All set for Feel Good – the biggest free music and food festival in the north west

posted 3 Sep 2015, 01:22 by Rochdale TC

Rochdale Feel Good Festival will be tickling tastebuds and filling the town with live music this Friday and Saturday.

Last-minute preparations are under way for this year’s event in Rochdale town centre on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 September.

Organisers Rochdale Borough Council are promising another two days of music and food at its very best, with arguably one of the best line-ups in the events eight year history.

Councillor Janet Emsley, Cabinet Member for Culture, Health and Wellbeing at Rochdale Borough Council, said:

“We’ve put together two days packed with free entertainment to attract many thousands of residents and visitors. The town has a great deal to be proud of and I really urge people to show their support for the festival and our town centre by attending - and bring your friends!  We have a fabulous programme of music, cooking and entertainment, served up alongside a superb market, and lots of other attractions that I think make the festival unique.”

On both days star chefs will be appearing on the festivals Celebrity Food Stage, located in Milton Street West Car Park. Friday will feature cookery masterclasses from local chef Andrew Nutter, Aazam Ahmad and James Holden. On Saturday Aazam returns with star chefs Rachel Allen and Kevin Woodford.  No pre-booking is required, but free places will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

There will be a festival market with a wide range of stalls selling gifts and treats for all the family, plus an improved food village with food and drink from around the world.

On Friday evening a comedy night featuring Phoenix Nights Live star Steve Royle plus special guests will be staged at Mecca Bingo in Smith Street at 9.15pm. The event is raising money to purchase a defibrillator for Rochdale town centre and tickets are just £4.

On both days ‘Stage 2’ – the community stage hosted by Roch Valley Radio - will showcase the best of the borough, featuring local bands, singers, dancers, musicians and more.  At 1.15pm on Friday look out for up and coming singer Gem O’Reilly - the former Cardinal Langley pupil has already had over 20,000 views on Youtube and her first EP ‘Teenager’ made the top 10 of the i-Tunes Country Music Chart.

On Saturday from 3.15pm, the main stage by Rochdale Town Hall, sponsored by The Flying Horse Hotel, will be headlined by ‘The South’. The band, featuring former members of The Beautiful South will be playing many of their hits including ‘A Little Time’, ‘Don't Marry Her’, ‘Rotterdam’, ‘Perfect 10’, ‘Old Red Eyes is Back,’ ‘Good as Gold’ and more from the back catalogue of one of the UK’s most successful ever bands.

They’ll be joined by pop rock band Toploader - with a string of top 20 singles including ‘Achilles Heel’, ‘Only for a While’ and ‘Time of My Life’ they are best known for their global hit ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ and their phenomenal live shows.

Also taking to the stage will be singer-songwriter Kirsty Almeida and her band The Troubadours.  Renowned for her circus-like mix of blues and jazzy pop, Kirsty is one of the most exciting and unique singer-songwriters to emerge in recent times. 

Ska music stars The Uplifters will be rocking the main stage too. Mixing Jamaican music from the early 1960s with two-tone rhythms from the late 70s to create a unique sound, the band has supported legendary acts including Bad Manners, The Beat, and Neville Staple.

New indie rock band Shakedown Stockholm, discovered by ‘BBC Introducing’ and hotly-tipped for a very big future, will also be performing.

Add country/soul singer Amy-Jo Clough (a late replacement for The Renegade Girls), Rochdale band The Hotspur Press and DJ Melanie Carter into the mix and the main stage, hosted by Key 103’s Alex James promises another unmissable day packed with the best in live music.

On Saturday hot trio The Social Leftover, who won the public vote in July’s Feel Good – Battle of the Bands competition will perform on Stage 2 alongside a choir, dancers, acoustic sets and Milnrow band The Madding Crowd.

Also on Saturday you can show your support for around 60 plucky abseilers who will be descending by rope down Rochdale Town Hall’s190-ft stone tower to raise money for local food banks.

Expect a few surprises during your visit as the town centre will also be buzzing with street theatre, sports and other entertainment. 

I’m pleased to say we’ve more local acts on our line-up than ever. This festival keeps growing, which is a real positive, and it gives us an opportunity to showcase Rochdale and the positive things going on here, to a big audience,” Councillor Emsley added.

Parking in all Rochdale town centre council car parks and metered on-street bays will be free on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 September.  The Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre car park will also be free on both days of the festival from 8am to 6pm.  And festival partner Hopwood Hall College is also offering free parking from 7am on Saturday 5 September until 7am on Sunday 6 September.

The summer festival is funded by Rochdale Borough Council with sponsorship from local businesses including Hopwood Hall College, Key 103, The Flying Horse Hotel, Rochdale Football Club, O2 Rochdale, Balfour Beatty Living, Link4Life and The Royal Toby.

For visitor information and transport advice visit

Tweet your festival photos and comments during the event to @FeelGoodFest