Barnsley to rock to sound of free music festival

Allusondrugs play LIVE in Barnsley.
Allusondrugs play LIVE in Barnsley.

More than 150 bands are preparing to rock a South Yorkshire town as they perform across 18 venues at a special indoor music festival.

LIVE in Barnsley is an annual free music festival held each year in Barnsley town centre.

It is a non-profit making community event raising funds for local charities and supporting the latest and best in unsigned Yorkshire music talent – this year, proceeds will go to Barnsley Independent Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support.

A festival spokesman said: “This year is our milestone fifth year and 18 town centre venues are taking part with more than 150 bands of all musical genres from folk to punk, heavy metal, electronica, acoustic, comedy, dance, rap/hip/hop and even pop/rock choirs.

“More than 600 musicians will take part and organisers confidently expect more than 5,000 music lovers to attend the festival again.”

Acts lined up to take part between noon and 10pm include Allusondrugs, Hands off Gretel, Graces and even festival patron and former Barnsley East MP Michael Dugher, who stood down last month, who is performing at Jock’s Cavern, on Shambles Street, at 1.30pm.

The spokesman said: “Now taking on a new role as the head of UK Music. Michael is one of the few acts to have played every festival since we started and had a memorable duet with Feargal Sharkey covering the classic Teenage Kicks in 2015.

“A huge Beatles fan, Michael tells us he may go for a more bluesy set this year.”

A new fringe element to the festival this year sees an additional two venues hosting music and poetry. There will also be a drum workshop in the Civic Theatre, followed by a community samba session outside in Mandela Gardens.

The festival culminates in a collaboration of local musicians in a finale at Club Purism, Wellington Street, under the name We Are The Bands.

The full line-up, including acts, venues and timings, is available in the festival programme, which is now on sale, priced £2.

Allusondrugs, who play Ché Bar at 8pm, formed in Castleford, West Yorkshire, in 2012.

The spokesman said: “Their very individual take on a melding of psych-pop-grunge has caught the eyes and ears of the likes of Kerrang, BBC Radio One, NME and Rock Sound, as well as audiences across the UK.

“In 2013 the band appeared at the LIVE in Barnsley music festival following the release of their debut single, ‘My Cat’ which grabbed the attention of the festival organisers and the national music press.”

Hands Off Gretel are a four-piece alternative rock/grunge band from South Yorkshire, launched in February 2015 by singer/songwriter Lauren Tate and guitarist Seán Bon. They play Club Purism at 8.30pm.

The spokesman said: “Described as ‘the best alternative rock band to come out of the UK in years’ by music website Louder Than War, the band the band released their debut album, Burn The Beauty Queen, in September 2016, after running a very successful crowdfunding campaign backed entirely by their online fanbase.”

Graces, who play are a four-piece from Sheffield who have already garnered critical acclaim.

The spokesman said: “The band began their careers by hitting the road with Funeral for a Friend, The Xcerts and Blitz Kids.

“Building upon their memorable live show, the band have toured the UK relentlessly in the past two years.”

South Yorkshire’s Home Wrecked, “a fresh, progressive pop-punk band” are also set to perform at the festival, playing Project, on Wellington Street, at 4pm.

Also appearing is Ross Jarman, drummer with famous Wakefield rockers The Cribs, who is performing a DJ set at the festival aftershow party in Opium No 10, Peel Parade.

The festival takes place on Saturday, June 17 – see liveinbarnsley.co.uk

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