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Lancashire Encouter

About Lancashire Encounter

Lancashire Encounter Festival is an authentic voice for Lancashire, celebrating the breadth of the County's diverse cultural offer with high quality and high profile arts. Taking place every other year at the end of September, Encounter sees the city of Preston buzzing with life and alight with creativity.

The past Lancashire Encounters have seen an array of spectacular performances, inspiring arts and impressive music, bringing spectators to their feet.

Preston City Council staged its first Lancashire Encounter Festival in 2015 as a pilot. The weekend event showcased the work of artists from across the Lancashire County and community activities, drawing in 20,000 attendees. Recognising the potential of the event to grow and impact the communities, artists and arts organisations of Lancashire, as well as attract visitors into the County, it was agreed the event should become a bi-annual cultural festival.

Following the pilot, the first full scale Lancshire Encounter Festival was hosted in 2016. The full scale event saw activity spread across the city, from the train station to the Flag Market and side streets in-between. One of the most memorable experiences of the 2016 Lancashire Encounter, the Procession of Light, saw the night-time streets of Preston illuminated with awe-inspiring creations and quirky installations from community organisations and local businesses. Over the weekend the event saw 43,000 visitors flock in to enjoy all the festival had to offer.

To Encounter a flavour of past Lancashire Encounter Festivals check out the videos and evaluation reports:

Why visit Lancashire Encounter?

The Lancashire Encounter Festival not only brings together the city of Preston, it also brings together the Lancashire County and those further afield.

The bustling streets and opportunities to get involved create a memorable and vibrant weekend, with local artists and performers sharing their talent with the crowds.

Whatever this year’s festival brings, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable Encounter.

Visiting from outside of Preston? For inspiration in planning your trip see Planning your Encounter.

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