Building city festival fever

Radio 1 Big Weekend at Moor Park, Preston
Radio 1 Big Weekend at Moor Park, Preston
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‘Prestival’ organisers have ambitious plans for music event and expansion – but they need park first

Plans are now beginning to take shape for an ambitious music event in Preston this autumn.

A local group is in talks with the city council over mounting a one-day festival in Avenham Park in September.

‘Prestival’ aims to offer local and rising stars the chance to perform in front of a potential audience of 20,000.

The logic behind the event is undeniable, seeking to build on the successes of the Guild concerts and previous events such as Radio 1’s One Big Weekend in 2007.

Event Organiser at Prestival Community Interest Company Rick Moore, said: “The running order has not yet been confirmed, in terms of who will play first and last.

“The only thing for certain at this stage is that acoustic artists will appear before the plugged-in acts.

“We will be having a Dance Tent, which will feature local talent such as Preston Street Culture, local DJs and MCs who played Harris Flights last year in conjunction with Shotta TV.

“There will be competition winners from around the North West, the presenters of FM radio’s Edit and well known guest DJ appearances.

“We’ll hold a 20,000 ticket, 13-hour long music festival with no dead airtime showcasing 20 acts in total.

“Prestival is taking place in September when 26,000 students will have started at or returned to UCLan and this event will be the culmination of Fresher’s Week celebrations and the ultimate party!

“Unsigned talent will hold the audience’s attention until 4pm when when the headline acts will begin.

“Our theme is Prestival Decades and we are looking to secure artists from the 70s right through to the present.

“Geographically speaking we are incredibly well placed on both the UK’s road and rail network to attract travellers from all over the UK.

“While Preston doesn’t have the music history of Manchester or Liverpool it certainly has the infrastructure and a thriving live music scene bubbles away beneath the surface.

“Prestival’s plan is to move from a one-day to a three-day event over two years and extended plans include relocating to include camping and extend ticket capacity to up to 50,000 within five years.

“This is sustainable given the planned reinvestment of ticket money into attracting larger bands to create a bigger draw.”

But before the organisers can look to expand, they will have to obtain permission from the authorities, including assurances that the park itself will be restored after the event.

Tim Joel, events manager at Preston Council, said: “We have been approached with a proposal for a weekend 
music event and we are working with the organiser to test the feasibility before making a decision.

“Events of this nature take a lot of organisation and 
resources and the council has to be satisfied that the organiser has the plans and resources in place in order to support such an event.”