Let's get the party started - Rochdale ready for festival return

The Fratellis.
The Fratellis headline the main stage at the 2022 Rochdale Feel Good Festival.

Published: 8 August 2022

After a 3 year wait, Rochdale Feel Good Festival will be tickling taste buds and filling the town with live music this weekend.

Final preparations are under way for the event in Rochdale town centre on Saturday, 13 August 2022 headlined by indie rock band The Fratellis. Organiser Rochdale Borough Council promises another feast of live music, food and entertainment as the event returns for the first time since 2019.

‘Wonderful’

Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for events said: “I am so pleased to welcome back this festival. It’s a wonderful day with a superb mix of talent both on the main stage and in our indoor venues which are always well worth checking out. Such a lot of hard work goes into organising and staging this event and I hope that more than ever people will show their support for the festival and our town centre by coming along.”

From lunchtime, entertainment begins with town centre venues The Empire, Hoochi Koochi, The Medicine Tap, The Flying Horse and The Baum hosting an exciting lineup of live musical talent, and some restaurants and eateries are offering special festival-themed food menus for the day.

At 3pm, gates to the main stage at Hopwood Hall College open and the site includes the festival’s food and drink village, with traders selling delicious dishes, fantastic street food, plus bars and much more. 

Sign Along With Us on stage.

Rochdale-based choir Sign Along With Us. (Photo courtesy of Dymond/Thames/Syco/Rex)

The main stage will be headlined by The Fratellis alongside The Northern Soultrain, rock band HAiG, Abbie Ozard, Britain’s Got Talent finalist Sign Along With Us, Aziz Ibrahim, dance act ENTT, indie/folk duo Firewoodisland, DJ Dave Sweetmore and local band The Sprats.

Since winning the Best British Breakthrough gong at the BRIT Awards The Fratellis have enjoyed huge success, with 5 top 20 albums and 5 top 40 singles. Their first album – ‘Costello Music’ sold more than one million copies in the UK alone. While they’ve enjoyed a string of hits, including ‘Whistle for the choir’, ‘Henrietta’, ‘Mistress Mable,’ and ‘Baby Fratelli’ they are best known for the anthemic ‘Chelsea Dagger’, which remains a playlist staple worldwide. They won a new generation of fans thanks to the top 5 album in 2018 ‘In Your Own Sweet Time’ and last year embraced the return of live music, unleashing the top 20 album ‘Half Drunk Under A Full Moon’, collaborated with Rudimental who remixed their single ‘Need a Little Love’ as well as releasing a charity cover of ‘Yes Sir, I Can Boogie’ to coincide with Scotland playing at Euro2020 followed by huge shows for key workers at the Hydro Arena in Cardiff and Wembley Arena in London.

There’s a programme of live music right across town too on Saturday, with festival venues hosting another 20 acts through the afternoon and evening including former Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam, Blondie tribute Bootleg Blondie, The Merchants, Katie O’Malley, country rock band Between The Vines, Gav Law, Amy Nicole Smith and lots more.

You’ve a choice of 2 official after-show parties at The Flying Horse Hotel – rock band The Boutiques upstairs in The Old Court Room and downstairs Mexican and Irish flavours with Juan Direction and The Scattering playing live.

After The Fratellis main stage set, Barry Fratelli, bassist from the band, heads over to Hoochi Koochi to DJ alongside Manchester music icon Clint Boon and festival host Dave Sweetmore. Singer/songwriter Jack Carroll from Heywood will be playing at The Baum from 10pm.

It could be quite an emotional day said Ben Boothman, owner of main stage sponsor The Lancashire Hospitality Co-operation: “We’ve all been through such a lot over the last couple of years, it’s going to be special to welcome festival-goers back for an event that’s been nearly 3 years in the making. With all the work underway around the town hall we’ve also had to move the main stage this year but I think the obstacles have only added to our collective determination to bring this brilliant event back. We must do all we can to get behind the town centre and support our local businesses. People have always come out and supported the event in the past so we need that more than ever this time.”

For all those making a weekend of it there are also shows on Friday, 12 August 2022, with local band The Sprats warming up for their main stage set with a gig at Hoochi Koochi and an indie DJ set from Dave Sweetmore. Also on the eve of the festival, The Flying Horse Hotel hosts 2 stand-up comedy shows in The Old Court Room, headlined by Britain’s Got Talent and Phoenix Night’s star Steve Royle – a family-friendly show at 6pm and an 8.15pm adults show on a line-up that also includes Anna Thomas - the winner of BBC’s New Comedy Awards 2021, MC Sam Harland and festival favourite Duncan Oakley.

The Northern Soultrain.

The Northern Soultrain are amongst the acts playing the main stage from 4pm, with another 20 playing indoor venues.

If you are travelling into Rochdale from Manchester Victoria and Oldham, Metrolink runs a direct service to Rochdale town centre. If you are arriving by train, travel to the town centre by Metrolink from Rochdale train station is included in your train ticket.

Council pay and display car parks are located across the town centre and the first 3 hours are free, but you must display a ticket. There is also parking available in the new multi-storey at Rochdale Riverside, open 24 hours a day and it costs £5 for up to 6 hours.

Advance tickets for the main stage, priced £7, are still on sale online until 12 midnight on Friday, 12 August 2022 and you can also book in person at Touchstones Rochdale and Middleton Arena. On the day tickets will be available subject to availability for £10 each until 4pm online and in person at Touchstones on The Esplanade until 5pm.

The advice is to arrive early as you’ll need to exchange your ticket for a wristband before you can enter the main stage area. Wristbands can be collected from Touchstones Rochdale between 9am–6pm on Friday, 12 August 2022 or between 9am–6pm on Saturday, 13 August 2022.

Most performances at indoor venues are free and un-ticketed, but check the website for details. You need to buy tickets for the Friday comedy shows. View full festival details

Due to road closures in place for the festival, taxis and private hire vehicles will be available from Asda car park on Dane Street from 9.30pm if you are leaving the main stage area and there will be a signposted footpath from Hopwood Hall College. View road closures in place for the festival

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 events@rochdale.gov.uk

Share your festival photos and comments during the event using #FeelGoodFest22

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