PREVIEW: LIVE In Barnsley free music festival featuring 150 bands and ex MP

LIVE in Barnsley 2017 turning the town centre into an all day free music festival on Saturday, June 17.
LIVE in Barnsley 2017 turning the town centre into an all day free music festival on Saturday, June 17.

Former MP  Michael Dugher will be showcasing his musical talents today when he takes the spotlight along with more than 150 bands at the fifth annual LIVE In Barnsley festival.

Five thousand music fans are expected with 600 musicians taking part in 19 town centre venues at the free event today - Saturday, June 17, 2017 - from noon until around 10pm.

LINKS: For updates check out the festival's social media sites, including Twitter @liveinbarnsley, Facebook at and Instagram liveinbarnsley and visit its official web site at

VIDEO: Watch an official LIVE In Barnsley playlist of music videos on YouTube featuring bands appearing this year - C:ICK HERE.

LISTEN: Check out more than 100 of the bands appearing at this year's festival on LIVE In Barnsley's Soundcloud playlist - CLICK HERE.

The line-up also includes popular and established acts such as Allusondrugs, Hands off Gretel, The Hurriers, Late Night Legacy and Ross Jarman of The Cribs, rappers Jack City, R1 and Dukz, Inavibe, electronica, dance, acoustic, folk, indie, metal and even choirs.

The Society, featuring Paul Gilmartin, founder member of famed 80s post punk Barnsley and Leeds band The Danse Society, featuring veterans of the alternative 80s scenes, will play classics from the Danse Society back catalogue as well as brand new material at The Underground, at 8pm.

And not part of the official line-up but today it was announced that Barnsley's hotly tipped indie band Sundance, who recently wowed crowds when they opened the main stage at Wentworth Music Festival and played at Sheffield's MosFest, have been invited to play a closing set tonight by The Underground, at The Londoner in Shambles Street, from around 9.30pm.

A patron of LIVE in Barnsley and this year's supported charity Barnsley Independent Alzheimer’s and Dementia Society (BIADS), Michael Dugher - until recently MP for Barnsley East - will also be playing at the festival this afternoon.

He stood down before the recent general election to pursue music interests and is now the new chief executive of UK Music, the umbrella body for all sectors of the industry.

The Beatles fan, who performed a live version of Teenage Kicks with The Undertones star Feargal Sharkey at LIVE in Barnsley in 2015, is back with his guitar, promising a bluesy set at Jock's Cavern in Shambles Street , Saturday, June 17, at 1.30pm.

He said: "LIVE in Barnsley is a tremendous event which gets better and better every year.

"It's continuing success is testament to the hard work of the organisers, Steve Clifford and Dave Pearsall and I’d like to thank them for supporting BIADS this year.

VIDEO: Watch Michael Dugher and Fergal Sharkey performing Teenage Kicks - CLICK HERE.

The festival includes more non-music arts at this year's festival, including artists, poets, spoken word, graffiti artists, choirs and even a martial arts exhibition, utilising public spaces around the town such as Mandela Gardens, George Yard, the Arcade Alehouse and The Old Chemist.

Poets and spoken word artists will be performing in the Arcade Alehouse including a workshop by famed Yorkshire poet Matt Abbot, as part of Barnsley Council’s Hear My Voice programme, designed to engage and inspire interest in the spoken and written word.

He will be at the Arcade Alehouse from 3pm to 5pm, following poet and comedian, Mark Jackson at 2.15pm. Local artist, Del Scott Miller will also perform a spoken word set at 5.15pm.

Folk and acoustic artists will be in the Old Chemist.

Matt Townsend of Barnsley Percussion Ensemble will hold a drum workshop for budding young drummers at The Civic, on the third floor in the Panorama Room, followed by a samba performance, where the public can join in, outside in Mandela Gardens.

Izzie Kirk of KBOX Academy will give a martial arts exhibition with her students.

Barnsley based contemporary pop/rock choir, Local Vocals and Sheffield's Glee Bah Gum are performing pop hits to musical theatre classics.

Artist Lewis Ryan has designed the festival programme - featuring information about acts and stage times - which will be available with festival t-shirts at venues. He will be signing A3 festival posters in Che Bar at 4.30pm.

Organisers are advising music fans to check out their official web and social media sites for latest news and updates - but to also arrive early at venues to guarantee entry for bands they want to see.

"With a free festival and no tickets, there is really no way of guaranteeing entry to any venue but you should be able to see most of what you want. If there is a really popular band you want to catch, get there early," said David Pearsall, the Marketing and Programming Director.

"We welcome music lovers of all ages and our free festival is a great destination for families wanting to share that first festival experience. Children are welcome in all venues up to 6pm. We do however ask that under 18's are accompanied by a responsible adult at all times. A reminder also that no one under the age of 18 will be served alcohol and all venues reserve the right to refuse admission."

They say the event would not be possible without the support of family, friends, an army of volunteers and venues around the town.

David added: "As long as the venues and local business continue to sponsor and support the festival then it will remain free to attend.

"We are very confident of attracting more than 5,000 people to this, our milestone fifth year, spread across the town in as many venues as possible and ensuring a good mix of genres in every venue, based on attracting locals back to the town centre for the festival.

"Many of the venues get a boost half way through the year, additional bar staff and security staff work on the day, local food outlets and taxi firms get a boost in trade, and this in turn boosts the town centre economy. We may not get any recognition for what the festival brings to the town, but we feel very proud of what we’ve done and how we’ve done it.

"We’ve always wanted to expand the festival to include other arts and this year everything seems to be finally falling into place for that to happen.

"It’s really important for us to keep the line-up spanning as many genres as we possibly can and this year we have made a concerted effort and we actually have the largest number of rap/hip hop/grime acts we’ve ever had.

"The feedback we receive from festival goers tells us that they love seeing the little known and unknown acts at the very beginning of their music careers. The part of the festival I always love is when someone walks up to me in the street and tells me they’ve found their new favourite band."

MORE INFORMATION: For updates check out the festival's social media sites, including Twitter @liveinbarnsley, Facebook at and Instagram liveinbarnsley and visit its official web site at