A festival that the rain can’t spoil

Glastonferret
Glastonferret
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Glorious Glastonferret, our city’s unique festival-in-a-pub, returns this weekend - and, whatever the weather, it’s going to be great.

The two day event, which always sees the Fylde Road pub carpeted inside with real turf to provide an authentic festival atmosphere, kicks off on Saturday and ends with a bang on Sunday.

There will be wristbands, ice creams, hay bales to sit on, scrumpy cider - just like the real Glastonbury, except with nicer toilets!

And, also like the real thing, there will be a fantastic line up of bands, most of whom are big favourites with the audiences at the Ferret.

On Saturday, Leeds band Middleman, who have previously appeared at SXSW, Leeds Festival, Secret Garden Party, Kendal Calling and Beatherder Festivals, top the bill.

Then Glasgow outfit Sparrow and the Workshop, who are currently on tour to promote their third album, Murderopolis, out now through Song on Toad Records, close the festival on Sunday.

And throughout the weekend, you can hear blistering live sets from a host of other bands, including Flight of Arrows, The Suns, Cry Baby Aeroplanes, Brassic, Midas Fall, 3 Dimensional Tanx, The Yossarians, Hello Bamboo, Literature Thieves, Cactus Knife, Yukon Bill, Stephen Hudson and the Fiat Pandas, Fighting, Jamie Brewer, Zvilnik and J Carr.

And, on Sunday, there is an extra treat with a set from new band Spaceflight, which features members of Preston band Evil Blizzard, who toured with The Fall after frontman Mark E Smith became a fan of theirs.

But playing alongside them in the band is former Stone Roses member Aziz Ibrahim, who was drafted in to join the iconic Manchester band when guitarist John Squire left immediately before their planned 1995 Glastonbury headline slot.

Usually timed to coincide with the real Glastonbury Festival, Glastonferret this year is happening a week earlier.

Organisers have claimed this is because a certain Mick Jagger has expressed an interest in coming but unfortunately he’s busy the following week. And they have also claimed they don’t want to hit Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis’s ticket sales....

This is the seventh Glastonferret at the Mad Ferret. The idea was born eight years ago when organiser Richard Lomax and his friends, unable to get Glastonbury tickets, held their own mini-fest in their back garden. A year later, after a drunken conversation with now departed Mad Ferret founder, Frazer Boon, who left just a few weeks ago, Glastonferret was born.

Richard Lomax said: “We’re very proud that this tiny boutique festival is still going strong into its seventh year and that the line-ups get better and better with each passing year.

“It’ll be a bit odd putting the festival on without Fraser because we came up with the idea together out an afternoon cider fuelled session complaining about how tough it was to get Glastonbury tickets.

“Once again, we’ve moved our weekender to the week before Eavis little shindig in Pilton out of deference to their shaky ticket sales. You’ve got to help the little guy out after all. Plus I think Mick Jagger wanted to come and watch Hello Bamboo who we’ve got playing on Saturday. In all honesty though, we’re so happy that this festival continues, that somebody lets us nutters turf out a venue with real grass and throw hay bales around. It feels like it’s become part of Preston’s landscape now.” Advance weekend tickets are £10 from www.seetickets.com or from the Mad Ferret.