AS the curtain falls on another year its time to shine a light on what lies in store in 2019.

A tumultuous year lies behind us while uncertainty and worry cloud the year ahead but in a bid to be optimistic as the wheel turns it is time to take a look at how Bolton's cultural calendar is shaping up.

THERE are some world-famous faces coming to the town as well as a host of theatre, comedy and musical productions on offer to tickle your fancy.

Fresh from hosting Little Mix and The Killers over one weekend in 2018 the University of Bolton stadium is not resting on its laurels and has secured rocker Rod Stewart for a 2019 concert.

Stewart is performing on Friday, June 19 at the stadium in Horwich.

For those who have not yet grabbed their tickets, some are still up for grabs with prices ranging from VIP packages which will set you back a cool £465 to £62 for a standard ticket.

Rod Stewart is not the only super-famous face gracing Bolton’s stages in 2019. The town’s favourite son, Sir Ian McKellen is inviting people to celebrate his 80th birthday with him.

Appearing in the Albert Halls on May 25, this is a sold out, solo show. Tantalisingly called “Ian Mckellen On Stage: With Tolkien, Shakespeare, Others And You” McKellen invites people to join him and said his love of theatre and the touring companies that inspired him in his youth have always prompted him to venture outside of London where possible.

Ahead of the show McKellen said: “I’m celebrating my 80th birthday by touring a new solo show to theatres I know well and a few that I don’t.

"The show starts with Gandalf and will probably end with an invitation to act with me on stage. In between there will be anecdotes and acting.”

Bolton has become used to some big names over the years thanks to the annual Food and Drink Festival, which takes over the town centre for four days of tasty fun.

While no details have been confirmed yet the Food and Drink Festival is sure to once again play host to the likes of James Martin and Nadiya Hussain who entertained and informed the hundreds of thousands who flocked to town this year, despite the weather.

We can hope for a sunny August bank holiday weekend this year.

Down the road in Heaton Park there will be a festival of a different kind. Parklife 2019 will take place in June and is sure to feature some great headliners, with the likes of N.E.R.D. and Pharrell gracing the stage this year along with Lorde, Liam Gallagher and The xx.

No year in Bolton would be complete without IRONMAN UK. The prestigious sporting triathlon returns in July and registration places are already selling out. The crowds of supporters every year make sure it is a spirited and fun event in the calendar.

Always a feature of the Bolton cultural scene is The Octagon and even though its doors maybe closed for the entirety of 2019 the show will go on.

The team have already announced two shows which they will perform in the new year in alternate venues but determined to bring the same quality their audience expects.

Their first show of the new year will be The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, a timeless comic tragedy written by Farnworth playwright Jim Cartwright, and will show in the Albert Halls.

Director Ben Occhipinti has said: “I can’t think of anywhere better to create this production than at the Albert Halls in Bolton.

“The history of the building as a music hall means the venue has exactly the right feel to become the place where Little Voice performs her music.”

In June the production team will bring to life Oscar Wilde’s sensational and lavish tale of witty comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest.

The play which has delighted audiences with its wit for more than 100 years will be performed in June.