ONE of Lancashire’s remotest locations will come alive with live music, arts and culture when the fifth Cloudspotting Festival takes place at Stephen Park in July.

And the boutique family festival has secured a major coup by securing The Earlies as the headliners.


The 11-piece band, whose core songwriting unit comprises two Texans and two Lancastrians, will perform as a full ensemble for the first time since 2007, when they headlined The Green Man Festival.

Co-organiser Matt Evans said: “It is a privilege to have The Earlies headline. They are still working on new music despite the distance between them, and their reputation, as a live band, is undiminished. The fact they have not performed live for eight years adds to the intrigue.”

Cloudspotting will be held within Gisburn Forest in the Forest of Bowland area of outstanding natural beauty at Stephen Park, a location known more to mountain bikers and hikers.

But from July 24 to July 26 it will welcome around 40 live music acts, performance poets, touring outdoor theatre, an outdoor food court and beer festival.

With the first wave of artists confirmed, this family-friendly festival looks set to be the biggest and best yet, as it celebrates its 5th anniversary.

Matt said: “Cloudspotting is a festival that supports emerging music.

“The bulk of our line-up will have an exciting edge to it and people will see some amazing performances and be introduced to new artists, sometimes for the first time.”

Dutch Uncles, Jane Weaver, Chicagoan Ezra Furman, The Wave Pictures and The Travelling Band are all part of the main stage music line-up.

They will be joined by some great North West acts such as The Lovely Eggs, Good Foxy, The Dirty Tactics, Third Thumb and The Ragamuffins.

“We are drawing on the North West music scene more than ever before this year and that’s because there’s such a high standard of stuff coming through right now,” said Matt.

Aside from the music, Cloudspotting will be presenting a variety of family-friendly arts, including touring theatre from The Flying Buttresses and The Fabularium Company.

Forest arts trails, woodcraft workshops, interactive music workshops and a documentary cinema programme also feature during the weekend.

“The magic of Cloudspotting is the intimacy and secluded nature of the location,” said Matt.

“Performers love being able to see the whites of peoples’ eyes and it’s a really safe environment for those with kids.”

Cloudspotting takes place between Friday, July 24 and Sunday, July 26. Details and tickets are available from