Stellar line-up for ninth Lytham Festival

Crowds take in the night at Lytham Festival 2017
Crowds take in the night at Lytham Festival 2017
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The doors are now open on this year’s musical celebrations for Lytham Festival.

Setting the week-long event underway at Lowther Pavilion last night were musical theatre boyband Collabro, ahead of a return show from The Mersey Beatles tonight - before the main arena shows begin tomorrow.

Returning for its ninth year, Lytham Festival once more has a mixed programme of headline acts.

Here’s our handy guide to everything you need to know for the week.

TUESDAY:

The Mersey Beatles will take music fans back in time to The Year Of Revolution with their Lowther Pavilion show.

They’ll play a special anniversary set, recognising the impact of the Fab Four’s ground-breaking 1968 album The Beatles - known the world over as The White Album.

The Liverpool-born Beatles tribute band will perform seminal tracks and hits from the White Album including such songs as Revolution, Helter Skelter, Back In The U.S.S.R and While My Guitar Gently Weeps, followed by a sensational second set of Beatles’ classics in a journey through the Fab Four’s hit-packed back catalogue - from the songs of Beatlemania to Sgt Pepper and Abbey Road.

Doors 7pm.

WEDNESDAY:

5, 6, 7, 8... Steps were one of the Nineties biggest pop acts, notching up 14 top 10 singles before they split in 2001.

Singers Lee, Claire, Lisa, Faye and ‘H’ marked their return last year with new album Tears On The Dancefloor and a string of sold out arena shows - and their Summer Of Steps show heads to the Fylde, with support from We’re Going To Ibiza hitmakers Venga Boys and Saturday Night star Whigfield, plus DJ Pat Sharp..

And their dancefloor-filling, feel-good pop gave us such huge hits as 5, 6, 7, 8..., One For Sorrow, Stomp and Tragedy, perfect fodder for a summer party night in the Main Proms Arena on Lytham Green.

VIP gates 5pm, general admission 6pm. Music from 7.30pm.

Dan Leno - A Royal Jester is a world premiere performance, running throughout Lytham Festival, starring Steve Royle from BBC Radio Lancashire and Blackpool Grand Theatre’s annual pantomime.

After developing his skills as a performer in the Lancashire music halls, Dan Leno became a huge celebrity of the London stage, creating iconic dame roles and becoming a favourite of King Edward VII and the Royal family.

The play charts his rise, and tells his story from the asylum where he spent his final days, diagnosed with insanity - but in reality suffering with a brain tumour.

“I am flattered and thrilled to be asked to play this legendary music-hall star,” Steve Royle said. “Dan Leno was as passionate about pantomime as I am and hopefully I will be able to do him justice. The play will run from tomorrow until Saturday at 7.30pm, with matinees at 2pm on Friday and Sunday, at the Wesley Hall Theatre, Park & Westby St. Evenings Weds to Sat at 7.30pm. Tickets from £8.

THURSDAY:

Since launching Ibiza Classics at the BBC Proms in 2015, Pete Tong has enjoyed sell-out shows at arenas across the country.

He rose to prominence as a Radio 1 DJ, and has become a music industry icon celebrated for his knowledge of dance music while producing classic dance anthems for the masses.

This show features Pete Tong with the Heritage Orchestra conducted by Jules Buckley bringing a taste of Ibiza to Lytham Green’s Main Proms Arena. They’re joined by Basement Jaxx for a DJ set to start the night, and a solo set from Becky Hill will also join Pete on stage.

VIP gates 5pm, general admission 6pm. Music from 7.30pm.

Sister Sledge are one of the most iconic female groups of all time - with a string of gold and platinum records gaining them total global sales of more than 15million, as well as Grammy nominations for record of the year and best R&B duo or group.

The group has performed on some of the most prestigious stages around the world, and this week they play Lowther Pavilion.

Doors 7pm.

FRIDAY:

Local lass Rae Morris will feature, supporting headline stars George Ezra and

Emeli Sandé in the Main Proms Arena.

George has recently celebrated his first number one hit, with single Shotgun, the follow up release to single Paradise - the debut release from his chart-topping second album Staying At Tamara’s.

Emeli Sandé burst onto the scene in 2009 with Top 10 hit Diamond Rings, her collaboration with Chipmunk. She scored further chart success with DJ and rapper Naughty Boy before claiming her first number one – the smash-hit Read All About It with Professor Green, and received major acclaim from her performances at London’s Olympic opening and closing ceremonies in 2012.

Rae’s second album Someone Out There has featured singles Reborn, Do It, and the title track accompanied by a video inspired by her childhood growing up in Blackpool.

General admission tickets now sold out. VIP options available.

VIP gates 5pm, general admission 6pm. Music from 7.30pm.

SATURDAY:

Celebrating the NHS’s 70th birthday, and promoting a ‘fitter Fylde coast’ this summer, Dancing On Ice star Dan Whiston is urging locals to come down to the Main Proms Arena at 10am - to help break the record for the most people exercising to a fitness video. The current record, set in China, stands at 4,814 people.

Register online at www.fitterfyldecoast.nhs.uk.

Everybody Dance - that’s the call for the Saturday night party at the Main Proms Arena as Nile Rogers and Chic headline.

The Le Freak hitmakers have enjoyed global success for more than 40 years.

Grammy Award winner Nile Rodgers was last year inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall Of Fame. A hugely successful song-writer and producer in his own right, and with Chic, Nile has rocked beyond the boundaries of disco with inimitable guitar riffs fundamental to hip hop, rock and electronic dance music.

Supporting him will be 80s girl band Bananarama, with hits including Really Saying Something, Cruel Summer and Love In The First Degree, and Back To Life (However Do You Want Me) hitmakers Soul II Soul.

General admission tickets now sold out. VIP options available.

VIP gates 5pm, general admission 6pm. Music from 7.30pm.

SUNDAY:

Classical crossover group Il Divo headline the ‘Last Night At The Proms’ concert - where picnic parties on the green’s Main Proms Arena are a ‘must’, with Martine McCutcheon.

Brought together by Simon Cowell, Il Divo are Swiss tenor Urs Buhler, Spanish baritone Carlos Marin, French pop artist Sébastien Izambard and American tenor David Miller.

They have sold more than 30 million albums, achieved more than 50 number one records worldwide, received 160 gold and platinum sales awards and staged four ground-breaking world tours.

Martine is perhaps best known as Tiffany Mitchell in BBC soap EastEnders in the 90s, before she moved to the West End stage, winning an Olivier Award for her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, and subsequently starring in festive rom com favourite Love Actually.

Gates 5pm.

Information

Last minute tickets:

Tickets are still available for all shows in Lytham Festival - although it’s only VIP tickets remaining for Friday and Saturday’s arena shows.

All tickets can be bought at in person at The Hub, in Lytham Square. It’s open from 9am to 7pm today, and from 9am to 9pm from tomorrow until Sunday.

For mega fans, there’s The Pass - a ticket for all five nights in the Proms Arena, which cost £199.

Alternatively, visit www.lythamfestival.com or call 0844 8154874.

Transport:

If driving to the festival, follow Yellow Event Signs that direct you to the correct car parking and drop off locations.

A taxi rank and drop off point are located outside the event (opposite The Queens Hotel)

Parking is available at Lytham Green, costing £10 in advance or £20 booked on the day.

Drivers are asked by the festival organisers to avoid parking across garages and driveways on residential streets.

Blackpool Transport are running extra services on the number 7 and 11 buses for Lytham Festival, with the last bus back into Blackpool town centre scheduled for 00.24am, from Clifton Street or Lytham Centre.

hungry?:

Food and drink can only be brought into the arena for Sunday’s Proms night. There is a wide range of food outlets and several bars inside the arena.

Festival-goers can bring bags, but are asked to keep them to the size of an A4 sheet of paper, maximum.

Last entry each night is 9pm.

Travellers threaten Green move

A group of travellers threatened to move their families and pets on to Lytham Green during the town’s festival which started last night.

Council officials and police were told that if the travellers were evicted from the nearby YMCA-owned William Pickles sports ground they would move across the road on to the Green close to where Lytham Festival is being held.

The venue is due to host a performance by 90s pop stars Steps on Wednesday on one site of the Green, which is now sealed off from the public with giant barriers.

The threat was revealed at Blackpool Magistrates Court yesterday where Fylde Council, acting on behalf of the YMCA, made an emergency application to have the 15 men, 12 women and their 22 children moved off the site.

The travellers have been using eight caravans, eight cars and two trailers which are also on site.

Successfully applying for the order, Fylde Council lawyer Anita Elliott said: “The travellers arrived last Thursday. The legal process asking them to leave started on Friday but they are still there.

“There is a build up of rubbish and there is human waste and dog waste on the football pitches.

“Children have been unable to use to pitches for training and maintenance work has not been carried out.”

She said police had to restrain one traveller when they first visited the site. Since then, another had been arrested for allegedly racially abusing a police officer and a window in the sports pavilion had been smashed.

She added: “They have threatened to go onto Lytham Green.

“They have no washing or toilet facilities and there is a fire risk in an area which has already seen a grass fire.”

The order granted means vehicles on the designated area can be towed off and travellers evicted.