With a packed programme of events and things to do, Encounter is a festival not to be missed...
Encounter Festival is an authentic voice for Lancashire and the North West, celebrating the breadth of the County's diverse cultural offer with high quality and high profile arts.
Taking place every other year at the end of September, Encounter Festival sees the city of Preston buzzing with life and alight with creativity.
The past Encounters have seen an array of spectacular performances, inspiring arts and impressive music, bringing spectators to their feet.
History of Encounter Festival
Preston City Council staged its first Encounter Festival in 2015 as a pilot. The weekend event showcased the work of artists from across the Lancashire County and community activities, drawing in 20,000 attendees.
Recognising the potential of the event to grow and impact the communities, artists and arts organisations of Lancashire, as well as attract visitors into the County, it was agreed the event should become a bi-annual cultural festival.
- Following the pilot, the first full scale Encounter Festival was hosted in 2016
- The pilot led to the first full scale festival in September 2016
- Brief Encounter event in September 2017 to maintain the momentum, keep the spirit alive and launch next years festival
- Second full scale festival in September 2018
- Brief Encounter September 2019
Encounter Festival Evaluation reports
To Encounter a flavour of past Encounter Festivals check out the evaluation reports and event videos pages:
Why visit Encounter?
The Encounter Festival not only brings together the city of Preston, it also brings together the Lancashire County and those further afield. The bustling streets and opportunities to get involved create a memorable and vibrant weekend, with local artists and performers sharing their talent with the crowds.
Whatever the summer festival brings, you'll be sure to have an unforgettable Encounter.
Plan your Encounter experience
See Your Visit if you are visiting Preston from afar - or even nearby! Here you will find inspiration for your trip and advice on travelling to and around the city. You can also pay Visit Preston a visit for accommodation and information on places to eat and drink, as well as other things to see and do in your spare time during your visit.
The Encounter Festival is a member of the Without Walls Associate Touring Network.
Without Walls is the UK's largest commissioner of outdoor arts shows, taking inspiring new work to audiences all over the country and beyond.
Encounter Festival is pleased to announce we are an Arts Award Supporter offering a range of opportunities for young people who are completing their Arts Award.
Arts Award's unique qualifications support young people to develop as artists and arts leaders inspiring them to connect with and take part in the wider arts world in any art form - from fashion to digital art, pottery to poetry.
The programme develops creativity, leadership and communication skills and is open to anyone aged up to 25 years through 5 different levels:
- Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Throughout the festival you will find a variety of art forms and activities that can contribute to your Arts Award suiting the participation, watching, reviewing and find out elements of the Awards.