Thousands expected for 'Big Busk' music festival

Billy & John

Billy & John

First published in News by

MORE than 2,000 people are expected to turn out this Saturday for a live music show that will be the biggest event staged so far at the gloriously restored Victoria Park.

The ‘Big Busk’ will see singers and street performers join together for a festival mixed with music, dance and performing arts.

Funded by the Victoria Park Heritage National Lottery Fund Restoration Project, the free festival will see 28 acts performing across two stages.

Folk, country and punk singers, break-dancing acts, jugglers and spectacularly skilled skaters will be part of the flavour.

Vikki Watkinson-Roberts, of the Friends of Victoria Park (FOVP), told the Star: “The atmosphere we aim to create is a family festival one.

“We try and make sure that between the two stages, there is something for everyone to enjoy.”

In order to try to keep the focus on the performances and the park, there will be few stalls. However, a mobile caterer will be on hand and the Bistro at the Mansion House, will be serving food and wine.

Families are encouraged to bring a blanket and a picnic along with them.

Among the acts raring to go are local folk rock duo Billy & John.

The pair features John Barr, of Billinge, and Billy Hill, of Eccleston. John was at Church Square on Saturday for the Little Busk to promote and warm up for this weekend’s event.

“I’m looking forward to it and it’ll be something a bit different,” said John.

“It’s been a couple of years since me and Billy started performing together. It is mainly open mic that we do although it’s not easy finding an awful lot of places to play.”

The pair released a debut album Long Time Nowhere featuring a blend of original acoustic folk rock music.

“At Victoria Park it will be nearly all originals. There will be two guitars with Billy and also myself on mandolin. It should be a good day.”

Organisers have created an alternative stage where local talent perform without having to go through an audition process.

Vikki, who will volunteer at the event, added: “There is a set core of volunteers including myself who arrange and set up everything needed.

“The stages and equipment we use are all provided thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund or by volunteers”.

The finishing touches to the extensive £4m restoration of the park are being put in place and the FOVP hope such a big event will show just what the beautiful grounds – which include the Mansion House, the orangery, play zones, a duck pond, gardens, tennis courts and The Lodge - have to offer.

An increasing number of regular events are being hosted there, including the Saturday morning 5km Park Run, which is proving popular.

For more information email bigbusk.info.fovp@gmail.com.

The entertainment line up:

  • Wish FM Stage

1 pm-1.10pm: Paul Atherton
1.20pm-1.40pm: Kristel Dawn
1.45pm-2.05pm: Shaun Brussels
2.15pm-2.35pm: Billy & John
2.45pm-3.05pm: Sam Westhead and the Pocket Squares
3.15pm-3.35pm: Cesar Bodey
3.45pm-4.05pm: Dinosaur Fire
4.15pm-4.35pm: Sodium Frogs
4.45pm-5.30pm: Ghengis Grimes

  • Band Stand

1pm-1.15pm: Lee & Steve
1.20pm-2.15pm: Paparazzi Dance
2.20pm-2.35pm: Cesar Bodey
2.40pm-3.00pm: Shaun Brussels
3.05pm-3.35pm: Moss and Jones
3.40pm-4.10pm: Will Barnes
4.15pm-4.35pm: Billy & John
4.40pm-5.00pm – Paul Atherton

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