Today’s Lytham Festival is Lancashire’s largest live music event and attracts tens of thousands of spectators. Its well-crafted mix of nostalgia, contemporary and classical music means there is something for everyone on picturesque Lytham Green during the four fantastic show days at the seaside. It’s hard to believe that this professional, well-organised and much-anticipated music festival – which every year brings international artists to the North West of England – began life as a hobby! Lytham Proms was created in 2009, and was curated by local music lovers Daniel Cuffe and Peter Taylor.
They came up with the idea of a one-night event to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. As they have recalled, it was just a “hobby” for them and the “chance to do something nice for the community”. They certainly achieved that. Securing the Manchester Camerata and star soprano Lesley Garett, the first 2010 concert was a massive success, with ‘sold out’ signs being placed outside. It soon became clear that the people of the Fylde coast had a passion for the event, and local opinion was that it should be held annually, and provide something for everyone.
Things took off quickly. In 2011, Daniel and Peter and their new company, Cuffe & Taylor Event Management, added a third night to the event because of the huge demand for tickets. Rock legends Status Quo opened the event, golden-voiced Katherine Jenkins performed to another sell-out crowd and the finale of Boyzone cemented the event as Lancashire’s largest outdoor musical festival. The following year the 2012 event was heralded as the biggest and best so far. A host of 80s stars took to the stage on the opening night for what ITV‘s Granada News reported as ‘the biggest party the Fylde coast has ever seen‘. This was followed on the second night by an advance sell-out of the ‘Last Night of the Proms’, featuring Alfie Boe with special guest Laura Wright. The finale of the 2012 festival featured famous X Factor finalist and now pop star Olly Murs, proving yet again that Lytham Proms Festival Weekend is one of the most diverse and interesting music events in the North of England. 2013 crowds flocked to opening night, ‘The 80’s Strikes Back’, with headliners Tony Hadley, Jason Donovan and Marc Almond. That was followed by Saturday night’s spectacular, ‘Last Night of the Proms’ concert, headlined by international singing star Russell Watson.
Heading up the final, smash-hit Sunday night was Brit Award nominee and number one-selling artist Rita Ora, with special guests Conor Maynard and Stooshe. The Proms Festival continues to pull in the crowds – not just for the music and joy that it brings to audiences, the organisers believe in putting something back into the community. Since 2009 Lytham Proms has raised over £100,000 for local charities through fund-raising, charity auctions and special events, with 2012 contributing to Rock FM’s ‘Cash for Kids’ campaign. 2013's event was also the greenest yet, thanks to a ground-breaking partnership with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. And so to this year and the latest chapter in the remarkable festival story. The fifth anniversary of the event was the biggest and best yet, with the ultimate fireworks display for the finale. Friday night saw the first edition of 80s Versus 90s, featuring back to back performances from Blue, Hue and Cry, Heather Small, Atomic Kitten and more! Tom Jones wowed 15,000 people, showing the people of Lytham why he's the Ultimate "Sex Bomb" and the passionate embrace of Michael Ball and Lesley Garrett immersed audiences in a classical extravaganza of songs from stage and screen.
As the stellar line-up of artists for Lytham Festival 2015, will show why it's the hottest Party on the coast.