Bands on the Square ‘the best ever’

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Barnoldswick’s Bands on the Square event has been hailed as the best ever by gig-goers and organisers alike as crowds didn’t want the music to end on Monday night.

The Bank Holiday Weekend festival brought in performers and crowds from far and wide ensuring Barnoldswick Town Square was brimming full for the entire three days.

Brooke Phipps on stage.

Brooke Phipps on stage.

Twenty eight acts performed from noon until night across Saturday, Sunday and Monday, thrilling the thousands with genres from acoustic to rock and folk to punk with covers and originals in a vast music repertoire.

Co-organiser Emma West, who books the bands, said: “All the bands we had went down really well, there was something for everybody.

“It seemed busier than ever. I think this time we had a lot more social media promotion which helped and I think the reputation of last year too. I had enough interest from bands to fill another two or three days.

“Poor Andy Byrne got booed at the end on Monday because people wanted more but we couldn’t do another song, the volunteers have to pack up on the same night and it’s a bit unfair on them.

“It’s just been a brilliant weekend and all the bands were fantastic. There’s no ego, they are all doing it for free and everybody came and supported it.

“The music students were so good, I don’t know how they do it, it’s massive for them. They range from seven up to 15 and their teacher Andrew Gilmour was with them every step of the way.

“Some who haven’t heard of it, particularly further afield, need it selling a little bit but once people see the stage, the equipment we use, and that we are not a back of a trailer event, they sign up.”

As the dust settled this week, Chairman of Barnoldswick Town Council, Coun. Claire Teall, praised the community effort in creating the success of the festival, which is still in its relative infancy in its fourth year.

Coun. Teall said: “I’d like to thank volunteers as they play a big part in it. We had around 50 this year and it wouldn’t be possible without them.

“This time we had the Majestic Church lending its facilities too. That’s what it’s all about. Everybody coming together to support.

“We have great bands, it’s good promotion for them, there’s a professional stage, lighting and sound, it’s bringing people into the town which is hopefully good for the shops and its profile for Barnoldswick.

“The reaction from people has been overwhelming, people enjoyed themselves and made a weekend of it.

“It was great to see how some of the music academy students have improved in just a year.

“As Emma said, we could’ve have run a six-day event so I really don’t know where we go with it, if we make it bigger.

“This festival definitely has a future because we have got all this amazing young talent.”

Thanks to Northern Images Photography for some of the photos. See more at