ORGANISERS of Blackburn Festival have announced that the annual celebration of music and culture event will return to Witton Park with a headline performance from alternative rockers Toploader.

The voluntary committee that organises the festival said they were hoping to build on the success of last year’s event and so wanted to secure a household name for their main act this year.

Alex Martindale, event manager said: “We’re very happy to have secured Toploader.

“It’s great to have a household name at the top of the festival lineup in only its second year and having fun outside is the first thing you think about when you hear the band name.”

The free festival will be held on Saturday, September 6, and will also feature performances from Northern Jazz Orchestra, Sky Valley Mistress and The Slydes.

As well as music, there will be comedy, food, arts and crafts workshops and an interactive performing arts piece inspired by traditional indian folklore entitled “Navrattan: A Quest for the Lost Gems”.

In recent months, efforts have been made to revive Blackburn’s once vibrant music and arts scene with projects like Friday Night Live and First Thursdays and King George’s Hall’s promise to book popular acts aimed at younger people.

Alex said: “Another great thing about this booking is that we’re working with a young upcoming event promoter, Danny Wareing, who’s also the guitarist in Blackburn punk band Middle Finger Salute.

“He’s already announced some great gigs at King George’s Hall including The Blackout and The Enemy which he’s organised through his promotions company Right On Music, so together we’re working to put Blackburn back on the touring circuit.

“We’re proud of how Blackburn Festival brought the community together last year and hope we can build on it in 2014 by getting even more people down to have a great time at Witton Park.”