THE line-up for this year’s Darwen Live Festival has been revealed with organisers saying it offers one of the most diverse offerings yet.

Darwen Live will run over two-days of the May bank holiday weekend with Nineties’ favourites Sleeper headlining on Sunday, May 26 and Eighties’ pop punk princess Toyah bringing the free event to a close on Monday, May 27.

Organiser Darren James said: “Every year it gets more and more difficult to get acts of sufficient quality wit the budget we have but we really feel this year that we have come a great line-up, building on the success of previous years.

“We really think we have got something for all musical taste ranging from pop to folk and hip hop to reggae.”

Sleeper had three top 10 albums in the UK and a string of hit singles including Sale of the Century. The band split in 1998 but reformed in 2017 still fronted by Louise Wener.

“The last time I saw Sleeper live was in 1994 so it’s be great to see them again in Darwen,” said Darren, “and our other headliner Toyah always puts on a great show. She’ll be playing all her hits with her band making it a fine end to the festival.”

The line-up also includes Jim Bob, frontman of Carter USM; Manchester-based reggae outfit, Jeramiah Ferrari and Mod revival band The Lambrettas, best known for their cover of Poison Ivy.

“We have got a nice mix of original artists and some covers bands as we know that the audience changes during the course of the day and we want to offer something for everyone,” said Darren.

Returning to the festival will be Northern Soultrain on the Sunday afternoon which will also feature Ultra 90s Fresh performing classic 90s dance anthems live. On the Monday, Electrik Dreams will be playing 80s classics.

Darwen Live will be one of the first events to be held in the new-look Darwen town centre which is currently undergoing a major re-vamp.

“We don’t even know where the main stage will be going just yet” said Darren, “But everything will be ready for Darwen Live.”


Sunday, May 26


Ultra 90s Fresh

Jim Bob

Jermaiah Ferrari

Northern Soultrain


Leah Haworth



Darwen Brass Band

Monday, May 27


The Lambrettas

Electrik Dreams


5th Element

Sound of the Sirens

Gemma Doyle

Chris Fogg

Rothwell Arts Dance School