REVEREND and the Makers and The Lightning Seeds are coming to Warrington as the town's music festival makes its return for 2016, Warrington Guardian can exclusively reveal.

The popular showcase for unsigned bands and established guest artists like Happy Mondays and Scouting for Girls was called off last year while organisers considered the event's future.

But the not-for-profit festival is making its return for the ninth time thanks to a new long-term partnership with Golden Square.

This foundation will also be used to help the event grow in the years to come.

More than 20 Warrington bands and singer-songwriters, who are yet to be announced, will be performing at a free showcase all day on Saturday, May 28.

Then on Sunday, May 29, Sheffield indie rock band, Reverend and the Makers, and 90s hitmakers, The Lightning Seeds, will perform a double headline gig to 3,000 people in the Old Fish Market.

Inspiral Carpets legend and Radio X DJ Clint Boon will also be warming up the crowd on the decks.

Warrington Guardian:

Steve Oates, who has organised the festival since it first launched, said: "Since 2007, the Warrington Music Festival has provided a focal point for many of the town’s creative community.

"This new partnership with Golden Square is a really exciting prospect for Warrington musicians wanting a professional platform to promote their talents.

"Ian and the Golden Square management team have offered the Warrington Music Festival stability and a secure future for year’s to come.

"We’re really looking forward to developing this new relationship and building an event of which everyone can be proud."

Reverend and the Makers broke into the top 10 in 2007 with their track Heavyweight Champion of the World from the their debut album, The State of Things.

Noel Gallagher is among their fans which led to the band being invited to play Wembley Stadium with Oasis.

He also likened their new album, Mirrors, to 'the great concept albums of the 60s'.

The Lightning Seeds had a string of hits in the 90s including The Life of Riley, Lucky You, Pure and Change.

They famously got a number one when they sang the 1996 England anthem, Three Lions, with Frank Skinner and David Baddiel.

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Music Festival is also now part of a bigger celebration of culture throughout May.

Golden Square will also be transformed into an exhibition space to showcase work from international photographer, Denis O'Regan.

Denis has had his work published in Time, Life, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, GQ and most national newspapers.

From May 1 to 31, shoppers can see his iconic images of music legends like David Bowie, Bob Marley and Amy Winehouse.

Warrington Guardian:

Throughout his career as a world famous music photographer, Denis toured with the likes of Joni Mitchell and Phil Lynott, capturing artists both on and off the stage.

Also included in the exhibition will be one of his historic Live Aid pictures, capturing one of Britain’s greatest pop culture moments.

Stylist and costumier Roger K. Burton is also contributing to Golden Square's 'Style Rocks'.

Fifteen original fashion pieces worn by stars including Kate Moss, David Bowie and Mick Jagger will be on display in 10 of the shopping centre's fashion stores.

Ian Cox, Golden Square centre manager, said: "I'm absolutely thrilled that we've found a new home for Warrington Music Festival within our Style Rocks event.

"Music and fashion go hand in hand and Golden Square's historic market place is the perfect location to celebrate this and to showcase the great musical talent in Warrington.

"Steve Oates has been a driving force in the festival over the years and our partnership will support this popular Warrington music fixture for now and years to come.

"It will not only shine the spotlight on up-and-coming musical talent, but give artists a platform to perform to new audiences alongside established names."

- Warrington Music Festival returns on May 28 and 29. Tickets for Reverend and the Makers and Lightning Seeds are £15. They go on sale on Wednesday at

- Places are still available for the Warrington band showcase on May 28. If you are in a band and want to play, send a short biography with links to SoundCloud and Facebook to