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Bands For All!
Monday 25th March, 2013

ORGANISERS of last year’s hugely successful Diamond Fest gig have announced plans for a town centre concert for the borough’s best unsigned bands called Bands For All.

Building on the back of last year’s musical celebration in the town centre for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the gig will replace the annual summer festival at Haigh Country Park - Haigh Fest.

Leisure and culture provider WLCT and Wigan Council’s town centre management will work together to arrange the town centre gig “Bands for All” this August until new funding can be found for Haigh Fest.

Town Centre Manager Mike Matthews said: “Last year’s town centre concert for the Diamond Jubilee was a huge success. This event will have added benefit in supporting the broader programme of events planned for Wigan Town Centre over the summer period.
“We replicated the winning formula of Haigh Fest by giving the borough’s best up and coming bands a chance to shine on stage and it’s something we really want to do again this year.”

In 2010 a central government contribution via the Performance Reward Grant – which funded Haigh Fest - ceased.

In 2011 Haigh Fest took place on the back of a private sector concert promotion called “Haigh Live” organised by Cuffe & Taylor Event Management by using the same stage, infrastructure and related equipment following their A List celebrity concerts.

WLCT has been unable to secure new funding streams or private sector interest to deliver a music concert at Haigh Country Park for 2013.

Stuart Murray, Chief Executive of WLCT said: “We remain committed to developing opportunities for youth bands and musicians within the borough and supporting live music performance generally.

“Haigh Fest’s spirit will live on as part of the Bands For All town centre concerts. “We will continue to work to find long term funding to enable Haigh Fest to once again return to Haigh Country Park.”

Susan Burns, Head of Operations for Cuffe & Taylor, said: “We are really disappointed not to be holding an outdoor concert at Haigh Hall again this year, obviously, the decision not to go head to head with the same dates as the Stone Roses in 2012, proved to be the right decision, but we just thought we would take a year off, and come back again bigger and better the following year.

“We have really tried to get the right type of artist to perform at Haigh Hall Live in 2013 but the majority were favouring the larger festivals opposed to stand alone gigs. We did become very excited when we thought we were going to be able to bring a certain artist to the stage, but negotiations went quiet, and it has now become too late in the day to plan for an event that could have potentially sold out in minutes to a 15,000 strong audience.

“So it is with a heavy heart that we are having to postpone Haigh Hall Live for another year. We absolutely love the venue and to date, we still think it is one of the best sites that we have built an arena on, so to that end we are hugely disappointed.

“It is our intention to secure the right artist to perform at Haigh Hall, but it just will not be in 2013. In the meantime we are really pleased that Haigh Fest is still able to go ahead, albeit on a much smaller scale, and wish all the unsigned bands every success in this crazy industry.”

If you’re interested in applying for Bands for All please send in your demo and band information to: Mike Matthews, Town Centre Unit Manager, Economic Development, Places: Economy, Waste and Infrastructure, Wigan Council, Wigan Life Centre, College Avenue, Wigan, WN1 1NJ.

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