East of the M60 World Exclusive: BridgeFest 2017 about to be Stalybridge’s first music festival
Thousands of music lovers could be descending on Stalybridge in the middle of June for three solid days of live musical entertainment. Entitled BridgeFest, it aims to do to Sidebottom Fold what Michael Eavis did for Glastonbury. There will be four stages, a food court, some tribute acts as well as up and coming bands, plus a choice of first class and second class camping facilities. Food and drink will also be locally sourced with gluten free, wheat free, vegan, and dairy free options available.
BridgeFest 2017 will take place on the 16th, 17th, and 18th of June. Cabbage will be headlining on the 17th on its main stage, The Herbert Rhodes Stage. For tribute acts, they will be using The Q Stage. One such group is The Carpet Cleaners, Denton’s very own Genesis tribute act. The other two stages will be named after Les Sutton (late of Stalybridge Celtic) and Walkerwood reservoir.
Rita Furnival, lead singer of The Carpet Cleaners said: “It is a great honour to play our first rock festival nearer home. When we did The White House in February, we were surprised to find so many Genesis fans in the town.”
She also added that: “The people of Stalybridge need cheering up. They have seen their football team’s performances go down the toilet, and that new tower block on Armentieres Square is the spawn of Satan.”
The first band will be on the Herbert Rhodes stage at 11am. They will be led out by Stalybridge Old Band before their first song. The closing performance on Sunday will start at 5pm. Ticket prices and booking details will be revealed on the 01 April 2017.
We at East of the M60 will be there to witness this amazing event. The amount of money it would bring to the town will be incredible.
Countdown to BridgeFest 2017
The Nothing Without Music motto is more than a statement of intent over three fun-packed nights. It has local significance, being inspired by the town’s motto. During the weekend, expect to see more traffic on Huddersfield Road, Acres Lane, and Mottram Road. Hiring a narrowboat and mooring it off Grove Lane may be advisable. Buses may be fuller than usual, especially on the 340, 343, and 348 services.
What to Expect
Standard Class camping facilities
Accommodation will be comprised of bog-standard tents, holding two to three revellers. They will be decked in the royal blue of Stalybridge Celtic Football Club. Some will also be decked in green and white stripes.
First Class camping facilities
The first class tents will be wooden huts. They will have tea making facilities and comfy chairs as well as beds, sleeping two to three revellers with cash to spend.
The food court
For epicureans, the Food Court will be a joy to behold, with gluten free, dairy free, wheat free, and vegan options available. There will also be traditional Northern fare, including pork pies, rag puddings, and tripe (honeycomb and cord available). A leading butcher will be doing barbecued food, burgers, and pulled pork muffins.
For the sweet toothed festival goer, there will also be a wide selection of ‘retro sweets’. Beers will come from local breweries with one microbrewery rumoured to be making a festival ale. Everything will be locally sourced, up to a 20 mile radius from Sidebottom Fold.
The Herbert Rhodes Stage
The most important and largest stage of BridgeFest 2017. Expect to see the biggest names in chart music on this stage plus a few local favourites. The ones to watch out for are Cabbage, on the 17 June, and Blossoms on the night before. Stalybridge Old Band will open and close the festival on the 16 June at 11am and on the 18 June at 6pm.
The Q Stage
If you like your tribute acts, this is the stage for you. Expect to see the likes of Are You Experienced?, The Identical Cocteau Twins and Nearly Dan. Oh, and Denton’s magnificent The Carpet Cleaners (well, they’ll be on Friday’s programme, before suppertime). They will be topping the bill with lead singer Rita Furnival, Bill Hollings on percussion, and Niamh Crockett on guitar.
The Les Sutton Stage
For a slower pace or more easy listening music, The Les Sutton Stage is the best one for chilling out to with choral and classical music. Stalybridge Old Band will also be playing a full set on the Saturday afternoon. On Sunday afternoon, The Yew Tree Singers will be performing an hour long programme of traditional concert standards.
The Walkerwood Stage
For more rock music, the Walkerwood stage offers the finest in local pop and rock bands that are not billed on the main stage. From heavy metal to art rock, this stage neatly complements the main one and is ideal for the connoisseur. Topping the bill on this stage will be the Sleaford Mods.
Friday, 16 June 2017
- Herbert Rhodes stage: 11am – 11pm;
- Q Stage: 12pm – 8pm;
- Les Sutton stage: 3pm – 7pm;
- Walkerwood stage: 12pm – 8pm.
Saturday, 17 June 2017
- Herbert Rhodes stage: 12pm – 11pm;
- Q Stage: 12pm – 9pm;
- Les Sutton stage: 3pm – 7pm;
- Walkerwood stage: 12pm – 9pm.
Sunday, 18 June 2017
- Herbert Rhodes stage: 12pm – 6pm;
- Q Stage: 12pm – 6pm;
- Les Sutton stage: 10am – 6pm;
- Walkerwood stage: 12pm – 6pm.
S.V., 01 April 2017.