HE has transformed a empty church into the Amazon rainforest and taken concertgoers back to the heady days of glam rock and Ziggy Stardust.

But now Kevin Johnson is facing his biggest challenge - creating the world of Alice in Wonderland in one of East Lancashire’s most iconic buildings.

Kevin is the designer for the Confessional Festival, a unique music and arts festival which has put Blackburn on the map.

This year’s event is moving from its traditional home at Holy Trinity Church to Blackburn’s historic Cotton Exchange, a Grade II listed building on King William Street which once played host to Charles Dickens and even Harry Houdini.

“It represents a challenge that’s for sure,” said Kevin, “but that’s something we’ve become used to over the years with Confessional. Pete comes up with a theme in advance and it’s up to me to translate that into something that will work within the space.

“Because this is the first time that anyone has really held any kind of event of this type at the Cotton Exchange we have nothing to go on but that’s quite exciting. In effect we’ve got a big oblong box upstairs which is where the festival will be held plus a fantastic entrance with a stone staircase leading up to it.”

Kevin’s designs will only be revealed on the day of the festival - Saturday, September 11 - but he said that he was looking for an Alice theme that was “part Tim Burton, part Lewis Carroll”.

“In the past we’ve built rockets and aliens. The visual side of Confessional is just as important as the music and we want everyone who comes through the door to be amazed. I don’t think they’ll be disappointed this year.”

Confessional was postponed last year due to Covid but an Arts Council England grant help ensure this year would go-ahead. The line-up includes headliners The Orielles plus The Lounge Society, Car Park and Avalanche Party.

Confessional, Cotton Exchange, Blackburn, Saturday, September 11. Details from www.confessionalfestival.com