New Focus on Lancashire Produce

1 February 2012


International opera legend José Carreras has been confirmed as the headline act for Preston Guild 2012’s Proms in the Park, set to be one of the most prestigious events in the classical calendar this year.

Avenham Park will be transformed into an open-air amphitheatre on 7 September for Preston Proms in the Park with the Manchester Camerata Orchestra conducted by David Gimenez Carreras.

As dusk falls José will take to the stage supported by a number of international operatic stars as he sings for the first time in the UK since 2009.

Plans have also been revealed for a range of amazing events designed to attract families, people of all ages, businesses and sports lovers to Avenham and Miller Park which will become an extraordinary festival site and host to a 10 day long programme that will mark the grand finish to an action packed Guild year for Preston.

To mark the opening of the week long celebrations, a Guild Vintage extravaganza will be held in Avenham Park. Working alongside locally born and internationally renowned  designers Wayne Hemingway MBE and Gerardine Hemingway MBE, it will celebrate the creative cultural past, present and future of the region, through fashion shows, music, art and food. Avenham Park will provide the backdrop to a multi-venue playground where over two packed days and nights visitors can glam up, put their dancing shoes on, and join in a truly celebratory musical, sensory, and fashion-inspired event that as it unfolds takes us on a creative journey through time. 

Families will be able to take part in some fantastic farmyard fun with Aardman Animation’s Shaun the Sheep! Keeping fit with the flock will be the name of the game as sack races and animal-inspired craft sessions keep everyone entertained!

On 9 September people throughout the North West are invited to gather in Preston for the North West’s closing celebrations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games. Les Commandos Percu will perform a jaw-dropping blend of pyrotechnics and powerful music and dance with ‘On the Night Shift’, a fitting finale to WE PLAY Expo, Preston Guild, and the final night of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

“Confirming José for Preston Proms is fantastic and really sets the standard for the calibre of acts that will visit our city as part of the Guild celebrations,” commented festival director of Preston Guild 2012, Preston City Council, Stella Hall.

“The various elements of the festival including Vintage, Passion and Proms in the Park are deliberately diverse to touch the lives of everyone in Preston and beyond attract audiences from every age group. This year is about taking part and enjoying every moment and we are looking forward to making further announcements on the exciting acts we are lining up for Guild 2012 in the coming weeks.”

Councillor Peter Rankin, Leader of Preston City Council said: “This is a wonderful line up with something for everyone. Preston Guild is a fantastic showcase for Preston and this packed programme of events and activities really sets Preston and Preston Guild apart. We hope to bring thousands of visitors into Preston and through the Guild provide a boost to the local economy of over £30m. We simply can’t wait for Preston Guild to begin!”

The line up for Preston Passion was announced earlier this week.  Three pre-recorded documentaries will be shown on big screens in the city centre and on BBC One.  The confirmed cast for the documentaries, which are set to be recorded in Preston and the North West in the coming weeks,  include Tom Ellis (Miranda, Dr Who, Eastenders); Christine Bottomley (Lost Christmas, Hope Springs);  Paul Barber (Full Monty and Denzil in Only Fools and Horses); and Pooky Quesnel (The Body Farm, Eastenders).

The documentaries will be incorporated in to a live broadcast from Preston centre, which will be hosted by Fern Britton and will include a cast of thousands of Preston residents in this Good Friday extravaganza.

In addition to the packed events programme, a limited-edition range of merchandise, which includes specially commissioned commemorative china, clothing and stationery will be on sale to commemorate the once in-a-generation event. The Guild team will continue to unveil headline acts and event details throughout 2012. For further details log on to


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  • Preston Guild is a historic celebration dating back to 1179, and represents a significant

            element of the North West’s rich cultural heritage and tourism offer. The holding of the

            Guild was a major occasion and the cause of much celebration across the city. Preston

            Guild is the only Guild still celebrated in the UK and as such is unique.

  • Led by and invested in by Preston City Council, Preston Guild is the only Guild still celebrated in the UK and as such is unique.
  • For more information about Preston Guild 2012 please visit

            and you can follow the Guild on Facebook (Preston Guild 2012) and Twitter


  • On the Night Shift is commissioned by Lakes Alive, Lake District National Park Authority, WE PLAY Expo and the London 2012 Festival.
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