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INTERVIEW: Sixth annual Morecambe Music Festival set to get under way

Paul Akister performing in Johnny's Warehouse Bar at last year's festival. The X Factor star will return this Saturday. Photo by Nick Helier

Morecambe Music Festival - four days of live music in venues around the town - is about to get under way,

The popular event, which brings thousands of live music lovers out into the pubs, cafes and other venues across Morecambe - will this year see more than 175 gigs in 38 locations.

The free festival begins tonight (July 6) with a new 'Introducing...' night at The Exchange in the West End, with bands performing original music.

It then continues on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with music coming from Ruby's Cafe, Harry's Bar, Embargo, The Bull, The Chieftain, Coffey's Bar, the Brittlestar, Afters Dessert Cafe, The Royal Bar and Shaker, The Masons, the Lord Nelson, the Joiners, the Pier, Smokey O'Connor's, the Palatine, the Kings Arms, Johnny's Warehouse Bar, Morecambe RNLI Hovercraft Station, the Stone Jetty Cafe, Rita's Cafe, the Festival Market, Miogelato, the Beach Cafe, the Cumberland View, Regent Park Pavilion, The Boardwalk, The Exchange, More Music, the Clock Tower Cafe, Bar 1866, The Bath Hotel, The Old Bank, the Hurley Flyer, the Morecambe Hotel, the Midland Hotel, Lewis's Cafe, the Station Promenade and the York Hotel.

Festival founder and local entertainer Stuart Michaels, singer Mark McKenna and venue boss David Hutton who runs the Pier, the Joiners and the Cumberland View, came into the Beyond Radio studio to talk about this year's festival.

LISTEN to the interview here

"Over the last five years we've built a steady festival up and it's been successful," said Stuart.

"It gets to the point where you're looking to improve it and branch out and do different things.

"We've realised the importance of trying to champion original music so we've added an extra day. We're looking forward to seeing what it brings and hopefully developing it over the next couple of years."

The Introducing...night has been put together by musician Jay Blackburn, and includes live performances from The Size, The Steve Pilgrim Band and Hardwicke Circus.

Mark McKenna will be performing at two of the festival venues this year and has appeared at every Morecambe Music Festival since it began in 2017.

"For us singers it's about having packed pubs with great atmospheres," he said.

"It's been fantastic, especially the last couple of years. It seems to be really taking off now.

"You've only got to look at the Promenade, inside and outside the pubs. It's seven or eight people deep. When else do you see that? It's all of us creating that vibe for the town."

Harry's Bar at last year's festival. Photo by Nick Helier.

David Hutton said: "Last year was my first Morecambe Music Festival with the Pier. We didn't know what to expect.

"The amount of footfall that came through, the amount of people it brings out, is just amazing, especially if the weather's good."

Read more: Morecambe licensee reveals future plans for third local pub ahead of grand reopening - Beyond Radio

You can find the full line-up for this year's festival here.

Beyond Radio is proud to be the media partner for Morecambe Music Festival. 

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