Lancashire Fringe Festival & Other Festivals Coming to Preston for 2019 • Visit Preston
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Preston Guild City

Microphone on stage.

Don't miss an exciting week packed full of laughs and controversy at the Lancashire Fringe Festival...

There's a new festival coming to Preston and it's worth getting excited about. The Lancashire Fringe Festival takes place between Wednesday 15 May and Friday 24 May, delivering over a week of some of the UK's most hard-hitting, controversial, and funny shows.

Top contemporary and award-winning performers will play alongside acclaimed poets in a variety of venues across the city centre, bringing a unique festival to the people of Lancashire - with all the shows free to attend. Performers include Kate Fox, Louise Orwin, Bob Karper, Joana Nastari, Louise Fazackerley, Lee Mark Jones, Ruth E Cockburn, and Katie O'Brien.

The festival aims to engage a wide range of audiences, particularly people who do not usually come and see live shows, and includes everything from comedy and poetry to shows covering complex social issues like addiction, sex work, and fracking.

Pay what you decide

Lancashire Fringe Festival uses a Pay What You Decide model for the vast majority of their shows. This means audiences can make an optional donation at the end of each show - a fantastic opportunity to see top talent for less.

Festival line-upRuth E Cockburn performing on guitar.

The Festival kicks off with Poet Louise Fazackerley at Vinyl Tap. It will also include several newly-commissioned pieces of work by local artists, giving regional talent a chance to perform to a wider audience. This includes Neil Procter's Lancashire People's Theatre who have paired 14 Lancashire-based writers with professional actors to deliver a series of monologues over two nights during the festival.

Wednesday 15 May, Vinyl Tap

  • 7.30pm: The Secret - Louise Fazackerley + Helena Ascough, Richy Integer & Amy Lee Tempest

Thursday 16 May, Stanley Arms

  • 7.30pm: Lancashire People’s Theatre Monologues #1

Friday 17 May, Preston Central Methodist Church

  • 7pm: Catch 22 Years – Katie O’Brien - this show examines addiction in a unique and unexpected performance by the award-winning actress
  • 8.15pm: I Surrender! – Karen Featherstone

Saturday 18 May, Harris Museum

  • 7pm: From the Message Boards – Dan de la Motte - comedy-lecture about the Royal Family and Daily Mail Online message boards
  • 7.45pm: Control Pant Symphony - Natalie Wardle
  • 7.55pm: Goth Diary – Karina Azlanova
  • 8.15pm: Oh! Suburbia! - Bob Karper TBC

Sunday 19 May, The Continental

  • 7.30pm: Oh Yes Oh No – Louise Orwin - hailed as "bold, brave work" by The Guardian, this show looks at female sexuality, consent and power

Monday 20 May, The Ferret

  • 7pm: Ruth Cockburn
  • 8pm: A Rock N Roll Suicide – Lee Mark Jones

Tuesday 21 May, Stanley Arms

  • 7.30pm: Lancashire People’s Theatre Monologues #2

Wednesday May 22, Harris Museum

  • 7pm: Nannas With Banners - a show about the Preston New Road's anti-fracking nannas
  • 7.30pm: Where There’s Muck There’s Bras – Kate Fox - a show about strong Northern women

Thursday May 23, Vinyl Tap

  • 7pm: The Wandering Poet – Ben Guilfoyle + Lyndsay Price, Flora Martyr, Rikin Parekh & Lorna Smithers

Friday 24 May, UCLan Media Factory

  • 8.15pm: F*** You Pay Me – Joana Nastari (part of Derelict Mayhem festival) - a hard-hitting show about strip club workers

A note from the producer

Lancashire Fringe Festival is created by local producer Garry Cook.

Cook said: "The one-off shows I've been doing for the past year have gone down brilliantly with Preston audiences - everyone has loved them. And it's the audiences who have turned up to these shows - some people come to every performance - who have helped make this festival possible. I can't thank them enough.

"There are some absolutely stunning shows in the festival. It has taken a lot of work to get some of them here but I'm delighted with the line-up, and hope the people of Preston and Lancashire will come and help make this festival a huge success so that we can carry on doing it for years to come.

"I want to encourage people who do not usually see this kind of performance to come to one or two shows and experience something remarkable. All these shows have been chosen not just because of their subject matter but because they deliver a message in a hugely engaging, entertaining and exciting way.

"Even if you think a show covers a topic that doesn't interest you, you will be blown away by the visual storytelling techniques these artists use. There are some exceptional talents coming to Preston over these 10 days - it's a wonderful opportunity for Lancashire people to see shows which usually only come to London or Edinburgh Fringe".

More upcoming festivals in Preston

Preston has your festival craving sorted from May through to August, helping you keep your summer sizzling.

Preston Jazz & Improvisation Festival, Thursday 30 May - Saturday 8 June

Preston Jazz and Improvisation Festival brings you ten days of local and international musical talent, performed in a variety of city centre venues.

Preston Rocks & Prestfest, Saturday 22 June

Get ready for a full-blown day and evening of entertainment. The day will start with a fashion show presented by Mark Wright and will be followed by an evening of live music on the Flag Market.

Lancashire Science Festival, Saturday 29 June

The ever-popular Lancashire Science Festival returns for 2019. Packed full of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and more, the free festival is suitable for all kinds of visitors.

Rockprest, Saturday 29 June - Sunday 30 June

The UK's biggest free rock tribute festival is back for 2019. Moor Park will be alive with an impressive line-up of top tribute acts, alongside fairground rides and food and beer stalls to help keep you rockin' all weekend.

The Continental Beer & Cider Festival, Thursday 18 July - Sunday 21 July

The popular Continental Beer & Cider Festival returns after a brief hiatus to bring you a mouth-watering selection of drinks and food in their riverside setting.

The Lancashire Festival, Saturday 20 July

Avenham & Miller Parks will see a variety of entertainment for all kinds of visitors, including live music, entertainment, food and drink stalls, and fairground rides.

Youth Music Festival, Saturday 24 August

A great addition to your summer, the Youth Music Festival will see a programme of young musical talent take over Preston Flag Market.

Map addresses for Lancashire Fringe Festival

  • Vinyl Tap, 28 - 30 Adelphi Street, Preston, PR1 7BE.
  • Stanley Arms, 24 Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1DA. 
  • Preston Central Methodist Church, Lune Street, Preston, PR1 2NL.
  • Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Market Square, Preston, PR1 2PP.
  • The Continental, South Meadow Lane, Preston, PR1 8JP.
  • The Ferret, 55 Fylde Road, Preston, PR1 2XQ.
  • UCLan Media Factory, Kirkham Street, Preston, PR1 2XY.