Ah Ramsbottom, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: I love the Chocolate Festival, the Pie Festival, the Jigsaw Festival, the Cake Festival, the Beer Festival…and, the daddy of them all, the Music Festival.

Now in its fifth year, the Ramsbottom Festival is a belter of a boutique fest. Masterminded by local Bury venue The Met, this small but perfectly formed festival gets better and better, so much so that the organisers had to turn people away on Saturday.

Nestled in the foothills of the West Pennines, Ramsbottom is a market town known for its steam railway, eclectic range of independent shops and a wide range of award-winning gastropubs, cafes and restaurants. It’s the perfect place for a festival.

On this year’s bill were dozens of bands, theatre groups and artists. Headliners included The Proclaimers, Idlewild and The Wonder Stuff, all of whom received rapturous receptions. But there were a slew of other highlights, not least The Slow Readers Club, The Go! Team, John Bramwell, Harp and a Monkey, The Moulettes and Galleon Blast.

Northern Soul was out in force and we’ll be posting a film of the festival later this week. In the meantime, feast your eyes on Chris Payne‘s photo gallery…and book your tickets for next year now.


By Chris Payne and  Helen Nugent