LOCAL event organiser and Coleford Mayor Nick Penny is bringing “live music back to the streets” of the town this summer with the return of a popular busking festival.

The successful Coleford Busking Festival will take place in the town centre for the first time in four years on Saturday July 31, with locals invited to go along and “enjoy the atmosphere” of open-air live music in Coleford once more.

Nick is hoping the event, which has been planned in advance of the proposed easing of social distancing in England on July 19, will help to fill the void left by the twice-cancelled Coleford Music Festival in the town’s events schedule.

The festival, which has not been held since 2017, will feature an open mic stage where performers can turn up and book a short performance slot on the day.

This year’s stage will be hosted by a local musician and there will also be various “busking points” in the town centre where musicians will be able to showcase their talents.

The event, which is co-funded by Coleford Town Council and Midcounties Co-operative, has previously drawn performers from across the county and has always been well-supported by the local community.

The festival’s announcement will be a welcome one for gig-goers in the Forest, following more than a year of disruption to live events due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The hugely popular Coleford Music Festival was cancelled for the second year running back in April, with the team of organisers, also led by Nick’s events company Nick Penny Event Services (NPES), saying that it would have been “impossible” to comply with Covid-related guidance that has been in place for live events so far this summer.

The annual festival, which usually takes place in early July, draws thousands of spectators to the town centre over the course of the weekend.

On the return of the busking festival for this year, Nick said: “These events have always been a huge success with performers travelling from across the county to perform – with the absence of the Coleford Music Festival again this year it just feels right to be bringing this event back to the town.

“Musicians of all abilities and genres are welcome to turn up to the event”.

Those interested in performing at the event are asked to turn up early on the day to book a slot on the stage, with registration opening at 9am.

Performers are then encouraged to “enjoy the atmosphere and busk around town” throughout the day while they wait for their allotted time slot.

For more information about the event, email Nick at [email protected].