Cotton Clouds Festival Success

Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date published: 19 August 2019

The Cotton Clouds Festival went well, despite worries about the weather. 

Gazing into my back garden on Friday afternoon at around 4pm, I must admit I genuinely feared what may lie ahead for the third annual Cotton Clouds festival.

It had literally poured with rain all day. It had been incessant, as evidenced by the huge puddles in the aforementioned garden.

Lesser events would have been forced to succumb to the elements and been scrapped, but massive credit to organising trio Rick and Max Lees, Luke Stanley and their amazing team, because by the end of the Saturday night, thousands of revellers at the picturesque Saddleworth Cricket Club had been able to cherish another live music spectacular.

What a triumph Cotton Clouds had been - again.

Rick, Max and Luke may not want to admit it even now, but they must have been looking up to the thick grey skies with dread in the hours leading up to gates opening times on Friday.

However, the big man upstairs intervened, incredibly stopped the rain by teatime, and the rest is all about more fantastic memories created for so, so many.

It all meant the opening Friday night was a tad muddy underfoot, but with the marshals on top form, well-stocked and plentifully-staffed bars, and an almost electric vibe all around the site, the musicians were all flying high and determined to raise what few dampened spirits there might still have been around the venue.

Local lads Callow Youth were a blast in the Tim Peaks Diner tent, as were faves of mine Saytr Play, while Ash had the audience jumping, warming everyone up ahead of the main event - and what a main event this was going to be.

Peter Hook and the Light were simply on fire on the main stage, roaring through a set packed with Joy Division and New Order classics.

Hooky himself was clearly loving it as his latest incarnation churned out 'Shadowplay', 'Transmission', 'Regret', 'True Faith', 'Blue Monday' and of course, to a raucous welcome, 'Love will tear us apart', amongst many others.

We all went home dry and contented, before a very special guest went on to light up the Saturday extravaganza - yes, the sun!

Too many amazing gigs and performances to list simply indicates just how successful this whole Cotton Clouds showpiece had been.

Highlights were still many to mention, but rave reviews went out following the considerable efforts of Charlatans' legend Tim Burgess, The House and Garage Orchestra, Reverend and the Makers, Mark Radcliffe's UNE and Liines, while I was particularly delighted to hear (and witness) local acts Coby Fletcher, Jordan Max, Dirty Laces and Stereohaze all excelling in their own ways.

A dream hit-packed headline set from reggae legends The Wailers capped off what had been another unforgettable Cotton Clouds festival.

From me to Rick, Max and Luke - well done lads, please let's do it all again next summer!

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