THOUSANDS of music fans are expected to head to Colne over the August Bank Holiday Weekend for the Great British R&B Festival.

There’s an impressive line-up featuring some of the biggest names on the UK blues scene including Elles Bailey, triple award winner at this year’s British Blues Awards, including artist of the year and vocalist of the year and fellow headliners Aynsley Lister and Xander and the Peace Pirates.

With the Muni, the traditional home of the festival’s main stage undergoing major renovation work, Pendle Hippodrome will be the focal point for this year’s event which will see more than 30 bands and artists performing over three days and new for 2023 there is also the Exchange Project Stage.

There will also be 14 fringe venues which will host live music from more than 130 performers from far and wide. And throughout the festival there will be a number of attractions for the family with street entertainers and performers.

Nathan Cutler, Colne Town Council’s Events Officer, said: “The Great British R&B Festival is one of the stand-out events of the year, not just here in Colne, but across the whole of Lancashire.

“Last year we welcomed 35,000 people to the town over the weekend and we are looking forward to going even bigger and better in 2023. We have so much going on, including performances from the very best blues artists in the UK, so much entertainment for all the family and amazing opportunities to #ShopLocal.”

The festival has been organised by Colne Blues Society and Simon Shackleton, festival coordinator at Colne Blues Society, said: “We are so excited for the festival to start, it is going to be sensational!

“We are proud to have put together a line-up packed full of the very best current and upcoming blues artists in the UK, including some real legends such as Elles Bailey, Aynsley Lister and Xander and The Peace Pirates.”

The two main stages which host the festival’s official line-up are packed with exciting names.

Tomorrow, the festival gets underway with performances from The Imperials, The Malone Sibun Band and Conor Selby, the Young Artist of the Year at the UK Blues Awards in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Headliner Aynsley Lister is no stranger to Colne and he widely recognised as one of the finest contemporary blues guitarists.

On Saturday, the line-up includes powerhouse performer Alice Armstrong and her band; sensational liver performers Catfish and Dom Matin and his band. Dom is a three-time acoustic blues artist of the year and his guitar playing has been likened to fellow Irishman, the legendary Rory Gallagher.

Headliners Xander and the Peace Pirates combine, blues, rock and soul and their live shows are guaranteed to provide maximum excitement.

The final day of the festival on Sunday promises to be a real treat.

Included in the main stage line-up are Toby Lee, the current Young Blues Artist of the Year, who at just 18 displays prodigious guitar playing skills;.

Then there’s the Emma Wilson Blues Band fronted by a singer who was names emerging artist of the year at last year’s UK Blues Awards.

They will be followed by Lauren Housley and the Northern Cowboys who combine Americana with soulful blues and, bringing a touch of New Orleans to the festival, Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse.

Headliner Elles Bailey is a superstar in the making, This summer she has been playing festivals across Europe and winning legions of new fans in the process and following the release of her third album, Shining in the Half Life, established herself at the forefront of the British Blues and roots scene.

Once again this year, Colne and Nelson Rugby Club will be hosting the festival’s official campsite with a free shuttle bus running between the site and the town centre.

For full details of all the bands taking part and how to buy tickets, visit