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Economy Boosting Lancaster Music Festival Returns For 9th Year

Photo © Nick Dagger Photography

The Lancaster Music Festival has returned to Lancaster, with gigs covering all genres at more than 40 venues over the next five days.

The majority of performances are free, and Lowes will headline Lancaster Castle on Friday night - the full schedule is here.

Outdoor Events Coordinator, Lucy Reynolds says: "Bringing the festival out into the streets means reaching a much wider audience as we can interact with those of all ages who don't have access to the pubs and clubs of the city. 

"In particular I'm really looking forward to Turnaround Dance Theatre who will be performing their aerial dance show The Thief, the Fox and the Phoenix, for family audiences on Sunday afternoon in Market Square.

"Festivalgoers have given great support to the performance in the squares in previous years and there's always a happy, friendly vibe throughout the weekend. It's great to see people grinning from ear to ear and to see our own residents truly glowing with pride in the wonderful place they live."

Organisers say it's grown year on year to be what they describe as "the premiere event in the city", incorporating Lancaster's unique "Unofficial Bank Holiday".

Last year, it brought an estimated 70,000 individual visits to the city and created a revenue boost of nearly two million pounds.

Festival Coordinator, Ben Ruth said: "It's great that the people of Lancaster have taken the festival to their hearts from day one, supporting the city's vibrant live music scene during the festival and throughout the year and now we're seeing more and more visitors from all over the UK and even from the continent staying in the city for the weekend.”

Organisers announced earlier this week that the event will take a 'fallow year' in 2018 to prepare for a "festival of festivals" in 2019.

Just one of the many bars and restaurants to benefit is Merchants 1668.

Manager Ailsa Morrison said: "The Music Festival has a massively positive impact on my business, last year we doubled our take on the Saturday which tends to be the biggest day, but we see a significant increase of trade over the whole long weekend.

"With our locality it's clear to see the large numbers of  attendees arriving into the city via train and this can only be positive for the entire city with a large spectrum of people attending."

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