It’s not just about the food at this month’s Rochdale Food & Drink Festival – there’s also a menu of live music to keep people entertained while they tuck into and enjoy the mouth-watering fare.

An outdoor stage accompanied by a covered seating area on The Esplanade by Rochdale Town Hall will run throughout the day featuring a host of acts.

Opening the stage will be Rochdale’s, Joe Dunne. The talented singer/songwriter who played the main stage at Rochdale Feel Good Festival last year after bagging second place in the annual ‘Battle of the Bands’ competition will be performing at 12pm.

OUR JOE: Opening the stage will be Rochdale’s Joe Dunne.

Joe will be followed at 1pm by #Hashtag – a Rochdale-based acoustic quartet who specialise in their own versions of classic tracks by the likes of Bowie, T-Rex, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and more.

SOCIAL: #Hashtag – the Rochdale-based acoustic quartet.

At 2pm and 4.30pm listen out for Tony Lambert – a singer-songwriter, guitar-playing folk pop musician who writes and performs his own material as well as hits from the likes of Ed Sheeran and Adele.

He’s played festivals across the UK and releases a new album this summer.

RISING STAR: KS Roosevelt was recently named as one of the ‘top 5 musicians and bands to watch in 2018’ by the Manchester Evening News.

At 3pm don’t miss KSR – also known as KS Roosevelt. Featured on BBC Introducing he’s been seducing audiences with his silky soulful voice and was recently named as one of the ‘top 5 musicians and bands to watch in 2018’ by the Manchester Evening News.

His lyrics tell of life and love in Manchester and he’s a growing reputation on the North West’s live music scene.

LET US ENTERTAIN YOU: Manchester based new band KAZE will be taking to the stage.

At 5.15pm, Manchester-based new band KAZE will be taking to the stage. 

The highly original vibrant duo who write and perform all their own material have already been played on BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio Manchester and were supported by BBC Introducing last year.

The festival will be open from 10am – 6pm with a food & drink village and more than 40 traders selling delicious dishes, fantastic street food, pop-up shops, bars and more.   Outside there will be meaty, veggie and vegan delights, combining a mix of healthy choices and tempting treats.

Visitors can take their pick from naan sandwiches, Italian tapas, salads, and delicious wood-fired pizzas.

There will also be Chinese, Thai and Pan Asian street food, gourmet burgers, fusion quesadillas and homemade pies.

For those with a sweet tooth there will be pancakes and churros available. There will also be plenty of conveniently-located bars selling a range of alcoholic and soft drinks.

Inside the Grade I-listed town hall – there will be lots of stalls selling food and gifts to take home, including cheeses, chutneys, relishes, Indian street food, Caribbean cakes, muffins, artisan chocolates, black puddings, fudge and desserts.

On the ground floor of the town hall the elegant reception room will be transformed into a 1920’s-themed bar for the day hosting a series of free workshops every hour from 11am, including ‘Wonderful Wines’, ‘The Gin Experience,’ and ‘Cocktail Making Like A Pro.’

In the festival kitchen Jean-Christophe Novelli, Nisha Katona, Andrew Nutter and Tom McNeeney will be cooking live, with seven 40-minute demonstrations scheduled.

CBeebies ‘I Can Cook’ presenter Katy Ashworth brings her energetic burst of silliness and family fun to the indoor stage – with shows at 10:30am and 1:30pm aimed at children and grown-ups.

Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, community and culture at Rochdale Borough Council said: “We’ve got a great line-up of musicians performing while you enjoy some superb food and drink.

This is a new event which I am really excited about and we’ve had a great response so far.”

Rochdale Food and Drink Festival is on Saturday 24 March, open from 10am to 6pm and entry is free. The festival is organised by the council together with sponsorship from The Flying Horse Hotel, and The Quirky Catering Company.

To book cookery workshop tickets and get the full line-up, visit Like the festival on Facebook or connect with @RochFoodFest on Twitter.

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