Seventeen hundred people flocked to concerts at the first fully live Prescot Festival in three years, equalling 2019’s record attendance.
Taking place mostly in and around the historic church of St Mary the Blessed Virgin—Knowsley’s only Grade I listed building, dating to 1610—the 10-day programme featured an estimated 350 musicians, opening on Friday 17 June with kings of swing Dr Jazz and the Cheshire Cats and ending on Sunday 26 June with songs from stage and screen with the ever-popular Phoenix Concert Orchestra.
In-between, audiences enjoyed appearances from an array of school and community choirs, England number one-ranking Foden’s Band (pictured), Liverpool Bach Collective and much more.
Organisers envisaged the 18th annual festival as a kind of fanfare to usher in a new era in Prescot’s cultural and artistic history, which begins with the opening of the Shakespeare North Playhouse in July 2022.
‘As a festival we’ve been bringing arts and music to Prescot every year since 2005,’ said artistic director Dr Robert Howard (pictured), ‘and after an unavoidable hiatus, there was bound to be some uncertainty this year, but we can confidently say that the sheer quality of community music-making and the enthusiasm of our audiences have more than exceeded our expectations. It’s been a sterling community effort and given every reason to look to the future with hope and optimism.’
The Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts runs in the third week of June each year and organises and supports concerts year-round under the banner of Arts in Prescot. Audiences can keep up-to-date with festival news and upcoming events at prescotfestival.co.uk.