THREE friends from Barrow are pledging to give the town a day and night it has never seen before when the first Pitch Up Festival takes place this Summer.

Business partners Joe Jackson, James Howden and James Bonner have formed the fast-growing Pitch Up Events company and are the brains behind the event which will be held at Barrow Football Club’s ground, The Dunes Hotel Stadium, on Saturday, May 21.

They say the festival will be centred around great music, food and vibrant festival atmosphere; but will also put something great back into the community.

The line-up includes chart topping and award-winning DJ and rapper Tom Zanetti, Bad Boy Chiller Crew known for their high energy sets, and Kendal’s LOWES, voted BBC Radio 1’s Dance Vocalist of 2021. There will also be a set from rising stars such as Wallis and The Silver Bars and town favourites Mad 4 It, one of the best Oasis tribute acts in the UK.

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Joe said: “This will be a high energy party, the like of which Barrow has never seen. We want to bring in all the best local artists alongside international names to bring plenty of attention to the festival.

“If that’s not enough Sakura, will be there to ‘level up’ your festival make up and outfit to really get in the spirit!

“We hope there’s something for everyone – all we need now is for Barrow AFC to stay up in the football league and it will be an extra celebration.”

This isn’t the first event Joe, James and James have organised together under the name of Pitch Up Events. They staged a Euro 2020 fan zone last year with a big screen, live music and great food vendors at Holker Old Boys football club. The party atmosphere their guests created quickly caught on and now tickets for their events sell fast. They have also hosted Halloween and Oktoberfest events with the aim of bringing people together amid tough times.

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Joe said: “Over lockdown sports clubs had nobody coming through the doors. Using their grounds for events meant we gave them publicity and exposure and meant we could contribute much needed funds.

“We are passionate about giving back and that’s why we will also being giving a cut of the profits to St Mary’s Hospice, which has helped all of our families in some way, and to Alike, a community for people with cancer.”

Joe and James Bonner have been friends since school, and both went on to become professional footballers – Joe at Burnley and James at Lancashire rivals Blackburn.

When leukaemia cut Joe’s football career short, he went to university in London and now he’s in remission from cancer and works in investment banking in the capital. Meanwhile James hung up his boots and now works as a consultant in the nuclear industry. James Howden works for Rolls-Royce Nuclear as an engineer and also co-owns a local gym and coffee shop.

Tickets for the event are limited to 5,000 and are on sale now at priced £33. Gates open at noon and the festival ends at 11pm.