Press release: Community arts festival still flourishing after almost two decades

On the cusp of its 20th annual event, the Prescot Festival is celebrating another roaringly successful showcase of musical and artistic talent.

Founded in 2005, the 10-day cultural showcase no sign of waning, with audiences in its 19th year equalling 2019 and 2022’s joint record of 1,700.

Brass favourites Leyland Band, swing orchestra the Phil Shotton Big Band and musical theatre sensations BOST were among the acts on this year’s programme, with a festival debut from the internationally renowned Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Choir. Drawing the proceedings to a close on Sunday, the South Liverpool Orchestra made their second festival appearance for a rousing, Proms-style finale.

The 2023 programme also saw a first-time collaboration with the Shakespeare North Playhouse, another Prescot institution on the eve of a major milestone—its first birthday. The theatre’s CEO Melanie Lewis and Creative Director Laura Collier sat down for a public conversation looking back on the rewards and challenges of the past 12 months and ahead to the magic to come.

“Many of our guests this year were return visitors, and they excelled themselves in sheer quality of performance,” said artistic director Dr Robert Howard. “It was a delight to welcome new faces, not only on stage, but among our formidable team of volunteers, too—it’s impossible to overestimate their role in an ensuring a community festival on this scale runs so smoothly.”

Preparations are already underway for the 20th Annual Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts, set to take place from Friday 21 to Sunday 30 June 2024. Eager audiences can keep up-to-date with Arts in Prescot’s year-round programme of events at


Photo: Robert Howard conducts the South Liverpool Orchestra at the Prescot Festival Finale (credit: Megan Feery)

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