OAK FEST, held at Oak Hill Park – Accrington, transformed into a dynamic celebration of music, culture, community, and unity, providing an unforgettable experience for all who attended.
Despite a rainy start, the air was alive with anticipation. OAK FEST showcased a vibrant lineup of live music starting with an enchanting opening by La Voix, followed by exuberant beats from Acid Brass.
The Desi Takeover, curated by the talented Sam Malik, brought together a fusion of artists including Anamelia, HMD, Kami Kane, Danny H, Martha Pryer, and Joash, creating an eclectic atmosphere that resonated with attendees.
The festivities continued to unfold as crowd favourite, HENGE, landed on earth in the Old Bandstand with their out of this world performance that had the whole audience dancing along to their unique cosmic dross. As the evening rolled in, Danny H and Lovescene set the stage for the much-anticipated headliners, A Certain Ratio, whose electrifying set brought the festival to a climactic close at dusk.
Beyond the music, OAK FEST offered international street food and mouthwatering desserts – a perfect complement to the vibrant festival ambiance. A festival highlight included the teepee tent silent disco which bounced from start to finish. Offering three playlists carefully selected to compliment the on stage artists, this became an immersive dance experience that transcended the ordinary.
The OAK FEST community stall section played a significant role in raising awareness of local charities. This section provided a platform for local organisations including Lancashire Women’s Centre, The Food Pantry, Prospects and Maundy Relief to showcase their initiatives, services, and products, fostering a sense of community engagement and support. A variety of handmade items were on display from crafty business and Moon & Stars events brought the fun with their selfie booth on tour and free children’s colouring teepee tent which was a massive hit.
To make the festival accessible for all, a free return bus service was available throughout the day. The bus service ran from Accrington train station to the town centre and on to Oak Hill Park.
As the sun set on OAK FEST, participants departed with cherished memories and a sense of community that endures beyond OAK FEST’s conclusion.
Lucy Dusgate, Head of Culture & Heritage at Hyndburn Borough Council, expressed elation about the success of this year’s event. “We are absolutely thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive response to the first ever OAK FEST. Despite rainy showers to start, Hyndburn turned out in full force to celebrate creativity, diversity and a shared passion for music, culture and community. The positive response we have received post-event online is just fantastic – watch this space for further updates….”
A selection of comments from attendees –
“It was a lovely day, great to see families enjoying themselves. It was a really good atmosphere, felt safe and the sun was shining for us” – Jackie
“We had an absolute blast today! A great event, well organised and with very talented acts! Already looking forward to seeing what next year will look like” -Nina
“Amazing to see the park being used for this again. So many great memories of this event growing up. Well done to all involved for putting this on, loads of different things to do and great to see the town bouncing. When do tickets come out for Oakfest 2024?” – Jim
“Thank you for organising this event- I attended with my partner and three kids; had a brilliant time. Some great musicians, food, beer and a brilliant time had at the silent disco too!!! We had a ball, thank you!!!!” – Martina
“Great to see a few old faces from Hollins High that I haven’t seen in over 36 years. What a great day and well worth the trip over from Leeds. Here’s to next year!” – Justin
“Thanks so much for putting on a super day. Was great to see Hyndburn faces old and new , a good few from out of Hyndburn too. All the artists were brilliant. The silent disco went down a storm with the kiddies and families too. 10/10 from us ..look forward to more of these events” – Andre
Accrington is fast becoming the place to be. The new cultural calendar of events is supporting the vibrant arts and cultural scene in Hyndburn.
Hyndburn has received £500,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund for projects, including Oak Fest, which deliver a new cultural and heritage programme for the borough. This package will be delivered by March 2025 and includes curated events, strategy compilation, consultancy and appointment of a Head of Culture and Heritage.