The return of The Willow Festival in 2012

Peterborough City Council is pleased to announce that The Willow Festival will return to Peterborough in 2012. Supported by the City Council, the original organisers of the festival will bring the event back to the Peterborough Embankment during the final weekend of May next year.
The Willow Festival returns after a 9 year hiatus from the city’s music calendar. The original event ran between 1998 and 2003. By 2003 the festival grew to become one of the largest free live music festivals in Europe and the biggest music festival in the city’s history.
The 2003 festival attracted over 50,000 people to the three day event.
The 2012 festival will showcase 120 live bands from across the UK with a particular emphasis on showcasing local acts.
An eclectic mix of music will take place across six stages at the festival on the Embankment. The festival itself will remain the same scale and format as in previous years, but with further attractions on the site. Headliners of The Willow Festival in the past have included The Animals and Bad Manners.
The 2012 festival will remain a free event to the public and is funded via sponsorship and concession sales. The Willow Festival returns in 2012 because of support from Peterborough City council and local business.
It’s hoped that The Willow Festival 2012 can attract tens of thousands of people to the Embankment between Friday 25 May and Sunday 27 May.
Mark Ringer came up with the idea of The Willow Festival and ran the event between 1998-2003. Mark will once again be in charge of the event in 2012, he said he’s thrilled to see it return, “I’ve been aware of several local campaigns to bring back The Willow Festival and I’ve never ruled it out. I’ve now got great backing from the City Council and I’m confident that 2012 will be the biggest festival yet.”
Mark is keen for local companies to support the event and to join Papa Luigi, The Guitar Shack, Battenburg and P.Net in sponsoring the festival, “The Willow Festival team are in talks with several possible sponsors, but we are keen to hear from local companies who may wish to benefit from sponsoring this national event.”
Councillor Marco Cereste, leader of Peterborough City Council, said he hopes it will be another successful event in the city, “Thousands watch the Tour Series and the Perkins Great Eastern Run every year. Tens of thousands turned up to the brilliant Peterborough Festival, and recently we had over 8,000 people at the city’s Italian festival. There is a clearly an appetite in the city for big events – and what could be better for the city than the return of The Willow Festival.”
Annette Joyce, Head of Commercial Operations at Peterborough, said 2012 could be the busiest ever in the city centre, “We now have a really strong programme of events for Peterborough, and there still might be one or two additions for next year as well. It was already going to be special year with the Olympic Torch coming to the city, and we’re so pleased that The Willow Festival will be returning as well. We’ve been aware of several campaigns to bring it back, and we’re proud to be supporting next year’s festival.”
A launch event will be held at Peterborough Town Hall on Wednesday 28 September.
The festival is named after the willow trees on the River Nene.
Media contact Steve titman 01733 207 339/ 07764 753 080 or