Home Culture Knowsley 20th Prescot Festival celebrates record audiences

20th Prescot Festival celebrates record audiences

by Lisa Bennett

The recent Prescot Festival is celebrating another roaringly successful showcase of musical and artistic talent.

Founded in 2005, the 10-day cultural showcase continues to thrive and expand, with combined audiences exceeding 2,000.

Brass favourites Wingates Band, popular classics from South Liverpool Orchestra, and musical theatre sensations BOST were among the acts on this year’s programme.

Over 100 singers from across the region formed the ‘Prescot Festival Chorus’, giving a fine rendition of Gabriel Fauré’s moving Requiem. The Choral Spectacular evening concluded with a thrilling performance from the internationally renowned Liverpool Cathedral Choir.

Drawing the proceedings to a close on the final Sunday, Phil Shotton’s magnificent Maghull Wind Orchestra made a long-awaited return appearance, for a truly rousing Proms-style finale of English music.

The 2024 programme also saw further Festival collaborations with Prescot’s new Shakespeare North Playhouse. Soprano Laura Hudson dazzled in a Festival first – a programme of afternoon opera solos and soliloquies, in the clear sunshine of the Sir Ken Dodd Performance Garden.

Meanwhile, in the venue’s studio theatre, Emily Parr staggered audiences in her own remarkable one-act one-woman play, ‘No Coward Soul’, playing no less than 37 different characters. The evening performance quickly sold out, so an afternoon show was added.

Other church-based Festival venues played host to Liverpool Bach Collective in Choral Evensong, primary school choirs and instrumentalists, a classic film night (Chariots of Fire), a barn dance, and a talk from the ever-popular local historian Ken Pye.

Artistic Director Dr Robert Howard said:

“Many of our acts this year were return visitors, and they excelled themselves in the sheer quality of their performances. It was also a delight to welcome so many new faces, not only on stage, but among our audiences, and in the formidable team of volunteers and organisers, too—it’s impossible to overestimate their role in ensuring a community festival on this scale runs so smoothly.”

Preparations are already underway for the 21st Annual Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts, set to take place from Friday 20th to Sunday 29th June 2025. Eager audiences can keep up to date with Arts in Prescot’s year-round programme of events at prescotfestival.co.uk.

Photo: Wingates Brass Band performing at the 20th Annual Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts, credit: David Wong