Colne blues festival wins prestigious award
Colne's Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival has won a national award for its 30th anniversary event.
The festival, which will not be taking place this year due to the pandemic, was crowned ‘Blues Based Festival of the Year’ at the UK Blues Federation Blues Awards.
Organised by Colne Town Council, more than 25,000 people joined in the festival's 30th birthday celebrations over a sun-drenched August bank holiday weekend.
Clerk Naomi Crewe said it was an honour to win such a prestigious prize, awarded through public vote.
"The win is testament to all the hard work, time and love given from the festival team – from the street teams, to the stage crews and production teams and more; to the incredible artists and musicians who grace each of the stages; and mostly to the wonderful festival goers for taking the time to vote for the festival.
"It’s an honour to have won this prestigious award. And for the announcement to arrive at a time when things are challenging for the music industry, makes the win all the more special."
Musical highlights included Ma Bessie & Her Pig Foot Band, Beaux Gris Gris, Mike Sanchez and many more.
“The wonderful weather certainly helped with the record turn out last summer,” said Mary Thomas, chairman of the Blues Working Group and chairman of Colne Town Council. “The streets, especially Albert Road, were full; buzzing with music, activity, entertainment and smiling people.
"The atmosphere was wonderful, right through until late on Sunday evening”. She added, “We love that the festival was enjoyed by locals, as well as by music lovers who travel from far and wide to experience the event, all of whom help create a boost to Colne and the local area”.
Artistic director Paddy Maguire added: “I have been visiting the festival for 27 years and last year's event was tremendous – magnificent even.
"The event exceeded my expectations in every way. The streets were whirring with musical action, yet the venues were also vibrant, as people sought shade from the sun and, of course, to experience the incredible musicians who were playing this year”.
Plans are being made which should enable the 2021 festival tickets to be on sale in the near future.