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Deva Fest Set To Return To Chester This Summer

THE organisers of the successful Deva Fest in Chester have announced the 3 day event will return for Summer 2021 after lockdown has eased and have revealed an exciting line up of headline music acts. Officially launched in 2019 Cheshire's Family Friendly Music, Food and Lifestyle Extravaganza, Deva Fest proved hugely popular. Like many 2020 events the 2nd year festival had to be postponed due to the ongoing Covid19 Pandemic, but the organisers promised they would not be beaten, they have stayed true to their word by doubling down and adding even more star names for their 2021 event. Deva Fest will take place across the weekend of:- Friday, 13 August, Saturday, 14 August, and Sunday, 15 August 2021, at Chester Lakes in Dodleston, just outside Chester City Centre. Tickets are on sale now; they are already selling fast with a limited number of tickets left at the current price levels.

Organisers have already shown their gratitude to Pandemic workers with over ₤8,000 worth of tickets going out to the NHS and Key Workers. All tickets are currently being sold with a Covid19 guarantee with tickets rescheduled or refunded should the event not take place.

Headline music acts announced for 2021 over the 3 days include pop princess:- Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Heather Small, indie pop band Scouting For Girls, Dodgy and dance extravaganza Symphonic Ibiza and Sonique plus much much more.  The weekend programme will start on the Friday, 13 August 2021, with Old School Dance Anthems Day, headlined by Symphonic Ibiza and top hit maker Sonique.

Returning to headline after their triumphant performance, in 2019, Symphonic Ibiza will once again thrill the crowds with dance classics. DJ Andy Joyce will be joined by a full symphony orchestra conducted by Steve Etherington to ensure that Symphonic Ibiza transports fans back to the White Isle.

90's dance legend Sonique has now also been added to the line up. The Brit award winning platinum selling singer, musician and DJ ripped up dance floors with hits like I Put a Spell on You, Sky and It Feels so Good. She brings back all the best memories of the 90's and noughties dance scene with some absolute anthems. Also featuring:- Dream Frequency, Bingo Bango, Dave Graham and legendary Chester DJs Geddes and Gioia.

Deva Fest Managing Partner Phil Marston commented:- "We are determined to remain focused and optimistic and bring back the festival which made such an impact in 2019, and bigger and better than before. People are still talking about just how good Symphonic Ibiza were last year. When I was stood backstage watching the crowd in our Big Top jumping to tunes from the likes of Fatboy Slim and Swedish House Mafia, I knew we had to bring them back for 2020. Many festivalgoers asked for the Old School Dance Anthems Day to move to opening day so they can enjoy a real party atmosphere; so we've listened and given them what they really want. We have now made Deva Fest into 3 full days and nights for the 1st time and after the year we have had, it's going to be one big party. We will however continue to follow the Government guidance and act in accordance, and we do have a Covid19 guarantee in place to give confidence in buying tickets for the event. We are thankful that many people have already booked, so much so that we have very few tickets left at the current price level, so I would suggest people buy now to grab those last remaining lower priced tickets."

Saturday, 14 August 2021, is Pirate Day. The event will feature a whole host of pirate themed activities and entertainment, and the day will be headlined by Sophie Ellis Bextor along with Heather Small. The day will feature parades and street performers, with prizes for festivalgoers in the best Jack (or Jackie) Sparrow outfit. Chester's Winter Watch Parade team will provide the entertainment. Double platinum selling Sophie Ellis Bextor will showcase her smash hits including:- 'Murder On The Dancefloor,' 'Take Me Home,' as well dance favourite:- 'If This Ain't Love' with DJ Groovejet.

Having pulled off one coup by securing Sophie the organisers have pulled off another by adding Heather Small to Saturday's roster. Heather became 1 of the voices of the 1990's, as lead singer of M-People. Tunes like:- 'Moving On Up,' '1 Night In Heaven' and 'Search For The Hero' became the soundtrack to the decade. Heather has since had great successes with two solo albums and the title track of her 'Proud' album has gone on to become an Olympic anthem. The fun doesn't stop there, Chester duo Belle Voci also appear along with:- The Pirate Day Ball with TRIX and The Old Time Sailors.

Izzy Grey, Managing Director of We Love Good Times, headline co-sponsor, said:- "We can't wait for the colour and magic of Pirate Day. The Winter Watch Parade team always come up with something amazing, and then to get Sophie Elli Bextor and her band performing is a real coup; it'll be a fantastic family day."

Deva Fest will close on the Sunday, 15 August 2021, with a headline set from festival band, Scouting For Girls and rock band Dodgy. 4 times Brit award winning band Scouting For Girls head to Deva Fest fresh from a sell out UK tour. Their impressive back catalogue includes sing along anthems like:- 'She's So Lovely' and 'This Ain't A Love Song,' as well as new material from their recent Top 40 album, The Trouble With Boys. Added to the bill for Sunday are Britpop royalty Dodgy with their string of anthemic tunes including:- 'Staying Out For The Summer' and the massive hit:- 'Good Enoug;' officially 1 of the most played tracks on British radio in the last 20 years. Gigs and festival appearances have always been a crucial part of the Dodgy experience, and for many they are the perfect festival band. The music doesn't stop there with:- The Dunwells, Zoot Serious and the Bellyful of Bop and Mississippi Riot also performing.

Stephen Wundke, Managing Director of headline co-sponsor Taste Cheshire, who is also involved in organising the event, added:- "When we asked festival goers in 2019 who they wanted to see play Deva Fest in the future, 'Scouting for Girls' was a band whose name came up time and time again. So we are delighted they have agreed to come along and play this year."

The Deva Fest attractions will also include a free to use fairground on the festival field. The main stage will once again be in a giant big top ensuring fantastic live performances, whatever the weather. The free shuttle bus service has been expanded for this year's event to now include:- Chester City Centre, Chester Railway Station, Hoole, Handbridge, Westminster Park, Ellesmere Port, Wrexham, Gresford and Rossett. A full route is available on the Deva Fest website. Free parking is also available outside the festival gates.

Once again, Deva Fest will offer quality food and drink vendors, who will be hand picked by Taste Cheshire to ensure locally produced tasty offerings and treats are available. Full details are on the website:- DevaFest.Co.UK... Plus... Don't forget to check out this year's festival trailer:-

Liverpool Arts Festival celebrates 21 years with high profile guests

LIVERPOOL'S acclaimed Writing on the Wall Festival returns next month with a line up of famous names to celebrate its 21st Anniversary. WoWFEST:- 21 Years of Radical Writing, which will run online throughout May, will see headliners including:- film maker Ken Loach, Children's Author and Poet, Michael Rosen and television presenter, Jon Snow, all making appearances. They will be joined by Maxine Hong Kingston, the Chinese American Author and Professor, at the University of California; Singer, song writer, Tracey Thorn and Crime Fiction American novelist, Walter Moseley. Lady Phyll, the British political activist and co-founder of UK Black Pride, together with Elif Shafak, a Turkish British writer and women's rights activist, are among the other guests. The festival promises to have something for everyone, from children through to adults, with guests from a wide range of backgrounds and covering a hugely diverse range of topics.

Mike Morris and Madeline Heneghan, Co-Directors of Writing on the Wall, said:- "We are delighted to be celebrating our 21st year of WoWFEST this year. 21 is certainly not just a number; we are proud to be marking 21 years of radical writing. This is a celebration of all we stand for and all we continually strive to achieve. We have some really significant names lined up, from leading iconic film makers, to Booker prize winners, legendary legal minds, musicians, spoken word artists, campaigners, activists and local writers and artists. These are just the 1st 8 headline names to be announced, but we are looking forward to revealing further high profile names in the coming weeks."

All of the sessions will be virtual and interactive with audience members being encouraged to ask questions and interact with the speakers following their performances/presentations. Mike and Madeline added:- "For 21 years Writing on the Wall has transformed lives, published countless new authors, discovered lost voices, campaigned against racism, discrimination and inequality in all its forms and pushed local, national and international issues in their fight for justice. All of this, together with inspiring local communities through creativity to address mental health, domestic abuse, women's rights, refugees and asylum seekers, Trans rights and much, much more."

Writing on the Wall, which earlier this year was named as Arts Organisation of the Year in the Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards, came to life following the 1995 to 1998 lockout of the Liverpool Dockers and the creation of the film, Dockers, which aired on Channel 4, in 1999. This sparked the idea for a month long festival of artists which is backed by Arts Council England. Since its launch, the event has touched the lives of thousands of people and helped to launch the careers of many successful writers and spoken word artists and performers. The festival continued last year, despite Covid, with a hugely successful virtual event, during which more than 40 events were held with more than 80k people being reached. This year's sponsor is the MA International Creative Enterprise at the Institute for Creative Enterprise at Edge Hill University. Martin McQuillan, Director of the Institute for Creative Enterprise, said:- "The Institute for Creative Enterprise at Edge Hill University is delighted once again to support the Writing on the Wall Festival. In its 21st year, the line-up is as bold and vital as ever. Writing on the Wall has certainly left its mark on the City of Liverpool and has proven that literature and the written word cannot be erased even by a Pandemic!"

A series of competitions will also be held as part of the festival this year. To celebrate the 21st Anniversary, Writing on the Wall is offering guests a special early bird festival pass for just:- ₤21 for entry to all festival events. Full details, together with early bird information in relation to special ticket prices, are available from:- WritingOnTheWall.Org.UK.

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