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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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City scene is back on song

It has been a long time coming, but finally we have a big-name follow-up to Radio 1’s Big Weekend last year.

After the visit of Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, The Foo Fighters and all the other top pop and rock names last May, we were promised that Carlisle would build on the success and create a name as a destination for big music events.

We heard nothing, but obviously the Radio 1 event left its mark.

It seems that the city is now on the map for mega bands to consider playing.

Bands don’t come much bigger than JLS and they are an amazing follow-up to last year’s Big Weekend.

Tickets for the 20,000 capacity show next August at Bitts Park will sell out in record time.

We’ve proven we can put on a huge show, there’s no reason why we can’t do it again.

Apart from the fun factor, these events provide work and vital extra income for the local economy.

While The Sands Centre has hosted Chase & Status, The Saturdays and Pixie Lott in recent times, Carlisle needs to attract both bigger and slightly lesser names to play regularly in the city, just as Newcastle, Leicester and even Preston do.

Elsewhere, quiet meetings have been taking place, plans have been planned and negotiations have been made to set up a week-long music festival in the city.

Carlisle Music City festival takes place this June at venues across the city.

One of the CMC aims is to eventually attract the calibre of chart stars the city enjoyed at Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

It’s unlikely that any of the acts will measure up to the global profile of JLS, Gaga or Foo Fighters, given the size of venues involved, but as Cumbria’s music scene sees festivals continue to mushroom across the county (this year sees the start of Nuts In May near Workington and Stepping Stones near Brampton) the old city can’t afford to be overlooked.

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