THE show will go on - say the organisers of a popular annual Cockermouth event.

The Cockermouth Live! team has confirmed the festival will be staged on July 2-4.

“We have for some time been working on the assumption that there would not be a complete lifting of restrictions on June 21,” said chairman Bob Pritchard.

"So we have planned for a smaller festival this year based on three venues: the United Reformed Church on Main Street, the newly re-furbished Egremont Room at the Kirkgate Centre, and the courtyard of Cockermouth Castle, which was such a great hit in 2019.”

The festival will be officially opened by the High Sheriff of Cumbria, David Beeby, who has himself performed in a choir in previous years. Safety measures will be in place.

Most choirs have not had much opportunity to rehearse together, so the programme in the URC is soloists and small groups making use of Cockermouth Music Society’s Steinway grand piano.

The Castlegate Singers and the All Saints Community Rock Squad will feature virtually on a presentation on the Cockermouth Festival You Tube channel which goes live from noon on July 2.

One choir that has started singing together in real life, because they were formed to sing outdoors, is Wild Chorus led by singer and composer Dave Camlin. They’ll be performing in Cockermouth Castle, along with the Mechanics Band, the U3A Early Music ensemble and the Kirkgate Youth Theatre, who are presenting short plays based around the life of Dorothy Wordsworth, William’s sister, who was born 250 years ago this year.

“The castle is such a brilliant venue and we’re grateful to Lord and Lady Egremont for allowing us to use it, and allowing the public to enjoy seeing inside when no guided tours are planned this year. It’s a superb setting for the brass band particularly,” said Bob.

The Egremont Room (downstairs at the Kirkgate) has been re-furbished and is the base for folk, roots and blues acts. The bar will be open, and teas and coffees will also be available. All the venues will be practising social distancing and for indoor venues face coverings should be worn.

Professor Pumpernickel, the well-known mad scientist, will be bringing his explosive fun to outside spaces around the town for kids of all ages.

The Evan West artists group is showing art in shop windows. Wordsworth House has a special presentation by their poet in residence, Rowan McCabe, and on Sunday Eden poets present work inspired by Dorothy Wordsworth.

The headline acts, postponed from last year, will be performing in the Kirkgate. Poet, comedian and broadcaster Ian McMillan accompanied by singer/guitarist Luke Carver Goss appears on Friday. Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell will do two shows on the Saturday. Go to: