Lockdown has been long and laborious, what of the nightclubs, live events, sport, and music? These things feel so important as we begin to creep back to holidays and shared experience again – what is on offer for the big bank holiday weekend. I caught up with the organisers behind Blackpool Cricket Clubs latest offering – Sound on The Ground.
It is not often Blackpool might get Philamonic Orchestras and classic house music acts in one weekend. These acts might be reserved for Lytham Proms or Manchester. But a small committee attached to The Cricket Club has the vision to bring amazing entertainment to Blackpool to in turn enhance renovations projects around the grounds while creating a great musical experience.
As I sat on the terrace of Blackpool Cricket Club basking in late August sunshine I chatted to Amanda, Gregg, and Joe, some of the organisers not too far in the distance the trees of Stanley park gently blew in the breeze, and a hive of activity took place on the cricket pitch as tents and rigs began to emerge.
It isn’t the first time Blackpool Cricket Club has hosted top-notch entertainment with the redirected Alfesco events attached to Cow Bell Radio beginning its journey at the site before heading south. The Cricket Club is also acclaimed for its stupendous bonfire nights whilst backing onto the award-winning Stanley Park, there are trees and lush grassy spaces as far as the eye can see. I found out more about why and how “Sound on The Ground” became so over a cup of tea while being assured I could get a decent coffee over the weekend as well as a choice of food including vegan options. Bring your own deck chair! (Saturday only) the organisers told me – who are making sure there is enough space to socially distance and move around comfortably, enhancing a real feeling of safety as some of us take our first steps tentatively out of lockdown.
So what is in store? The tickets on Sunday are £35 and Saturday is £25. Large bars with drinks priced reasonably using recycled glasses – the organisers told BSC they don’t want it to be “the best-kept secret” – and with reinvestment in mind, the organisers and volunteers are set on creating revenue for the cricket club grounds.
Covid hit the club hard with cricket only being played again at the site in July raising funds for the grounds will support further renovations for the clubhouse, the pitch, and ongoing costs associated with running a Cricket Club.
One of the battles of The Cricket Club the organisers explain is finding ways to raise revenue. But The Club has a 10-year plan to hold events every year. Joe explained, “we want this to be the best Cricket ‘Out Ground’ in the UK”. The club already attracts a high standard of cricket with professionals from all around the world and the committee is keen to build and keep that momentum going.
Amanda, Gregg and Joe really do communicate a real “community commitment” and describe the recent Cricket Club work with local charity “Empowerment” which has lead to all-female cricket games culminating in a ladies’ team who potentially are in line to become second in the league.
In my mind it is hard to find anything better than an outdoor concert on a sunny summer day and with the profits being put back into the club it’s a win all round. My excitement is peaking when I realise I am within walking distance of this very event and with that in mind already snapped up my ticket. You can however pay at the door but with the weather forecast looking amazing – the advice is to buy your tickets soon.
Saturday sees Music from the Movies with Collabro and Bond a string synth quarter supporting the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra alongside screens mirroring clips from the movies. It’s a family-friendly environment on The Saturday with doors opening at 3 pm and closing at 10 pm with the famous Blackpool Cricket Club fireworks ending both days.
I wondered how The Cricket Club Committee came up with this “gig” idea as a fundraiser. Gregg one of the organisers explained he used to work in the clubs and Amanda described herself as a “Manc” so The Hacienda classical seemed like a no-brainer for the Sunday. We chatted about Lytham Proms being a sell-out for Hacienda Classical a couple of years ago so the enthusiasm behind having an equally successful sell-out is high on the agenda.
On Sunday revelers can look forward to Crystal Waters, Inner City, Jocelynn Brown, K Klass, Bez, a secret star appearance Hacienda Classical DJ’s Graeme Park, Peter Hook and Tom Wainwright plus others. With this lineup, I am hoping for classics such as “Somebody Else’s Guy and “Rythym is a Mystery”.
There is something about hitting 40 something and swaying soulfully around a field to house music classics from ones’ youth while waving wistfully at someone you might have seen at Shaboo or sequins and then taking a rest to quaff a chilled Chardonnay from a reasonably priced bar.
It’s an “all hands on deck” approach to the weekend for the organisers which has been two years in the making due to covid. I think a lot about nightlife being a child of the 90’s, sport and gigs have been wholly impacted through the pandemic – shared experience seems so important so if you do anything this weekend buy a ticket or ask yourself do you want to be the person that “missed” the legendary Sound on The Ground event on the warm sunshiney August evening in 2021.
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