Burnley Rock and Blues Festival's 25th anniversary will be weekend to remember

Lancashire Telegraph: FESTIVAL Gregg Wright FESTIVAL Gregg Wright

LET the party begin – Burnley is ready for the ultimate blues celebration as the town’s famous festival reaches its 25th anniversary next May.

The full line-up for the three-day event to be held over the Bank Holiday weekend has been announced and tickets have gone on sale.

The headline act represents a real coup with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, dubbed ‘the best bar band in the world’ flying across the Atlantic for their only confirmed UK date of 2013.

Lead singer John Lyon made his name in the clubs of New Jersey growing up alongside Bruce Springsteen with whom he has performed on numerous occasions and who has written a number of songs for the band.

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes will headline the Rock and Blues Festival on Saturday, May 4.

The celebrations get underway on Friday, May 3, when Mike Sanchez will be bringing his full band for an unashamed blues party.

Sanchez has been especially chosen not just for his hugely entertaining style but because he was one of the artists on the first festival bill in 1988.

Unlike previous years, the Saturday show will not be a day-long event, but will concentrate on three major names out to make it a night to remember.

The fun gets underway at 5.30pm with the Gregg Wright Band flying in from California.

Guitarist and singer Wright is known as “the king of the rockin’ blues” and during the Eighties was Michael Jackson’s guitarist on his Victory tour.

Next up will be two of the biggest names on the British blues scene performing as an acoustic duo.

Dave Kelly and Paul Jones, founder members of The Blues Band, will be stripping down their sound and playing some classic tracks from their back catalogue.

Then headliners Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes will take to the stage with their high energy show.

Sunday night will see an equally diverse line-up starting off with a home town gig for rising singer-songwriter Lucy Zirins.

Then one the best British blues talents Oli Brown will be bringing his band to the Mechanics. Oli was voted best young British artist at the British Blues Awards this year.

From rising stars, two established acts will round off the festival.

The Zombies featuring both Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone, who have been perfoming for over 50 years, will perform and Wishbone Ash featuring original guitarist Andy Powell will round the three-day event off in style.

Once again Burnley Mechanics will host the main stage and the event has been put on by Burnley Council and Doc Redeye Events.

A new addition for the 25th anniversary is the free acoustic cafe in the foyer bar featuring a range of local artists.

Throughout the weekend, Burnley will once agin be turned into Little America with bars and cafes offering special US themed menus.

Tickets for the festival are now on sale. A full festival ticket is £65, Friday only tickets are £16 and Saturday and Sunday only tickets £27. Details from the Mechanics box office on 01282 664400.

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