FEATURE: WMF’13 – Looking back..

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On the weekend of July 19th-21st, the local music scene came together for the 7th Warrington Music Festival. Held across the town centre, it saw the Happy Mondays play a free show to thousands of people who had managed to get a ticket , whilst Slydigs returned to the Festival after a long absence to headline the Saturday night. The Sunday saw two stages move to Bank Park. With Bands & Artist submissions open from today for this years Festival (18 – 20 July), we ask some of last years performers about their memories of the day.

If you would like to apply to appear at this years festival, head over to our Warrington Music Festival section for submission details.



Louis Menguy – Slydigs – Lead Guitar
Last year we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to headline Warrington Music Festival and to this day that particular gig still stands out in my memory as one of the best gigs we have played to date.

I remember the day clearly, we where heading to Warrington Town Centre from Liverpool after finishing a live session at BBC introducing Merseyside, the weather was glorious and our expectations were high after hearing how Happy Mondays had blew everyone away from the same stage we were about to set foot on. It was an especially important gig for us as we had spent the very first years of the bands life playing in the various pubs and clubs throughout Warrington establishing our name and crafting our sound so it was a real privilege to be asked to headline our hometown festival, it was also an opportunity we wanted to seize with both hands. The gig went down an absolute storm supported by friends and fans who had seen us grow from the very start, the set up was exceptional and the crowd were amazing.

We also met our current Manager Tommy at that gig, the rest as they say, is history… 


sam b Sam Bratley – The Black Circles – Lead Guitar and Vocals
2013 was the first year that The Black Circles got the opportunity to play the main stage of the Warrington Music Festival. After renaming the band in January of 2013 and gigging as ‘The Black Circles’ across the northwest, we felt that applying to play at the festival was a great way to get our music out there, especially on home turf. We we’re lucky enough to get a slot at 7.30pm on the main stage, which we all felt was the perfect time to start warming the crowd up for the acts to follow later in the evening.

The thing that struck us the most about the Festival was the level of professionalism from the moment we turned up with all our gear. Someone was there to greet you straight away, give you your pass, explain everything that was going to happen leading up to your set. This really helps bands who maybe haven’t played a festival before and aren’t familiar with the usual procedure.

One thing I vividly remember is the quality of the sound on stage, and the sound guys were really helpful too. We are looking forward to Warrington Music Festival 2014 and all the new talent it brings to a number of stages around Warrington. Hopefully see you out there!


mike Mike Bee – The Phoenix Experiment – Vocals & Guitar
I’ve got fond memories of the Festival. I’ve been fortunate enough to play every one since 2007, outside Queens Gardens, to last years all weekend festival.

It’s been great to see how it’s grown and the audience has grown with it. The Phoenix Experiment had actually decided not to gig last year while recording, but after getting offered the 9:30pm on the Saturday we couldn’t resist zapping our home crowd with a 20 minute psychedelic ritual! It was definitely the live highlight of our year. We just wish someone had caught it on video!

kim j

 Kim Jennett –

Kim Jennett – Vocals & Guitar 
As an artist from Warrington trying to get my name out to the world, playing local shows was the first stepping stone for me. it built my confidence, opened new doors and allowed me to experience the world of live gigging, (and oh damn how I’ve been hooked ever since !)

From playing all across the north west and beyond since these early days of local gigging, there is nothing better than the charm of coming back and playing to an audience of local people friends family and fans. Playing Warrington Music Festival to me was a great experience as it allowed me (and many other bands) to play in the charm of their own town but with a professional and large scale standard. Its hard for many local bands to get their foot out of the door and I think that it is a great opportunity to the bands that are starting out and is also a great one for the bands doing well and coming back to play their home town.


lindsay Lindsay Ralph – The Diamond Bays – Keyboard & Backing Vocals

Playing at the Warrington Music Festival last year was an amazing experience for our band. The festival gave us a platform to introduce ourselves as a band to the town

We got to see loads of bands we enjoy play, including Slydigs and China White. I had the privilege of playing with The Dan Solan Band and The Diamond Bays – two bands I really believe in. It was great to see Warrington supporting local bands and discovering the music this town has to offer. Hundreds of people turned out to see this town’s finest. Every year, the Warrington Music Festival makes live music accessible to everyone and we’re proud to be a part of its history.


jake Jake Wilding – Sometime After Dark – Vocals
The 2013 Warrington Music Festival really excelled beyond my expectations as myself and the rest of Sometime After Dark couldn’t play the fest in 2012 due to a forced hiatus and it was also during a time when the music scene in Warrington was struggling so we didn’t know what to expect when we were asked to play in 2013.

It was amazing to see a huge turnout for our set considering the location of the stage and seeing the crowd move around and enjoy what they heard was great because it was right off the launch of our EP so it was a good start to bigger things for us as a band! It was also great catching sets from Enginevein, 7 Day Weekend and despite my heavier taste in music, The Electric Mafia, considering their age they could have easily played main stage! Overall it was a great weekend and we hope to play again.


Details on how bands/ artists can apply for Warrington Music Festival 2014 can  be found here

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