Huge festival set to see families flock to the town centre on Easter Monday
A HUGE festival for families will take place in Bolton on Easter Monday.
A group launched to transform the town centre into a family friendly environment will showcase its first major event.
Street performers, barbecues and live bands will be included in the 120 act line-up for Monday’s B Festival.
The day of entertainment will raise funds to give local charities Bolton Hospice and Street Angels a boost.
The B Festival is the first event to be held since licensees, door staff, taxi firms, CCTV operators, Bolton Street Angels, police and Bolton Council joined forces earlier this year to stamp out the reputation of Bolton’s nightlife being a place only for drinkers.
The festival is returning to the town for its second year and boasts entertainment at 14 venues including The Dog and Partridge, which plans to have an outdoor stage, Downtown, The Blue Boar, Dragonfly and The Balmoral.
Asif Vali, chairman of the partnership and Bolton Taxi Company Association, said: “It is absolutely brilliant that so many musicians are coming into the town. It is going to be a fantastic family day, children are welcome to go to events. We want to make it into a day where everybody can enjoy themselves.”
Ten of the bars are opening their doors to children who are accompanied by adults until the early evening.
Family friendly acts include cheerleaders, fire eaters, DJs and bands.
Many of the bars will have 10 different acts performing throughout the day.
Steve Hoyle, vice chairman of the partnership and owner of Downtown, said: "We want to make Bolton a vibrant place again. We want to give it a different culture. There will be something for everyone, solo artists, DJs, acoustics, four and five piece bands, soul music, modern, jazz.
"All the people performing during the day are doing it for free. It is a big showcase for them and this is what it's all about."
Wristbands are on sale and will get people entry into each of the participating venues, which are all within walking distance.
Changes already introduced since the partnership was formed include a tougher stance against drunken people, taxi marshals to ensure people get home safely, the banning of drink promotions and free drinking water at all times.
Mr Hoyle said: "We have had some fantastic feedback about that partnership. It's slow but things are improving — we are trying to get people to enjoy themselves again. It is nice to see all the bar owners talking and there's police with smiles on their faces as incidents are at a minimum."
Ch Insp Mark Bell, for Bolton police, is showing his support by bringing home baked treats for the festival to be sold for charity.
Fun will start at noon and run into the early hours. Wristbands can be bought at the venues for £4 for all bars or people can pay £3 just to enter one bar.
A full programme of events can be found on Facebook by searching B Festival Bolton.
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