1. Visit Preston

Encounter Festival 2024 Line Up!

9 July 2024

Introducing a teaser of what to expect with the 2024 Encounter Festival, with lots of great performances to feast your eyes on.


A WILD performer spins in the air as another performer catches her

Introducing WILD by MotionHouse.

WILD creates an urban forest in the everyday of the city. Celebrating nature and the environment, performers move through a forest of tall poles, which forms the striking set for WILD. Watch the performers as they move animal-like through the dangerous world of the forest floor, taking refuge high in the canopy. In our modern lives, can the wild still shape human behaviour?

Catch WILD on Saturday, 21 September at the Bus Station.

Family Catwalk Extravaganza

Five male models pose on a catwalk in different outfits

Introducing Family Catwalk Extravaganza by Ghetto Fabulous.

Watch in awe as a group of dancers go head to head in a dance, fashion and lip-sync competition. Best of all, the audience gets to decide the winner.

Catch the show on Saturday, 21 September at the Flag Market.

Betty Brown Bags

Two performers for Betty Brown Bags pose mid jump for a photo

Introducing Betty Brown Bags by Raggle Taggle Arts.

Inspired by a traditional folk play from Lancaster (Pace Egg/ Mummers), Betty Brown Bags and her musical side-kick Billy celebrate the strength and resilience of Northern working class women. This interactive show is a physical theatre piece with a pantomime flair, featuring live music, clog dancing, singing and spoons, something for all ages!

Catch the performance on Saturday, 21 September at the Flag Market.


A man from PLOT17 singing on stage

Introducing PLOT17 by Apples and Snakes.

Join underground hip-hop hero Kenny Baraka AKA The Green Man and DJ Conrad Kira as they work to save the environment one track at a time.

PLOT17 is a mobile block party travelling the world raising awareness, inspiring action and spreading the message of "making things green", with a soundtrack guaranteed to make you want to plant a tree and help the seeds grow.

Join PLOT17 at the Bus Station on Saturday, 21 September.

Mughal Miniatures: Animal Paradise

A person with a goat mask and a group of performers for Mughal Miniatures dancing

Introducing Mughal Miniatures: Animal Paradise by Sonia Sabri Company.

Animal Paradise is a fun and upbeat outdoor performance event for all the family, which celebrates and takes inspiration from the exquisite traditional art of Indian and Persian miniature painting. Performers in sumptuous costumes create vibrant and colourful mini worlds of dance, music and puppetry.

We invite you to step back in time to an exquisite gathering where human and creature meet and interact. Exploring the relationship between humans, animals and the natural world and whether it's possible for the three to live in harmony.

Catch Animal Paradise on Sunday, 22 September at Winckley Square.

Everywhere's a Beach

Three people under a large red and yellow parasol hanging to the pole posing for a photo

Introducing Everywhere's a Beach by Hikapee Theatre.

Join us for a day at the beach unlike any other in this high energy, circus theatre show! Perfect for the whole family, Everywhere's a Beach is a charmingly ridiculous performance taking place on a giant revolving beach parasol!

You'll be swept away as this show embraces everything we love about the beach. Our spinning parasol creates the perfect setting for our eccentric beach loving characters. Watch as their world collides with yours, as sophistication turns to chaos in this aerial circus performance.

Catch the performance on Sunday, 22 September at Winckley Square.

The Greenhouse

A lady in an orange dress holds a small yellow umbrella pointed in front of her

Introducing The Greenhouse by Sophie and Marie Nüzel.

Follow gardener Peppina, the Apple Tree and the Willow Tree Guards on a quest to grow pimpernel, ripen apples and defend the garden against the caterpillar. A little bit silly and a little bit poetic, this show has something for the whole family.

Catch the show at Winckley Square on Sunday, 22 September.

The Invisible Man

An invisible man and a scientist with a face mask pose for a photo

Introducing The Invisible Man by Altered States.

This interactive street theatre performance introduces you to a live action, mobile, translucent man. Guided by his mysterious doctor, witness this scientific marvel and learn more about how he came to (not) be.

Take part in his experiments, discover if you too have the special powers his institute is searching for! Using a mixture of magic, puppetry and audio visual projection, his condition can be seen up close as he explores his environment and new found abilities, but be warned you may see more (or less) than you bargained for!

Try to spot The Invisible Man on Fishergate street on Sunday, 22 September!

Further Information

About Encounter Festival

Encounter Festival is an authentic voice for Preston, celebrating the breadth of the County's diverse cultural offer with high quality and high-profile arts. Taking place on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 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.

About The UK Shared Prosperity Fund

The GOV.UK - UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government's Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information.

About Arts Council England 

Arts Council Englandis the national development agency for creativity and culture. They have set out our strategic vision in  Let's Create that by 2030, they want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. They invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 Million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% of funding coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies administering the Government's unprecedented £1.96 billion Culture Recovery Funds.