IT'S May Bank Holiday weekend and for East Lancashire music fans, that means one thing — Darwen Live. This year sees the festival’s 10th anniversary.

And council bosses say they are pulling out all the stops to make the 10th annual Darwen Live event the best ever with original members of The Boomtown Rats and a Bay City Roller topping the bill.

Tony Melia, deputy leader for Blackburn with Darwen Council and leader of the For Darwen Party said more than 10,000 people are expected to attend over the two days.

He added: “This year is going to be extra special for the 10th anniversary of Darwen Live, and a lot of hard jobs" target="_blank">work has gone in to it.

"There really is something for everyone and people come from all over to enjoy what has been put on for them.

"It is a unique event that has been successful from day one and we are really looking forward to it again.”

Coun Melia said he would like to see a similar event held in Blackburn in the future using the “successful Darwen Live model.”

While Bob Geldof is not going to be joining his former bandmates in Darwen on Monday, founding members Garry Roberts and Simon Crowe will be performing some of their hits under the name Original Boomtown Rats.

The original line up had a string of UK hits in the late 1970s including number one singles I Don’t Like Mondays and Rat Trap.

And Eric Faulkner original guitarist from the Bay City Rollers best known for Bye Bye Baby, Give A Little Love, and Saturday Night will also take to the stage with his band.

A first for this year’s event, expected to attract a new audience of music lovers over the course of the weekend, will be the addition of a youth stage complete with Europe’s only fully solar powered stage.

As well as the major acts that are on the Main Stage and Library Theatre Stage; this year for the first time there will be an area aimed specifically at younger people aged between 13 and 19.

And it is in this Youthzone section, sited on the car park next to Knott Street Community Centre, where a 24ft solar powered stage will be used to showcase the borough’s youth bands, headlined by The Foxes.

Blackburn-born Tony Fleming, originally from Mill Hill, is the brains behind the eco stage, which runs on vegetable oil and hydrogen gas and is fitted with nine solar panels that generate enough electricity to run a full PA system and lighting rig.

“For the Darwen Live event they’ve got three stages so in theory we’re cutting their carbon emissions by a third,” says Tony, of Southwest Solar Solutions.

“It gives a really good message out for Blackburn and Darwen that they’re doing something about carbon.”

Other highlights include the son of legendary rock and roller Joe Brown and his band, Pete Brown and the Volunteers, who are performing songs from their new album ‘Not Before Time.’ The Jamie Mac Band, from Darwen is reforming especially for the event, playing the main stage on Sunday.

There will be a band up to every hour at various surrounding bars including performances from Cherrybomb, Electric Circus and India Mill at Marrigolds, Avalon Way at Bar Java, and The Snowbyrds at Franky’s Bar Club.

Also taking part are Roxy Nightclub and The George Hotel, Hollins Grove.

Plus don’t miss Darwen Music Showcase, a selection of the area’s talented singers and musicians selected by Elite Music Services.

Darwen Live will be taking place on Sunday May 24 and Monday May 25, 2008, between 1pm and 9pm.

Main stage

  • The Bay City Rollers featuring Eric Faulkner
  • Ray Bailey’s Soultrain
  • Torrents
  • Jo Danuki Band
  • The Northern Jazz Orchestra

Darwen Library Theatre stage

  • Pete Brown and the Volunteers
  • Jah Mission Vibes
  • Darwen Music Showcase

(2pm-midnight): Date With Defiance, Motlow, Electric Circus Band, Outsider, Salacious, Luva Gunk, Fiery Jack, Breaker, Kingpin, Cherrybomb, Fatty & the Boom Booms.

Bar Java
(2pm-midnight): Avalon May, The 15th, Tridant Band, Resident DJ Small Paul

Franky's Bar Club
Pablo And The Smokes, Gas Match Boom, The Badniks, The Scen, Moral Panic,Snow Byrds, Down In Paris, Searching for Seraphim, Lovelacer, Funnel, Semihere


Main stage

  • Original Boomtown Rats Garry Roberts and Simon Crowe
  • The Jamie Mac Band
  • The Stiffs
  • Decadenze
  • Blackburn with Darwen Music Big Band

Darwen Library Theatre stage

  • Recall
  • Graham Robinson
  • Blackburn People’s Choir

Wing Mirror Spiders, Neverburn, Lovelacer, India Mill, Underdogs, Last Band In Town, Jackson Kay Band, Haiku, Portside UK, CJay

Franky's Bar Club
Sprungloaded, Kreuz, Stealing The Process, The Versatiles, Corned Beef, The Mardigras Bombers, The Irrelevants, Englands Dreamin