Lancashire Encounter

An ambitious, high-quality creative festival for the whole of Lancashire that builds on the regions great tradition of making and taking part. Bringing together artists, arts organisations and communities from across Lancashire, the Encounter will be a true Lancastrian celebration.

Visit Lancashire Encounter's Website

Lancashire Encounteris a headline event in Preston’s cultural calendar bringing the finest outdoor arts and music to the city centre alongside our key commissions and iconic torchlight procession. 

 2023 will see 60,000 people visit Lancashire’s central city as audiences, participants and artists.  

Lancashire Encounter 2021

Why we joined Without Walls

Lancashire Encounter has been a member of the Without Walls TNP since 2016. The access to quality programming, programme subsidy, training, resources, and additional grant funding has been invaluable to the festival, enhancing the artistic programme and the festival’s reputation.  

 Aside from all this it is the network of experienced arts and festival programmers that we are given access to through the partnership that is the key benefit. This has been a catalyst to our understanding of the festival programme we provide as part of a national picture of Outdoor arts and where we can improve our provision in Preston.   

Lancashire Encounter's Team

Encounter has recently appointed a new Executive Producer, Esther Ferry-Kennington, to take the lead on programming and organisational development for the festival.


What's On at Lancashire Encounter

Sept 15-17th 2023 will be their 7th Festival featuring over 50 events throughout central Preston. Through deep knowledge of place and community, they will engage the many participatory groups who create cultural activity in Preston and the North West all year round and platform these alongside nationally renowned Without Walls shows and other outdoor arts professionals.  


Lancashire Encounter’s event will be steeped in English tradition but will herald the make-up of England today and the broad, complex histories of these traditions including those of the many diaspora communities for whom England is, and always has been, home. 


They will work with legends such as the Liverpool Lantern Company to ensure our Torchlight Procession is an iconic event which will bring much-needed economic activity to the city centre.  


Audiences at Lancashire Encounter

Lancashire Encounter engages audiences through participatory activity throughout the year such as parade workshops and choir rehearsals. We are consistently seeking new audiences for all of our events and the entire festival is presently free to ensure access for all the county’s communities. In 2021 we will begin to develop earned income through new, ticketed events, but these will be programmed to sit comfortably alongside the present programming.

Through partnerships with organisations throughout Lancashire such as Preston Caribbean Carnival and Preston City Mela, we will continue to prioritise diverse artists, participants and audiences over the coming years to ensure our festival is relevant and exciting.