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New Brighton Festival returns to Vale Park this weekend

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the New Brighton Music Festival will be making the picturesque Vale Park its home on Saturday and Sunday 13th and 14th August.

The event will be welcoming music fans of all ages across Merseyside to enjoy a full weekend programme of live entertainment for all tastes.

Major acts include DeePurple U.K. and Scene Stealers, while Dean Johnson is making one last appearance on stage before retirement, returning to the Bandstand after 40 years. If you love ska, you won’t be disappointed on Sunday.

Most of the acts are from the North West are well-known to local music aficionados. Melanie S Jane is journeying from the North East to entertain Merseysiders, while upcoming talent Razzmatazz will be playing in their home town.

Once again, as in 2019, all proceeds from the event are going towards Macmillan Cancer Support. Admission is by donation online – link accessible via a QR code, or if you prefer, you can pay in cash.

The festival is no stranger to New Brighton residents, beginning in 1992 to coincide with the arrival of the Tall Ships. Organiser, Steve King, saw an opportunity:

“With the potential of 1,000,000 people descending on New Brighton, I wondered, what were all these people going to do while they were here?”

“It was a bit different back then, with a wrecking ball moving down the bottom half of Victoria Road. In fact, the first major sponsor at that time was the demolition company. We also had support from the MDC, they could see what we were trying to do in this former bustling seaside destination that they were working on and stayed with us for the rest of their duration.”

With the help of Wirral Borough Council and Merseyside Development Corporation, the New Brighton Rhythm & Blues Festival was born – a ticketed event at the Hotel Victoria and a parallel free event launched at Vale Park. In 2000, the festival changed its name to the simpler “New Brighton Festival” to accommodate the broadening range of music genres.

After a full few years of hosting events, including a free extravaganza for the Queen’s Jubilee in 2002 and a three-day event a year later, life in New Brighton was beginning to pick up again. That gave the organisers a chance to take a well-earned break.

However, in 2015, Steve was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which meant undergoing a full surgical procedure. His recovery was assisted by Macmillan nurses, which inspired him to begin fundraising. In 2019, the New Brighton Music Festival returned after a long hiatus and secured £1,500 for the charity. Following the Covid pandemic, the festival is back, once again collecting funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

This is to be Steve’s last event, so he aims to make it the biggest and best yet: “I stopped doing all this in 2003, then came out of retirement in 2019 to stage our first Macmillan event and it went very well, but all this is a young person’s game! Let’s see how much we can raise this time over the two days for Macmillan Cancer Support – a cause that I truly believe in.”

Thanks to sponsorship from Wirral Borough Council and The Friends of Vale Park, visitors to the 2022 event can look forward to two afternoons of live music. Provisional programme (times may vary:

Saturday

1.00-1.15 Carl Southworth

1.20-1.40 Dean Johnson

1.45-2.15 Razzmatazz

2.30-3.30 LED ZED

3.45-4.30 Blac Riddim Underground

From 4.45 Dean Johnson and Friends

5.30 Tim Salmon

6.00-7.00 DeePurple U.K.

Sunday

1.00-1.25 Dean Johnson

1.30-2.15 Davy Edge and Friends

2.30-3.45 Blindhorse

4.00-4.25 Melanie S Jane

4.40-5.40 Black Mountain Lights

6.00-7.00 Scene Stealers

Keep checking Facebook for the most up-to-date running order. While refreshments are available to buy throughout the day from the Coffee Roast at Vale House, attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic and blanket and to take all litter home.

There is a supply of deckchairs, so arrive early to claim yours. Parking restrictions apply in the surrounding area. Therefore, festival organisers advise all visitors to walk or use public transport.

To join in all the fun, simply turn up on the day – no need to book in advance – and make your donation to Macmillan Cancer Support.

More information can be found on the Facebook Page HERE

READ MORE: MOLOKO to be transformed into retro 90s themed bar every Saturday

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