A SLIMMED-down Darwen Live weekend could take place in September if a councillor has his way.

Brian Taylor, up for re-election on May 6, believes it could be a major boost to the town and local groups.

The Labour candidate for Darwen West in next month’s borough and town council polls said the free music festival could go ahead in a Covid-secure manner on the weekend of September 4 and 5.

The normal May Bank Holiday Darwen Live event has already been cancelled for the second year running because of coronavirus restrictions.

Mr Taylor made the suggestion at the last meeting of the current Darwen Town Council earlier this month.

Under his plan the festival would have just one outside headline act on each instead of the usual several on the main stage in the new Market Square.

But Darwen East Liberal Democrat Cllr Paul Browne told the meeting that the event should be put off until next year.

Mr Taylor said: “I proposed that Darwen Live was held this year on the first weekend in September, dependent on the present progress being maintained in vaccinations and reducing serious illness from the Covid-19 virus.

“I propose that instead of the normal line up of nationally-known acts, we have just the one headline act for the main stage, with all supporting acts to come from the Darwen area, helping local groups emerging from the Covid lockdown.

“Another divergence from the normal Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, it is envisaged to be a Saturday and Sunday event. It would be a great thing for people to look forward to and a real boost for Darwen and its businesses.

“I wanted to put a marker down for the new town council when it meets after the elections.”

Cllr Browne said: “I do not think it would be safe in September. I am not being a killjoy but I think there will be another wave of coronavirus and if we rearrange it for later in the year it will just have to be cancelled. It is best to wait until May 2022.”

The September proposal was backed by Darwen West’s Cllr Dave Smith, Conservatives Lilian Salton and Kevin Connor and Liberal Democrat John East.

Cllr Smith said: “This is a great idea to hold it in September.”

Event organiser Darren James said: “We are in discussions with the town council about a September Darwen Live. Most of the acts booked for 2020 have confirmed for this year as well.”

Headline acts for the 2019 event included Toyah, Sleeper and The Lambrettas.