News: Carlisle Blues & Rock Festival – 7th-9th November – venue change

Posted on: Thursday, Sep 25, 2014

Carlisle Blues and Rock Festival, which will be held from 7th to 9th November, is the festival that the top blues musicians love to play, the one they all talk about, the one that brings out the best in them. And organiser Nick Westgarth has really excelled himself this year, with an incredible five-star line-up – including most of the top names on the current British blues circuit, along with a selection of the highest-quality acts from further afield.

Nick had a stressful time recently, with the sudden closure of the festival’s usual home, the Swallow Hilltop Hotel but, as he says, ‘Out of every crisis comes opportunity.’ He is convinced that this will actually mark the start of a new and exciting era for the festival. The event will now move right into the heart of Carlisle.

Nick says: “Within 72 hours, I managed to secure a bigger, better music venue, one that is built for live music, with a fantastic stage and bars. It’s actually named “The Venue” (, located just off Carlisle city centre, with ample parking and five minutes’ walk from the train station. And the team at The Venue are pulling out all the stops to help me ensure that we will have a great festival with the 19 top-class acts (no fill-in bands at this one!!) confirmed for the three days over the early November weekend. As they say, “Every cloud has a silver lining!” The many festival goers who had already booked accommodation at the Hilltop will be accommodated in some of Carlisle’s most prestigious hotels, including The Crown and Mitre, and The Hallmark, all within easy walking distance of The Venue.

Ticket purchases can still be made very simply via the festival website:

Nick advises music-lovers to waste no time booking their tickets as all this activity has sparked a lot of interest, and they are being snapped up quickly and this festival regularly sells out. They are amazing value at only £31 for Friday and Sunday single-day tickets, £46.50 for Saturday, and £99.50 for the full weekend.

Full details of the acts are available on the festival website but these are a few of the highlights.

FRIDAY will be USA day with special guests MIKE ZITO & THE WHEEL and SAMANTHA FISH, with MARCUS MALONE (originally from Detroit) making a welcome return. Mike and Samantha are certainly creating a buzz on the global blues scene, and many people will be excited to see them in action.

SATURDAY will be a celebration of British Blues, including some musicians who have been at the top of the game for years, and others who are relatively new – from THE CLIMAX BLUES BAND and BLUES ’N’ TROUBLE to CONNIE LUSH and AYNSLEY LISTER and on to BLUES BOY DAN and the latest sensational band which is storming the country, ROSCO LEVEE & THE SOUTHERN SLIDE.

SUNDAY is always the day of surprises and, invariably, many memorable moments. Last year it was Ian Siegal with the Mudbloods (unplugged) and the mighty Royal Southern Brotherhood, who just blew everyone away. This time Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus are capturing people’s imaginations, not to mention THE BOOM BAND with four (yes, FOUR) guitarists and Paddy Milner on keys. They will be more than a bit special, especially as the guitarists are MARCUS BONFANTI (currently filling Alvin Lee’s shoes in Woodstock legends Ten Years After), JON AMOR, MATT TAYLOR and former England Test cricketer MARK BUTCHER.

To sum up, if there’s one place for UK blues and rock fans to be this November, this is it. But don’t delay – get your ticket today!

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