Two-day Cotton Clouds showpiece will be the place to be seen

Reporter: Martha Southall
Date published: 25 July 2018

Following a sold-out debut and being shortlisted for Best New Festival at the UK Festival Awards, it seemed that maybe Saddleworth’s maiden Cotton Clouds festival couldn’t be bettered.

However, in just three weeks time it returns even bigger than before and is selling just as quickly.

The festival will now span over two days – August 17 and 18 – and feature three stages guaranteed to provide something for everyone.

Set in the idyllic Saddleworth Cricket Club grounds, the weekend will be filled with live performances, food stalls and family activities - not to mention the chance to try Cotton Clouds' very own craft ale!

The newly-added Friday night will feature headlines from the Lightning Seeds, the Pigeon Detectives and Badly Drawn Boy.

There is something to suit every taste – from American rapper Chali2na to indie rockers Cavana and a DJ set from Gareth Brooks.

On the Saturday, the award-winning Sister Sledge will grace the main stage with their famous mix of jazz, soul, gospel, disco, and R&B.

Other big names include Starsailor, Toploader and Halifax group the Orielles.

For vintage dance, the Allergies will be playing, along with Scarlet who are celebrating the release of their crowd-funded debut album and more.

The festival is also a great opportunity to check out some fresh talent.

George Porter is the drummer with Royton indie prospects the Recreation, who will be playing Cotton Clouds on the Saturday.

He said: "We’re very excited to be on Tim Burgess’ stage.

"It's amazing to be playing alongside bands we love like the Lightning Seeds.

"The launch gig was great so we can’t wait for the full thing."

Local outfit the Recreation get a huge chance to shine at Cotton Clouds in three weeks time

For Cotton Clouds' chief sound engineer Chris Pearce, who is also Manchester legends Blossoms' main sound man, the brilliant boutique festival is a great opportunity to showcase new talent.

Chris, who also owns Sub-Pressure Studios in Diggle, told the Chronicle: “I’m really looking forward to watching the up-and-coming bands.

“There’s Fuzzy Sun, Deja Vega, Afghan Sand Gang and the Recreation.

“It’s been great seeing them progress, and now they’ve got a huge opportunity at Cotton Clouds.

“It’s amazing how fast a band’s career can escalate.

“One day one of these local bands could be headlining this type of festival somewhere, similar to Blossoms.

“No-one knows if any of these local bands will become huge names in the future.”

Cotton Clouds also aims to incorporate the other arts into the event.

Other than the fantastic array of music on offer, on the Saturday the festival’s partner Global Grooves will be providing activities such as drumming workshops and lantern-making workshops.

The kids can then carry their lanterns in the evening procession where they can join the drummers and dancers in meeting Bessie the fire breathing dragon.

Although there is no camping onsite, neighbouring Well-i-Hole Farm provides camping space and local B&Bs and hotels are ideal for overnight accommodation.

Book your festival tickets online at:

Full bill details can be found on the Cotton Clouds Facebook page.

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