It is with great regret that we announce the end, as we know it, of the legendary Great British Rhythm &
Blues Festival in Colne, Lancashire.

The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival has been bringing wonderful blues music – in its myriad of forms – to Colne for over 30 years.  The event was not only one of Europe’s ultimate contemporary blues festivals, but also a one-of-a-kind and much-loved festival for people of the local area.

The 2019 festival, which attracted over 25,000 people to Colne, won the UK Blues Festival of The Year Award and will now be the final festival under the guise of the Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival. The 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Naomi Crewe, Colne Town Council’s Town Clerk (Colne Town Council has organised and managed the event since 2017): “This is a very sad day for the lovers of ‘The Blues’ in Colne, and for all those involved in the event.  Deciding to make the 2019 event the finale of the Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival was an extremely difficult and heart wrenching one to make. During these unprecedented times a decision has been made to create a summer music festival for the town of Colne, which will hopefully have the town as busy as ever, just as it was during the blues weekend in 2019. Lots of decisions still need to be made and we will be inviting local Colners to a meeting in the near future to offer their ideas and opinions as to what people would like the Council to provide. This will be in addition to the events the council currently provides for the town and its residents, including Christmas in Colne, Halloween in Colne, Easter in Colne, along with numerous other services.”

The town council now plans to organise a summer music festival for Colne. Although it’s very early in the planning stages, the event will hopefully take place in Colne in August 2022 and feature bands and musicians from Colne and beyond, supporting the local arts and live music scene and much more. 

Councillor Mary Thomas, the Chairman of Colne Town Council adds, “The Council no longer has the resources to run the Colne Blues event in its current format. However, we are going to manage a summer music festival in Colne next August, alongside our other provisions for local residents.” 

Let’s keep the award-winning Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival in the hearts and minds of everyone who enjoyed ‘The Blues’ in Colne and look forward to this exciting new music-based festival in the town.

Do keep an eye on our website and social media for further updates.

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