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The Blackpool International Soul Festival


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Baby Cakes
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The Blackpool International Soul Festival

Event Information



Background :

The Winter Gardens in Blackpool has been described as “ the most magnificent palace of amusement in the world “ – quite a claim, but as you enter this 10,000 capacity venue it’s hard not to be impressed by the Victorian grandeur coupled with it’s state-of-the –art 21st century facilities .

For over 130 years has played host to world famous entertainers and many music events so it is with great pleasure that the location has been selected for the first Blackpool International Soul Festival which is set for the weekend of Friday – Sunday June 17th – 19th 2016.

Headlining at the event are no fewer than four iconic American soul artists, each of whom will be performing specially selected sets which reflect their most popular recordings on the UK soul scene.

Flying in exclusively for the Blackpool Soul Festival (BSF) 2016 are Bettye LaVette , Dee Dee Sharp, Bobby Hutton and Gerri Granger.

In addition to writing a sensational book about her life in music , Bettye has appeared for President Obama at the White House and is a regular on late night TV shows in the States. Bettye cut many superb songs in the 60s and 70s for labels including Atlantic, Karen , Calla and Epic , and will be performing these to provide an one-off “oldies” show at the festival.

Dee Dee Sharp was a teen hit-maker in the early 60s with big-sellers for the Cameo label, before she married producer Kenny Gamble and recorded many magnificent tracks between 1965-1978. Dee Dee will be singing her previously unissued version of “I’ll do anything” as well as Northern Soul anthems including “What kind of lady” and “Deep, dark secret” plus her sensational reading of the classic “Comin’ home baby”

Chicago has long been considered the home of soul music and no artist better exemplifies the 60s into the 70s “crossover” mellow sophistication than Bobby Hutton. His ABC recording from 1974 has long been considered one of Northern Soul’s most glorious discoveries “Lend a hand”. Bobby had previously recorded for Chess and then Philips and his show at the festival sees him perform many of these in demand songs for the very first time.

Finally, an exciting discovery – for over 40 years vocalist Gerri Granger had remained totally unaware that her 1971 recording for the American Bell label , “I go to pieces ( everytime )” had packed dancefloors all around the UK and had been reisissued due to demand , selling over 30,000 copies on a 45 and appearing on several compilation CDs. This will be Gerri’s first visit to the UK to perform for her legion of fans who also remember with love and affection her recordings in the mid 60’s for the Big Top label.

To guarantee that the acts all sound just like their records, the musical director will be Snake Davis who has a wealth of experience working with American Soul artists including Dionne Warwick, Frank Wilson, The Impressions, Ronnie McNeir , The Vibrations, Mitch Ryder, Willie Hutch, Barbara Lynn and The Originals!

In addition to the mouth-watering array of live acts, the Blackpool Soul Festival 2016 also boasts no less than 60 top UK DJs playing in 6 venues . With all styles of soul covered , from Motown and 60s club soul, 70s Phillysoul, rare groove, Jazz Funk, Classic and newly-discovered Northern Soul, Modern Soul “crossover”, soulful dance and today’s new “luxury soul” releases, plus Mod styles from the 60s with Ska and Jamaican soul..

Over the 3 days, there will be special tribute sessions to legendary venues including the Blackpool Mecca Highland Room, Manchester’s Twisted Wheel, Wigan Casino, The Manchester Ritz All Dayers “Angels” in Burnley and “Cassinelli’s”.

The event will also be featuring film shows , Q&A sessions and a scooter exhibition. Top soul merchandisers will be displaying their wares in the “Horseshoe” area.

The Blackpool Winter Gardens, with it’s ballrooms, restaurants and theatres and exhibition areas is the perfect location to host the first such event of it’s kind. The perfect meeting place for hordes of soul fans from all around the UK to come and celebrate all that’s been good in soul for the past 50 years.

Blackpool has many award-winning accommodation options , some of whom will be partnering the 3 day festival and offering “event and accommodation” bundle deals .

For more information about the Blackpool International Soul Festival, please visit the website :


“Early bird” all weekend tickets are now on sale on either : 01253 629666 ( daytime) or 0844 856 1111 ( 24 hour, booking fee applies ).event-34992-0-93239400-1430301442_thumb.

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Talking to friends about this and we are thinking that this event may more than match the great Togetherness weekenders at Fleetwood, where Snake Davis backed artists such as,Frank Wilson,Brenda Holloway,Barbara Lynn,Prince Phillip Mitchell,Gene Chandler,Bobby Patterson and many more,we created many enduring friendships,for myself I know ime gonna see a lot of you in room6, xover heaven,see you there,Roman

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Agreed Roman, this should be a cracker!  If it's anything like the good old days of Cala Gran it will be awesome.  We are really looking forward to this.  See you there, Dawn & Andy ?

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Guest gfarrington


can anyone post up dj list/running order /times please


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As promised here are the session details for the Blackpool International Soul Festival. Friday - Sunday, June 17,18,19th.
24 sessions starting early afternoon on the Friday through until midnight on Sunday. The DJ times will follow over the coming days:

Session 1 : 2pm-9pm Gillow Bar connoisseurs crossover
Session 2 : 9pm-2am Empress Ballroom GERRI GRANGER (10pm) & DEE DEE SHARP (11pm) plus classic Northern Soul & Motown 
Session 3:  9pm-2am The Arena Soulful Dance 
Session 4: midnight-2am Gillow Bar 70s real soul 
Session 5:  midnight - 6am Spanish Hall Northern Soul All Nighter
Session 6:  midnight - 6am Windsor Suite Luxury Modern Soul 
Session 7:  midnight - 5am Baronial Mod & Ska/ reggae

Session 8:  10am-4pm Outside in the square - Scooter display, parts fair and dance 
Session 9:  Noon- 9pm Gillow Bar Specialist Modern ,Northern & 60s R&B collectors 
Session 10: 1pm-3.30pm The Pavilion "Meet MICKEY STEVENSON" Q+A & presentation followed with film and book signing 
Session 11 : 2pm-5pm Spanish Hall The Blackpool Mecca Reunion
Session 12 : 2pm -5pm Baronial The "Now Generation Young Souls"
Session 13 : 2pm-5pm Windsor Suite "The  Village Soul Reunion"
Session 14 : 8pm -2am Empress Ballroom BOBBY HUTTON (9.30pm) & BETTYE LAVETTE (10.30pm) plus classic Northern Soul & Motown 
Session 15 : 8pm-2am  The Arena Soulful Dance 
Session 16 : midnight - 4am Gillow Bar Real Soul , Deep Soul.
Session 17 : midnight - 6am Spanish Hall Northern Soul All Nighter
Session 18: midnight - 6am Windsor Suite Luxury Modern Soul 
Session 19 : midnight -5am Baronial Mod & Ska / Reggae

Session 20 : Noon - 8pm  Gillow Bar connoisseurs crossover
Session 21 : 2pm - 4pm   Pavilion Live ska bands / disco set (NEW)
Session 22 : 2pm - 5pm  Arena  Ritz All Dayer Reunion Jazz Funk 
Session 23 : 2pm -midnight Empress Ballroom Classic Northern Soul & Motown All Dayer
Session 24 : 8pm - midnight Arena Modern Soul farewell party  

Advance tickets are still available priced at £40 plus a booking fee for the full 3 day event : www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk/ www.goldsoul.co.uk , or call 0844 856 1111, or visit the Winter Gardens box office on Church Street, Blackpool.

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As promised, the DJ schedules for the BLACKPOOL INTERNATIONAL SOUL FESTIVAL will be posted over the next 6 days - the event starts at 2pm on the Friday and ends at midnight on the Sunday. Let's start with the GILLOW BAR , where you will hear 60s & 70s connoisseurs crossover , underplayed Northern and of course , deep soul too!
2pm Derek Mead 
3pm John Townend 
4pm Eddy Edmondson 
5pm Steve Plumb 
6pm Glyn Thornhill 
7pm Chris Priestley 
8pm Jem Booth 
9pm  close
12am Sean Hampsey & Andy "tats" Taylor 
2am  close
12pm Roman 
1pm   Banbury Soul Club
2pm   Carole McCarthy 
3pm   Keith Money 
4pm   Soul Cruise 
5pm   Flanny 
6pm   Dave Byrne (60s R+B)
7pm   Tony Shawcross 
8pm   Roger Williams 
9pm   close 
12am Eddy Edmondson / Steve Plumb  
1.30am Sean Hampsey / Andy "tats" Taylor 
3am  Flanny 
4am  close
12pm Soul Cruise 
1pm   Banbury Soul Club 
2pm   Steve Plumb 
3pm   Casper 
4pm   John Townend 
5pm   Jem Booth 
6pm   Steve Woomble 
7pm   Pete Haigh 
8pm   close 
Advance 3 day tickets are £40 plus booking fee, or pay on the door , £50 .
www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk / www.goldsoul.co.uk / 0844 856 1111 or call in at the box office .

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THE BLACKPOOL INTERNATIONAL SOUL FESTIVAL Friday to Sunday, June 17,18,19th . Well, Monday revealed the DJ line up in the Gillow Bar , Crossover 60s and 70s and collectors ...Now it's Tuesday and time to reveal the line up in the stunning Empress Ballroom, room two of the six running during the Festival, and the home of classic Northern Soul and Motown .

9pm Keith Fletcher 
9.45pm Dave Evison 
10.30pm GERRI GRANGER "live"
11pm DEE DEE SHARP "live "
Midnight Kev Roberts 
1am  Ginger Taylor 
2pm  Close 

8pm   Snowy 
9 pm  Kev Roberts 
9.30pm  BOBBY HUTTON "live"
10.30pm BETTYE LAVETTE "live"
11.30pm  Chris King 
1am      Ginger 
2am      Close 

2pm  Soul Cruise 
3pm  Danny Clegg 
4pm  Amsterdam Soul Club film n dance
5.30pm John Barker 
6.30pm  Blackpool Soul Club 
7.30pm  Ozz 
9pm   Rod Allsworth & Jimmy Scriv 
10.30pm Kev Roberts & Richard Searling 
Midnight close and farewell

Tomorrow , it's The Arena, the home of soulful dance and classic Jazz and Disco!

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THE BLACKPOOL INTERNATIONAL SOUL FESTIVAL . Friday to Sunday June 17,18,19th . With the first two room DJ line ups now announced, here come room three , The Arena , a fabulous starlit room which will be the home of Soulful Dance and the Ritz All Dayers Reunion sessions :

9pm    Paul Garland  
10pm  Steve Hobbs 
11pm   Norman Halley 
12am   Terry Jones 
1am     Colin Curtis 
2am     Close 

8pm     Paul Garland 
9pm     Bob Jeffries 
10pm   Tony "B" 
11pm    David Hulmes 
12am   Colin Curtis 
1am      Tony Cooney 
2am      close 

Jazz Funk n Disco with Neil Rushton, Mark Grice & Pete Haigh 
5pm      close  
8pm      Bigger , Steve Woomble, Chris Box , Jim Hargreaves , Paul Garland "farewell party"
12am    close

3 day advance tickets on sale now at £40 plus booking fee 
www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk, www.goldsoul.co.uk , or call 0844 856 1111 or call in at the box office . Pay on door will be £50 pp. More info : www.blackpoolsoulfestival.co.uk

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Blackpool International Soul Festival June 17-19 at the Winter Gardens 
All Nighters 
Spanish Suite(3 rooms- Spanish Hall Northern Midnight-6am, Windsor Modern  Soul Midnight-6am, Baronnial Mod Ska Midnight am).  Friday and Saturday

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 Not long now! ..... I'm really looking forward to this Fantastic Weekender in Blackpool.

Hope to see lots of you in the Baronnial ( Mod Room ) I will be Dj'ing in there on Friday Night ( Midnight till 1pm ) and on Saturday Night ( Midnight till 1pm )

 So I will be playing good 60's Mod Mix of Spencer Davis, Small Faces, the Action, and a little bit of Ska.

Hope to see you there!

Pete Roberts.


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See you all there lets raise the roof and have a soul party !! 


love Sam xx

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abSOULutely bloody fantastic hats off and total respect to everyone involved in organising this weekender cant think of anywhere ive been that comes anywhere near to bein as good as this was and ive been to some bloody fantastic venues in my time cant wait for the next one though how ya gonna beat this god knows but if ya do i'll be there to see for myself  x

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Highlight of the weekend? Sauntering down Church Street at about 1AM chatting to Mickey Stevenson about his time with Venture Records!!! :thumbup:OMFG!! Yes, it was that kind of weekend, one that will live with me until my dying breath.

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