Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival to be run by Colne Blues Society in 2023 and 2024
Colne Blues Society - the voluntary, not-for-profit organisation that worked alongside 13 independent venues to deliver the Official Fringe for this year’s incredibly successful Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival - has been invited by Colne Town Council to take over the role of Artistic Director in 2023 and 2024.
Colne Blues Society is a collective of local creative and business professionals, events organisers and Blues lovers who banded together in an effort to save the festival when its future was in doubt in 2021.
“It’s an honour to be given the opportunity to take over the creative direction of The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, which holds a special place in the hearts of our members, and which we know is the premier event in Colne’s calendar,” said Simon Shackleton, Operations Director at Colne Blues Society.
“Not only has the festival been putting Colne on the map for over 30 years, bringing in vital revenue for the host of local independent businesses here, but it’s also been a key influencer in creating local talent, and I believe it’s one of the main reasons there’s such a high concentration of talented musicians in our local area - many of whom made their first public performance on one of the Fringe stages.”
“In establishing Colne Blues Society, our aim has always been to ensure the longevity of the festival, and we now look forward to working alongside Colne Town Council to give the Blues an exciting future,” said chairman of Colne Blues Society, Nina Bates.
“We’ve got some big boots to fill. Some great people have worked on the festival over the years and we hope to live up to their legacy.
“Colne Blues Society is a not-for-profit organisation, entirely reliant on fundraising and sponsorship. Any profit we do make will be reinvested back into the festival year on year. Our amazing team of volunteers are already working so hard to ensure the 2023 festival is a success, and they do it all for the love of the festival, for the music, and for the great community that is Colne.
"We believe our vision to develop a self-sustaining community festival is the way forward, and we remain committed to achieving that goal.”