I'm Lytham Festival's co-founder and I am excited but nervous about its return!

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
With the highly anticipated Lytham Festival kicking off this Wednesday, one of its organisers has shared his excitement about its return in this exclusive interview.

Lytham local Peter Taylor co-founded Lytham Festival alongside his friend Daniel Cuffe back in 2010 when the pair - known collectively as the event promoters Cuffe & Taylor - ran its forerunner, the first Lytham Proms.

Ahead of Lytham Festival’s return in July, Peter was able to have a chat with us about his excitement for this year’s event, favourite memories from the past and hopes for the future.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Describing himself as “as local as you can get”, the former Ansdell County Primary School and Lytham St. Anne’s High School pupil told us his “ties to the local area are very deep rooted” which is why he is proud to have brought the festival to his hometown.

Peter’s dad, a Lytham St Anne’s High School caretaker met his mum, a home help, at Blackpool Tower Ballroom and the family - who were heavily involved in community events - lived in Lytham St Annes his whole life, and he still lives there now.

Before Peter, now 43, and Daniel, 37, became event promoters, Peter ran St Anne’s Clifton park Hotel but he says he “always wanted to do something in entertainment” and thankfully for the music fans of Lancashire, his career path change has led to the creation of the county's biggest music festival.

Take a look at what Peter had to say ahead of the 2024 Lytham Festival below:

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Peter Taylor, one half of Cuffe & Taylor, is pictured in April 2023 by James Watkins.Peter Taylor, one half of Cuffe & Taylor, is pictured in April 2023 by James Watkins.
Peter Taylor, one half of Cuffe & Taylor, is pictured in April 2023 by James Watkins. | James Watkins

Q) How are you feeling ahead of the 2024 festival?

“I'm quite excited but I always get nervous at this point, even though we've been doing it for quite a number of years. It's always good to have a few nerves because they keep you interested and motivated to do the right thing, make the right decisions and keep the festival fresh and exciting.”

Q) Who are you most looking forward to seeing? 

“I'm excited for the Courteeners. I've been trying to get the Courteeners to the festival for like the last 10 years, and every year, it's not worked out but it’s finally happened! I’m also excited for Shania Twain. She's a global legend, she's going to be doing the legend slot at Glastonbury and then a few days later, she's going to be on Lytham Green, so yeah, it's gonna be quite exciting.”

Why did you want the Courteeners for so long?

“I just like the band and knew that they had an audience in this area, which is testament to how they’ve just about sold every single ticket now for their night. They’re a band that I’ve admired and I’ve watched them over the years take off and they’re very north west centric in their fan base. So I just felt that they would do well at Lytham and I'm glad I was right.”

Liam Fray, Daniel 'Conan' Moores and Michael Campbell of Courteeners perform during the 'We Are Manchester' benefit concert at Manchester Arena on September 9, 2017. Credit: GettyLiam Fray, Daniel 'Conan' Moores and Michael Campbell of Courteeners perform during the 'We Are Manchester' benefit concert at Manchester Arena on September 9, 2017. Credit: Getty
Liam Fray, Daniel 'Conan' Moores and Michael Campbell of Courteeners perform during the 'We Are Manchester' benefit concert at Manchester Arena on September 9, 2017. Credit: Getty | Getty Images

Q) Have you seen any of this year’s acts live before?

“Yeah, I've seen all of my acts! Apart from a few of the support acts, I’ve either promoted them before elsewhere, or I have been myself to see them in concert. It's almost like ‘try before you buy’, you've got to make sure.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Q) What makes Lytham Fest stand out compared to other music festivals?

“Well Lytham’s my hometown! I'm born and bred Lytham St Annes so for me it's my baby, it's the one that started my business, and started my career as a music promoter. It will always have a very special place for me out of any of the concerts I do and, the other thing is, I know most of the people that come to the festival from Lytham as well. The’re either friends from school, or their parents, or people that worked in the local supermarket, the shopkeepers, the business owners, so, I've got a lot to kind live up to, to make it good for all of those people.”

Q) Why did you want to bring a live music festival to Lytham?

“I've always had an interest in live music, I ran the Friends of Lowther Pavilion group and I also set up the Lowther Gardens Turst to protect the theatre so the arts were always really important to me. There had been a Lytham Proms event before but it stopped -not because people didn't go to it, but because the company didn't do it anymore. So I thought people want to come to Lytham to watch a concert.

“It also started off not being rock and pop, it was classical music and people said there are a lot of people here that don't want to see classical music so I started expanding, doing different styles, different genres and actually, that proved more popular. Lytham’s been very organic in its growth and I think that's what's been part of its success. It’s not had a business plan. It's not been too contrived, we've just gone with the audience, listened to their feedback, and responded accordingly.”

Q) When you hosted the first, would you ever imagine it would get as big as it is now?

“Never! But I'm immensely proud of it, it’s one of my proudest achievements in life having set it up. It's grown into a great festival with a great heart and soul to it, so long may it continue.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Lytham Festival Daniel Cuffe (left) and Peter Taylor from Cuffe and Taylor at Lytham Green. Credit: Paul SimpsonLytham Festival Daniel Cuffe (left) and Peter Taylor from Cuffe and Taylor at Lytham Green. Credit: Paul Simpson
Lytham Festival Daniel Cuffe (left) and Peter Taylor from Cuffe and Taylor at Lytham Green. Credit: Paul Simpson | PAUL SIMPSON

Q) Will you have time for a boogie whilst you’re at the festival or is it all work?

“I think having a boogie is perhaps a little bit of a stretch but  I'll get to watch some of the shows. There's a lot to do behind the scenes to keep everybody safe and at the time, I don't usually have the headspace to appreciate it. It's only a few weeks later, when you can think back on it and look at the pictures, that you get that sense of pride of how it's all gone because once the shows started, I'm concerned with planning for the end of the show when everybody's leaving, and making sure everything's in place for that. It's a hectic time during the festival but my enjoyment is watching people enjoy it and I really get a lot out of that.”

Q) On a less glamorous note, what difference do you think the new £27m M55 to Heyhouses link road will make to the festival?

“It's going to make it easier, there’s no doubt about it. We're being a bit conservative at the moment with our traffic plans so we actually haven't planned to use it. What we didn't want to do is make lots of plans and then get told there's a delay on it. So if it is open and it's all running and there's no problems, we're definitely going to route some of our traffic onto that, to get them back onto the M55 and on their way nice and quickly at the end of the day.”

Q) After the 2024 event ends, when do you start planning for the next festival?

“We’re already planning for the next one! I've already booked the Friday night for next year already, I've got my headliner. I've also got pencils in the diary for 2026 and 2027 so it's a never ending cycle.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Is there a dream act you’ve still yet to secure?

“I’d love to secure The Killers. I try every year, it hasn’t happened yet but it will happen- they're the top of my list.”

Do you have a favourite memory from a previous Lytham Festival?

“Probably the year that we did the West End prom and we had Lea Salonga perform. Lea was the original Miss Saigon and she was meant to perform the year before but the festival got cancelled because of bad weather on the last night. So she came all the way from the Philippines, she had rehearsed that afternoon and she was backstage ready to go on when a thunderstorm started coming in. Ruthie Henshall was on stage and we hat to cut the song in the middle and evacuate the site so Lea never came on, she went back to the Philippines. So the fact Lea came all the way back the next year to do it again, that was my most memorable moment.”

L: Brandon Flowers of The Killers. R: Lea Salonga. Credit: GettyL: Brandon Flowers of The Killers. R: Lea Salonga. Credit: Getty
L: Brandon Flowers of The Killers. R: Lea Salonga. Credit: Getty | Getty

Q) Well why will this year be bigger and better than the last?

“We've made some changes. We've got some better public transport options now so our festival buses that run round the Blackpool way, they're now expanding the opposite way towards Preston Kirkham, Wrea Green, Warton which I think's really important. Then our core bosses that run up to Blackpool St Annes, Fleetwood, that service is being really enhanced. We've been selling tickets for those right from day one so people can see their options really clearly and make plans.

“We’ve also got a new park and ride car park in St Annes so you don’t have to get into Lytham and park on the green, you can be a bit further out so at the end of the show, you can hop on one of our buses and get to your car and hopefully it means you get out on your way a little bit quicker. So that will just make everybody's life a little bit easier and of course, we've got a bigger licence this year, we can have 25,000 people a day so the site's been adapted slightly for that. It's going to be our biggest year evers so we're excited about that.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Shania Twain performs during the 2024 MusiCares Person of the Year Honoring Jon Bon Jovi in February 2024. Credit: GettyShania Twain performs during the 2024 MusiCares Person of the Year Honoring Jon Bon Jovi in February 2024. Credit: Getty
Shania Twain performs during the 2024 MusiCares Person of the Year Honoring Jon Bon Jovi in February 2024. Credit: Getty | Getty Images for The Recording A

Q) Why should the people of Lancashire grab tickets to Lytham Festival?

“Lytham Festival is not just about who's on the stage, Lytham St Annes is a lovely place to visit. You can come and make a day of it because we've got nice restaurants, nice shops, nice cafes, we've got a lovely beach in St Annes and it's a really nice coastline. You can come and spend the day here and then end it by watching internationally renowned acts.

“Shania Twain is going to play in front of 70,000 people at Hyde Park, the week after she's headlining the legend slot at Glastonbury and you're going to be able to stand on Lytham Green and watch her in a really intimate setting, which you won't get anywhere else. I think that's the charm and that's what's unique about Lytham.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.