Preview: Alfresco 2014

This Sunday, at Blackpool Cricket Club, Cowbell Radio hosts its very successful and regular local festival; Alfresco.

This year the event promises a host of unique musical and theatrical acts. Alfresco brands itself as extremely family friendly so if you are a parent who is a music fan, this could be right up your street. There are plenty of activities aimed at children in a grassy area which is fenced off and very safe.

Children’s entertainment includes: Aunty Social – crafts and face painting, Yappers Chappers Designs, Bootique Illustration, Dotty Delightful, Kats Whiskers, Sarah Hicks, Jacqueline Elizabeth Designs, and Owl & Heartflower,  all providing lots of entertainment for the children including a straw village (this was a lot of fun last year; although messy for the organisers the kids had a ton of fun), storytelling, treasure hunts, kids’ theatre and kids’ and adults’ breakdancing.  Every taste is catered for.

Worried about rain? Don’t be.  There are a huge marquee and clubhouse which host a number of the acts, so should the weather turn, and let me tell you last year was a scorcher, guests will be kept snug and dry indoors.

There is a clear nod to art as at all Alfresco events with a number of key artists in attendance and doing their thing. This year The Rusty Alexander will have its first outing and debut at Alfresco, painted by the infamous My Dog Sighs as well as the only travelling art gallery based on a double decker bus.

Other featured visual artists at the event are: Dark, Noir, Eject, NME, Mos Shaw, Chep, Infected by Design, Paw Ski, Matt Gifford, Catch 22, He Dreamt Mars and The Shaolin Monkeys amongst others – so as well as treats for your ears there are treats for your eyes too.

The marquee set is as follows:

11:00-13:30 No Specific Style
13:30-15:00 Luke Unabomber
15:00-16:30 Ben Pistor (Disco Bloodbath)
16:30-18:00 7″ of Bliss
18:00-19:00 Andrew Weatherall
19:00-21:00 Chris Duckenfield
21:00-23:00 Craig Bratley

A massive highlight for this year is A Certain Ratio playing live, a very rare thing. They released their debut single in 1979 – All Night Party/The Thin Boys – through Factory Records, a label set up by Rob Gretton, Alan Erasmus, and Anthony (H) Wilson. So indeed this will be one of those ‘I wish I’d been there’ experiences.

The main stage line up:

11:00 – 12:00 Martin Brew (J Walk)
12:00 – 12:30 Louise Spiteri
12:45 – 13:30 Government
13:45 – 14:30 Section 25
15:00 – 15:40 2 Billion Beats
16:00 – 17:00 A Certain Ratio
17:00 – 21:00 Mr Scruff and MC Kwasi

The Breakin Convention hip hop stage times:

11:00 – 14:00 Tha Gods warm up sessions

14:00 – 18:00 Speak To The Streets Showcase Battles

Featuring 2 on 2 Battles (first prize £250)
Poppin Battles (all ages to win vouchers and goodie bags)
Young Guns 1 on 1 Battles (to win vouchers/goodie bags)

Hosts Ten Tonn and T-Breaks
DJs DJ Junk (former world champs Second to None)

Judges Bboy Mouse (2x world champ)
Sammy the One (Flava Squad)
Boneslimm Forde (Broken Glass)

18:00 – 21:00 Tha Gods Closing Party with DJs: DJ Woody, Jaydub, Oliver Byrne, Damon Savage, P-Nuts, and Ben Echo

Throughout the day there will be guest spots to be announced and dancers from Urban Dance Project and FY Westcoast dance crew.

After Party:
A Love From Outer Space with Andrew Weatherall and Sean Johnston

Paper Recordings, Flash Atkins, 2 Billion Beats, Leon Sweet, Richard Seaborne, Chris Massey and Ed Mahon

New for this year, and because Alfresco hosts camping this year, there is a also a pre-party on the Saturday night with Richard Norris from Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve and The Time and Space Machine headlining .

There is no catch folks, if you have your ticket for the main event then this is a free party:

17:00-19:30 Paul Thornton and Mikey Don

19:30-21:00 Jock Lee

21:00-23:00  Richard Norris

The event has already announced excellent ticket sales so if you were thinking about going and not quite committed, the best thing to do is get down to the cricket club and buy a ticket because from my own experience, lining up for tickets whilst everyone else is inside having fun, ain’t no fun. See you down at the front.

You can also buy tickets via the Facebook event page.



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