Lancashire Encounter Festival confirms 2023 line-up

Posted on - 8th August, 2023 - 6:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, City Centre, Kid's stuff, Preston Bus Station, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News, Uncategorized, What's On in Preston, Winckley Square
Timeless is performed inside and around 7m high rotating hourglass and tackled the threat of climate change

The line-up for this year’s Lancashire Encounter Festival taking over Preston city centre for three days of arts and culture has been confirmed.


Organised by Preston City Council the festival is spread across a number of sites in the city centre – from the Bus Station to Winckley Square.

Encounter Festival runs from Friday 15 September to Sunday 17 September and the majority of events are free to attend.

Read more: Largest funding war chest yet bagged for Lancashire Encounter Festival

The MET (Mobile Event Tent) is also on the move from Ribbleton to be in the University Square during September and the Encounter Festival.


Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure Services at Preston City Council, councillor Peter Kelly, said: “We are delighted to unveil the exciting programme for Encounter Festival 2023.

“With a weekend filled with fun, thoughtful performances, and captivating experiences, this year’s festival promises to be a true celebration of art and culture in Preston. From the free outdoor theatre shows to performances at the Community and Traditions Stage, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. We invite everyone to join us for a weekend of creativity, entertainment, and community spirit at Encounter Festival 2023.”

Entertainment kicks off in the MET on Friday, then the community and traditions stage outside the Guild Hall building to the torchlight procession on Saturday through the city and the focus shifts to Winckley Square on Sunday with a family-orientated day.

Here’s what’s on each day of the festival and if it says ticketed then you need to purchase tickets from the Eventbrite mini-site for the Encounter.

Mobile Event Tent stage
The stage within the Mobile Event Tent (MET)

Friday 15 September
7.30pm-10pm – The Lighter Jams bring a mix of soul, funk and reggae to the city – The MET, UCLan Square. Ticketed.

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Saturday 16 September
11am & 12noon – Baby Boo – The Met, UCLan Square. Free.
12noon & 2.40pm – Look Mum, No Hands – Bus Station. Free.
12noon-3pm – Magical Story Jars – Bus Station. Free.
12.45pm & 1.55pm – Dandyism – Flag Market. Free.
1pm-3pm – Scratch Band – The Ferret. Free.
1pm-7.30pm – Community & Traditions Stage – outside Guild Hall in Lancaster Road. Free.
1.10pm-1.50pm – Timeless – Bus Station. Free.
1.30pm-2.15pm – Dance Sydrome – The MET, UCLan Square. Ticketed.
2pm & 6.30pm – Feeling Haunted – St Peter’s Church, UCLan. Free.
2.30pm-3.15pm – Jazz Swing Dance Workshop – The MET, UCLan Square. Ticketed.
2.30pm & 3.30pm – Salsa Northwest – Flag Market. Free.
3.30pm-4.15pm – Swati Dance Company Workshop – The MET, UCLan Square. Ticketed.
3.30pm-4.30pm – Timeless – Bus Station. Free.
7.15pm start – Torchlight procession – Moor Park to Guild Hall. Free.

Read more: Torchlight procession at Encounter Festival seeks extra backing

Sunday 17 September
11am, 12.40pm & 4pm – A La Puppet Carte – Winckley Square. Free.
11.35am, 1.20pm & 3.35pm – Dhamak Collective – Winckley Square. Free.
12noon-3pm – Magical Story Jars – Winckley Square. Free.
12noon-3.30pm – Baby Boo & games – Winckley Square. Free.
12noon & 3pm – Flood – Winckley Square. Free.
12.45pm & 2pm – Parade (The Giant Wheel) – Fishergate from outside Boots to Winckley Square. Free.
1.45pm & 4.30pm – Do What Ya Mamma Told Yah! – Winckley Square. Free.
2pm-3.30pm – Open mic – The Orchard on Preston Market. Free.

Running throughout the three days and in the run up to the Encounter will be the creative scrap store in Preston Bus Station with dozens of events taking place.

Read more: See the what’s on in and around Preston

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