A MUSIC festival is coming to Runcorn and Widnes to celebrate Halton's status as 'Borough of Culture 2021'.

The main artists will be A Certain Ratio, Man and the Echo, Henge, Rioghnach Connolly, Natalie McCool, Ukulele Uff Trio and the Heavy Beat Brass Band.

And most of the performances will be free with Halton coming 'alive with the sound of celebration' between September 3 and 5.

The Celebrate Halton festival will be held in a range of venues including two Halton parks - Victoria Park and Runcorn Hill, Culture HQ in the Shopping City, six pubs -  Society Tap Room, The Castle, Norton Arms, The Lockdown Pub in Runcorn and The Tavern and The Mersey Hotel (The Snig) in Widnes, The Studio in Lacey Street and Widnes Outdoor Market.

The main event will be a ticketed co-headline show with A Certain Ratio and Man and The Echo at The Studio Widnes.

Formed in 1978, they sounded like nothing else around them, which led to Joy Division’s manager Rob Gretton putting them in touch with Tony Wilson who was setting up the fledgling Factory Records.  Over the past few decades the band have influenced countless influential musicians from Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, Happy Mondays, Franz Ferdinand, ESG, Factory Floor and The Orielles.

Joining them will be Warrington's Man and The Echo whose eponymous debut album was quickly picked up by Steve Lamacq (BBC 6 Music) and John Kennedy (Radio X). They have performed on Billy Bragg’s Leftfield stage at Glastonbury and other major festivals such as Kendal Calling, Reading and Leeds, Secret Garden Party and The Great Escape.

Other highlights include multi-instrumentalist Natalie McCool who released her debut album, The Great Unknown, in 2016 and is putting the finishing touches to her new album.

Natalie will be joined at the launch event by BBC Folk Singer of the Year 2019 and 2020, Rioghnach Connolly who will present a special set for the Celebrate Halton launch with her musical partner Ellis Davies.

Another up and comer on the bill is The Racket, a four-piece indie band who are quickly picking up a fanbase nationwide having supported artists such as Louis Berry, Cast, Lottery Winners and Twisted Wheel.

For more information visit celebratehalton.co.uk/events/harmony-halton-music-weekender.

Tickets are available for A Certain Ratio/Man and The Echo show here.