new, young talent performing as part of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned initiative and there will once again be an outdoor stage in the town centre.



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