EXCITEMENT is in the air as the re-vamped Burnley Rock and Blues Festival gets under way tonight.

Now back to its familar three-day format, the festival will see stars from both sides of the Atlantic heading to East Lancashire.

Steve Reid, of promoters Doc Redeye Events, said: “Everything is in place for it to be a memorable weekend, all we want now is for people to enjoy themselves.

“The vibe around town has been hugely positive and a lot more younger people are interested in the festival which is something we set out to achieve.

“Although rock and blues remain very much at the heart of the festival, we have expanded it so that it is also has family appeal with events in Charter Walk tomorrow and local bars and pubs fully embracing the idea of the fringe.”

Over 50 bands will be playing at a variety of fringe venues around the town, each one name after an American city.

“We wanted to turn Burnley into little America for the weekend and we have certainly done that,” said Steve.

Burnley Mechanics will host the main stage and tonight Jimmie Vaughan will headline, the US bluesman’s only UK appearance this year.

Other highlights include another American blues legend, Sugar Ray, headlining tomorrow night and Squeeze’s Glenn Tilbrook teaming up with Nine Below Zero on Sunday.

“We set out to create a line up which would show people what Burnley could do,” said Steve.

“There are some fantastic artists taking part and we genuinely believe there is something for every music lover over the weekend.

“We would encourage everyone to come along and enjoy the party atmosphere.”

Main stage line-up at Burnley Mechanics


7pm Dr Truth
8.15pm Albany Down
9.30pm Jimmie Vaughan (left) and the Tilt a Whirl Band


3pm Larry Garner & Norman Beaker Band
4.30pm The Revolutionaires
6pm Hokie Joint
7.30pm Hamilton Loomis
9pm Sugar Ray and the Bluetones


3pm Virgil and the Accelerators
4.30pm Dani Wilde
6pm Ian Siegal
7.30pm Matt Schofield Trio
9pm Nine Below Zero and Glenn Tilbrook