The Sprats have it - new local band win slot on festival stage

The Sprats.
The Sprats have won first prize in this year's 'Feel Good - Battle of the Bands' competition. (Back left to right: Jak Marshal, Alex McArdle, front left to right: Connor Watson, Brad Ellor)

Published: 13 June 2022

Local rock band The Sprats have been awarded a slot on the main stage at this summer’s Rochdale Feel Good Festival.

The band have won first prize in this year’s ‘Feel Good – Battle of the Bands’ competition and will open the main stage on Saturday, 13 August 2022, supporting acts including The Fratellis.

The 4-piece, who released their debut single in April 2022 and have been playing across the region in the last few months, were the judges’ favourites after impressing with their energy, stage presence and sound.

‘We can’t wait’

Councillor Sue Smith, cabinet member for culture at Rochdale Borough Council, said:

“All 6 finalists would have put on a great show so it was a difficult decision to pick a winner, but as well as getting good support in the public vote we thought The Sprats would go down very well on the main stage this August.”

The band, which was only formed in 2021, comprises 2 members from Rochdale (singer Brad Ellor and drummer Jak Marshall) and 2 from Burnley (guitarist Alex McArdle and keyboard player Connor Watson-Reid).

The Sprats.

The Sprats.

Brad said he was shocked to receive the phone call confirming the result:

“Even though we knew we were in the final it was a big surprise to find out we’d actually won. We played our first gig as a band at the beginning of the year, so never expected to be on the same stage as The Fratellis this year. We can’t wait for it and I’m sure our local fans can’t, we’ll definitely be seeing them there.”

The band were short-listed through a Facebook vote before their videos were assessed by the judges – music specialist Rob Kerford – owner of Sonic PR which promotes of some of Europe’s biggest musicians, DJ and new music champion Dave Sweetmore, cabinet member for events councillor Janet Emsley, musician Aziz Ibrahim and councillor Sue Smith, cabinet member for culture.

As well as The Fratellis, The Sprats will be joined by northern soul band The Northern Soultrain, rock band HAiG, Manchester singer/songwriter Abbie Ozard, choir Sign Along With Us, guitarist and singer/songwriter Aziz Ibrahim, alternative dance band ENTT, indie/folk duo Firewoodisland and DJ Dave Sweetmore.

Singer/songwriter Jack Carroll from Heywood won the public vote and will also be on the festival line-up, performing at The Baum on Toad Lane following The Fratellis headline set.

Rochdale Feel Good Festival on Saturday, 13 August 2022 will feature another showcase of top-class entertainment, food and culture. There will be live music across indoor venues, a main stage, plus quality food and drink.

The festival is funded by the council together with ticket sales and sponsorship from local businesses:

If you'd like to get involved with the festival, email

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