Lancashire Encounter: A new and exciting event hosted by Preston during the last weekend of September

Posted on - 16th August, 2015 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, City Centre, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Things to Do in and around Preston, What's On in Preston



Friday 25 to Sunday 27th September will see Preston city centre transformed into a vibrant hub of activity. Giant red canopies will stretch across the Flag Market, providing space to be immersed in a world of creativity. Visitors are encouraged to discover and explore the exciting and dynamic programme available throughout the weekend – making each encounter a unique experience.
The Giant canopies will serve as a bright and cheerful place to be and to give shelter when the almost inevitable rain falls at times. The idea is to flood the interior with light from with Chinese lanterns which should look extremely spectacular in the evenings.

Preston Council’s events manager, Tim Joel, said: “In 2012 there was a real energy in the city of people coming together, and we felt we couldn’t wait another 20 years for that to happen again.

“The focus of Lancashire Encounter is around it being a festival for the region.

“It’s rooted in Preston and will be taking place across the city in September, but it’s very much about us connecting the cultural highlights of Lancashire together with a long-term vision that Lancashire could move towards a position where we could work together and achieve the big events that Manchester and Liverpool are achieving, like the Liverpool puppets.”


Lancashire Encounter is a weekend to discover, experience and be immersed in a bold and imaginative spectacle of performance, music, street theatre and art surrounding Preston Pride on Saturday and Run Preston on the Sunday. From large scale interactive projections to mass salsa dance off, burlesque to henna, puppet making workshops to a giant revolving life boat; guests will be invited to participate in, interact with or just enjoy a great Lancastrian weekend of fun.


The frame of each giant red canopy can be folded for storage in concertina fashion and is mounted on bicycle wheels to create a number of monocycles which can be ridden to transport the canopy to a desired location.

The programme will be complemented by a bespoke food and drink selection, as well as a marketplace of Lancashire Makers. We are currently working with local businesses to provide a unique and quality drinks offer which guests can enjoy under the canopies. The marketplace will be another opportunity to see wares such as those exhibited at Best of Britannia North earlier in 2015, demonstrating the exciting range of goods made within the region.

A highlight of the weekend’s programme will be the Preston Commission; Empty Space Program. Matthew Birchall and Tao Lashley Burnley, from The Birley studios are the artists responsible and describe it as:

A multi installation and interactive projection mapping system. We will use doorways to allow visitors to walk through the project, triggering projections, sounds and lights, which will fill the entire space, ceiling, walls, floor and will also include abstract structures built by ourselves…the visuals will also continue through the night when the space is closed to the public, utilising the large windows, which will act as screen, that passersby in the evenings can enjoy, like an odd digital zoo or aquarium.

Lancashire Encounter will bring the cultural highlights of the region together over one weekend in one place for one audience. Working with key organisations including More Music Morecambe, Ludus Dance, Horse and Bamboo, Lancaster Arts and Light Up Lancaster the festival programme will see some vibrant additions. Pieces will include the Chinese Community Orchestra and giant Chinese Dragon, interactive early year puppetry workshops, contemporary performance installations creating spaces with people and a performance piece Losing Grace performed by Byteback Theatre a company of emerging actors supported by Burnley Youth Theatre.

Lancashire Encounter is being delivered through a partnership between Preston City Council, Lancashire County Council, UCLan, Marketing Lancashire, Business Improvement District and Preston Creative Partnership.

Charlotte Louise Berry will be performing at during the Lancashire Encounters in September with her solo performance ‘1947 Thoughts from the Rubble Banks‘.
Charlotte said “If anyone is interested in my project and wishes to share any stories or information about Preston, Lancashire or Sir George Gilbert Scott’s Town Hall, please get in touch; all the information gathered has helped shape the project and I would love to incorporate more”

Charlotte can be reached on her Facebook page or email at


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