22 Live Acts at this year’s Diggers’ Bolton Bash

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Wigan Diggers’ Festival organisers extend a warm welcome to all socialists and other working class radicals to come and join us at this year’s FREE Promo Gig at Bolton Socialist Club, Wood Street on Saturday 28th July from 3.00pm onwards

The 22 Live performers include:

Woski, Nat Clare, Claire Mooney, Dave Puller, Flynn Murnan,
Paul Blackburn, Dean Lane, Pauline Blackburn, Gordon Zola,
Crows of Albion, Dave Morgan, Carol Robson, Simon Widdop,
Pete Stevenson, Eve of Destruction, The Nearly Dead Poets,
Dwane Reads, Lee Harrison, Andy N, John Wilmington, Amanda Steele & host Jeffarama.

 
Come join us at the Socialist Club for a fun packed day of live music and poetry to help celebrate the radical 17th Century “Diggers” movement, who were described by Tony Benn as “the first true Socialists”.

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/471015663345323/

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Much more than digging….much more than a music fest!

IMG_0958Much more than digging …… much more than a music fest!

The Blockheads, Merry Hell and Barnstormer 1649 (featuring Attila The Stockbroker) will top the bill at this year’s festival commemorating the locally born pioneer socialist thinker and 17th century Diggers’ movement leader Gerrard Winstanley.

Our 8th annual FREE festival also features a fantastic line up of other acts over two stages including:

The Commoners’ Choir, Joe Solo, Bard Company, Patrick McKenzie, The Amber List, Gerry Ffrench, T E Yates, Jupiter Hollow Blues Band, Rare Oul’ Times, Joe Astley, Brandon Lee Webb Band and Eliza P & The Disco Misfits.

The event will start as traditionally with a symbolic digging re-enactment in Gerrard Winstanley Gardens, with guest actor Brendan Delaney playing the role of the Wigan born radical, who repeats some of his famous words from April 1649.

As on previous occasions he will be accompanied by members of the Bolton Clarion Socialist Choir who will lead the singing of Winstanley’s “Diggers’ Song” and “The World Turned Upside Down” by Leon Rosselson, a song which tells the story of The Diggers, made famous by Billy Bragg.

There will also be a range of other activities including entertainment for children, the details of which have yet to be finalised. Watch out for updates in the coming weeks including details of the various educational talks and guest appearances at this year’s festival.

Please help us publicise this year’s event by sharing this post on social media. Copies of this year’s festival flyer are also available for distribution at your workplace, union branch or in your locality. Please e-mail: wigandiggers@gmail.com for copies if you’d like some.

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Wigan Diggers’ Festival 2018 Stall Application

IMG_0297We are now taking stall applications for the Wigan Diggers’ Festival 2018. The number of pitches available is limited, so please please send your completed application form, and a cheque for the appropriate amount, as early as possible to avoid disappointment. All cheques payable to Wigan Diggers’ Festival.

NOTE: Unlike last year, pitches will be clearly marked and provided on a first come first served basis.

You will hear if your application is successful a.s.a.p. and no later than by 31st July.

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Calling all Musicians & Other Artists + 2018 Diggers’ Festival Announcements

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THE 8th WIGAN DIGGERS’ FESTIVAL

will take place on

SATURDAY 8th SEPTEMBER 2018

If you’re a musician or other artist and  would like to perform at it then here’s a link to the application form to do so.

All applications will be viewed by the members of the stage entertainment committee who all have an equal vote as to who will be invited to perform at the festival.
All acts selected will be offered reasonable expenses and additionally provided with vouchers to obtain food and drink on the day.

The form should be downloaded, filled in and then emailed to diggersstageentertainment@gmail.com (address provided on form) no later than 15th February 2018, which is the deadline for all applications.

Members of the stage entertainment committee will not enter into individual correspondence with applicants, however, the committee will aim to notify all successful applicants by the 1st of April 2018.

Wigan Today Say Yes! And so do we!

Saturday saw another hugely successful Diggers’ Festival in the face of some inclement weather, with thousands attending and and all the feedback indicating a great time was had by all.

Wigan Today reports (see full article at http://www.wigantoday.net/news/diggers-festival-of-art-and-politics-success-1-8747316)

“Festival-goers enjoyed a packed programme of music and politics to hail the Diggers movement, based on Winstanley’s belief that “the Earth was made a common treasury for all”. Dozens of stalls brought together political parties, radical and left-wing movements, environmental and green organisations, unions and campaigns. Popular Wigan folk-rockers Merry Hell headlined the bill of entertainment on the main stage, with other groups performing including John the Baptist and the Second Coming, the Brandon Lee Webb Band and folk act Harp and a Monkey.”

Here are some photos courtesy of Al Balmer of the day’s memorable, and exceedingly enjoyable proceedings.

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7th Wigan Diggers’ Festival – Programme

img_8839The weather forecast isn’t the best we might have hoped for, but come rain or shine, one thing we can say for sure is we’ve another bumper day’s programme of ‘stuff’ planned for this year’s seventh annual free festival.

ENTERTAINMENT FOR CHILDREN

Entertainment for children will be provided throughout the day by STEAM COMMUNITY GROUP in The Wiend/Gerrard Winstanley Gardens area. See our various facebook pages for further info, including details of the themed workshops in our activities tent.

11.00am BADGE MAKING WORKSHOP
12.00noon WEARABLE ART WORKSHOP
1.00pm ELECTRO BUGS WORKSHOP
1.00pm DRUMMING WORKSHOP
2.00pm ROCK A PET WORKSHOP
3.00pm DIGITAL MUSIC MAKING WORKSHOP

NEW THIS YEAR: Check out our Diggers’ Festival Top O’Millgate/Grand Arcade Stage from 10.30am onwards which will combine a traditional Speaker’s Corner style platform for trades union, environmental, social justice and other campaign speakers from across the North West to put their case to the Wigan public; with performance art, and live music, poetry and other entertainment provided by Charlotte Peters Rock, Tony Harper and guests.

Speakers from WASPI; Re-Open Chorley A+E; Fast Food Rights Campaign, People’s Assembly; Bolton & Wigan Diggers; Greater Manchester CND, Frack Free Wigan, Leigh & Makerfield;  Cuba Solidarity, Frack Free Lancs; International Brigade Commemoration and more.

11.30am  – 11.45am – Historic Digging Re-enactment in Gerrard Winstanley Gardens  

Actor Brendan Delaney will once again play the role of Gerrard Winstanley in our symbolic re-enactment of the digging at St. George’s Hill near Weybridge in Surrey in 1649, from which THE DIGGERS gained their name. Accompanied by the Bolton Clarion Choir.

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11.45am  – 12.00noon

Official Opening of the Festival – Main Stage, Believe Square

This year’s festival will be opened by Martin McMulkin, Chair of Unite the Union, North West Regional Committee, this year’s main festival sponsor.   

12.00noon12.40pm – Main Stage, Believe Square

BRANDON LEE WEBB BAND

12.40pm – 1.00pm – Dorothy Fryman Song & Story Stage, Gerrard Winstanley Gardens

MONOLOGUE JOHN BARTLEY – EVA CURLESS – GEORGE MELLING

1.00pm – 1.10pm – Main Stage, Believe Square

FESTIVAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

1.10pm – 1.50pm – Main Stage, Believe Square

HARP & A MONKEY

1.30pm – 2.30pm – Wigan Parish Church (around 400 yards from Main Festival site)

A talk by Dr. David Taylor (Historian and Writer from Cobham, Surrey – Gerrard Winstanley’s other home) on GERRARD WINSTANLEY: THE BIBLE & GOD

1.50pm – 2.10pm – Dorothy Fryman Song & Story Stage, Gerrard Winstanley Gardens

JOE ASTLEY

2.10pm – 2.50pm – Main Stage, Believe Square

WONDERLAND TRIP

2.30pm – 3.30pm – The Wiend Bar, The Wiend

Short play “THE PUTNEY PRINCIPLE” by The Soothside Radicles, followed by a discussion with the cast on the issues raised in the play about The Levellers and the 1647 Putney Debates.

2.50pm – 3.15pm – Dorothy Fryman Song & Story Stage, Gerrard Winstanley Gardens

LAWRENCE HOY

3.15pm – 3.45pm – Main Stage, Believe Square

PAULINE BLACKBURN

3.30pm – 4.30pm – The Wiend Bar, The Wiend

Short play “UNFINISHED BUSINESS” by The Soothside Radicles, followed by a discussion with the cast on the issues raised in the play about The Chartists’ movement, which existed from 1838 to 1857 and campaigned for the six basic reforms of ‘The People’s Charter’.

3.45pm – 4.10pm – Dorothy Fryman Song & Story Stage, Gerrard Winstanley Gardens

PATCHWORK RATTLEBAG

4.10pm – 4.25pm – Main Stage, Believe Square

MORE THAN WORDS

4.25pm – 5.00pm – Dorothy Fryman Song & Story Stage, Gerrard Winstanley Gardens

BARD COMPANY

5.00pm – 5.40pm – Main Stage, Believe Square

JOHN THE BAPTIST & THE SECOND COMING

5.40pm – 6.05pm – Dorothy Fryman Song & Story Stage, Gerrard Winstanley Gardens

STEPHEN SMITH

6.05pm – 6.45pm – Main Stage, Believe Square

MATHER ROBINSON BAND

6.45pm – 7.10pm – Dorothy Fryman Song & Story Stage, Gerrard Winstanley Gardens

DARREN POYZER

7.10pm – 7.50pm – Main Stage, Believe Square

VISION THING

7.50pm – 8.20pm – Dorothy Fryman Song & Story Stage, Gerrard Winstanley Gardens

GEORGE BOROWSKI

8.20pm – 8.30pm – Main Stage, Believe Square

FESTIVAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

8.30pm – 9.30pm – Main Stage, Believe Square

MERRY HELL

9.30pm – FESTIVAL ENDS

 

See you there.

ADDENDUM

Come to Wigan Diggers’ Festival – It’s Brilliant!

Third of the three videos commissioned by the Wigan Diggers’ Festival Committee, to help publicise this year’s 7th free festival on Saturday 9th September. Produced for us by First Take in Liverpool, we think it sums up the spirit of the event and what you can look forward to on the day. We hope you like it.

A big thanks to Jane Farley and her team for their sterling work.