THE SOUND of music will echo around the hills next month as a host of talented musicians gather for a special two-day Saddleworth Folk Weekend.
The original Saddleworth Folk Festival was a regular on the circuit until it ended four years ago.
And it has all been made possible thanks to Festival Director Ali O’Brien, who explained: “I’ve lost count of the number of “folkies” who have asked me to reinstate the Festival.
“Unfortunately I couldn’t afford it but last October my Aunty Elsie died, leaving me a small inheritance, enough to put on a smaller festival than the original.”
Ali teamed up with her ex PA Vivienne Ross, who is now the Festival Accounts Manager and Desk Manager, and her son Gareth who thought of the Festival name and got them online.
Bernard Cromarty, from Oldham Community Radio where Ali presents ‘Sounds of Folk’ every Monday, will provide the sound over the weekend.
Ali added: “I really want this festival to have a young feel and encourage young people to attend, so there will be a two-day Open Mic stage upstairs in the Commercial Pub.”
The Festival will be based at the Civic Hall in Uppermill, where there will be a Festival Desk selling tickets, a café, craft fair and bar.
Headlining on Saturday, July 18 at the Civic Hall are Oldham Tinkers, celebrating their 50th anniversary.
A host of other local, national and international artists will appear in over 50 events, which include concerts, meet the artists, workshops, presentations and singarounds.
And the popular ‘Wars of the Roses’ event which Ali dreamed up around ten years ago will return, seeing teams from Lancashire and Yorkshire battle in to win the coveted trophy.
The Festival campsite will be at Well-i-Hole Farm in Greenfield and there will be a free minibus for festival goers to return to the campsite on Saturday evening.
Tickets for the weekend cost £30 (concessions £20, under 16s free), but individual events can be paid for on entry.
For more information or to order tickets please visit the festival website www.saddleworthfolkweekend.co.uk or call Ali on 07548 954828.
Anyone with caravans or campervans needs to book a space in advance by calling 01457 834316.