Feel the force at festival

Lytham Festival  will feature Star Wars The Force Awakens
Lytham Festival will feature Star Wars The Force Awakens

Lights, camera and action galore – Lytham Festival will be bigger than ever this year with the announcement of a fifth night of entertainment on The Green.

The Festival’s main arena will feature an al fresco screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens as what organisers Cuffe and Taylor claim will be the UK’s largest-ever seaside outdoor cinema comes to Fylde.

The showing of the seventh episode of the classic cinema franchise will take place on Wednesday, August 3 and will precede four nights of music on the Green, featuring top stars such as Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Canadian rock giant Bryan Adams, The Village People, Bay City Rollers and musical theatre band Collabro.

Cuffe and Taylor, who have guided the event from a single night of entertainment to its current format in just seven years, say they wanted the extra event to offer something different to the more than 30 nights of live entertainment being held throughout this year’s week-long Festival.

Presented by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released last December, is the highest grossing of all the Star Wars films and the third highest grossing movie of all time, taking more than $2bn dollars at the Box Office.

In addition to the big screening, Cuffe and Taylor have also confirmed details of live entertainment to take place at a wide variety of events around town – Lowther Pavilion, the Assembly Rooms, the Church Stage at St Cuthbert’s Church, Stage Too at the adjoining Victory Hall and the RNLI Lifeboat Museum - while two nights of open-air cinema will be back at Lytham Hall after proving a success on its debut last year.

Acts confirmed so far at Lowther are country duo The Shires, comedian and ventriloquist Nina Conti, former X-Factor winner Matt Cardle, punk band The Dolls and Space, boyband Lawson and 80s synthpop band Heaven 17.

The Assembly Rooms will host the World Jazz Stage throughout the week of the Festival featuring an eclectic mix of jazz, folk and world music including Off The Rails Big Band, Jeremiah Ferrari, Fire Beneath the Sea, Bugalu Foundation and Drop the Floor. There will also be a series of drum and song-writing workshops.

In addition, there will be the art installation CounterpART, comprising 12 installations around Lytham presented by a group of local, regional, national and international artists.

There will also be art sessions at Lytham Assembly Rooms.

The Church Stage will feature live classical music throughout the Festival, including Heart of England String Quarter performing an array of classics from Viva Vivaldi to Viva La Vida and the Heart Of England Chamber Orchestra will perform Vivaldi’s Gloria and other Golden Classics.

There will also be a performance from Ferris and Milnes – pianist Dominic Ferris and vocalist Martin Milnes – with a showcase of comedy, music and song. Stage Too at Victory Hall will see live music from X-Factor finalist Jake Quickenden, MOBO and Brit Award winner Lemar, Lancashire indie band The Lottery Winners, RnB and soul band MiC Lowry, rising Lancashire singer-songwriter Nathan Grisdale and indie pop and rock band Room 94.

The RNLI Lifeboat Museum will be the venue for some traditional sealife entertainment as The Shanty Crew present Echoes of the Sea, while Lytham Hall’s outdoor picnic cinema will feature the cult classic musical comedy horror Rocky Horror Picture Show and to celebrate the life of the late David Bowie, firm favourite and adventure musical fantasy film Labyrinth will also be screened.

Lytham Festival director Peter Taylor said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the entire line-up for Lytham Festival 2016 and to announce we are presenting Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the UK’s largest-ever seaside outdoor cinema is magnificent.

“This is incredibly exciting for us as it is completely different to anything we have ever offered in the main Lytham Green Proms Arena but we are sure this will be a huge hit with both families and Star Wars fans from far and wide.

“In addition, to be announcing such high profile artists for all our other venues on the back of the internationally-renowned musicians and performers we had already revealed for the Proms Arena is pretty pleasing to say the least.

“I and all the Lytham Festival team are confident that Lytham Festival 2016 really does offer something for everybody and with tickets to some events available from as little as £12 we hope that as many people as possible can come to Lytham and experience a fantastic array of live entertainment.”

Tickets to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Lytham Festival went on sale last night (Weds) and are priced from £20.

Meanwhile, tickets are on sale to all Lytham Festival events now. In addition, a Lytham Festival Box Office will open in Lytham Piazza from Sunday June 26.

More details at www.lythamfestival.com