Skip to main content Skip to site map (in footer)

Lancaster pioneers free Friday cultural scheme

  • Date: 5 December 2012
  • Area: North
Lantern parade through Lancaster city centre

Light Up Lancaster. Credit: Jamie Wooldridge

First Fridays is an innovative scheme offering people in the Lancaster district and visitors to the region the opportunity to explore new cultural experiences by trying something different for free or at reduced prices on the first Friday of every month. 

The idea was established at a meeting of arts and community organisations, organised by Lancaster Arts Partners, where they discussed ways of promoting Lancaster as an Arts City and as an exciting cultural destination. The aim was to raise the profile of the arts in the district and encourage more visitors to the area providing a further boost to the local economy.

The organisations involved in the scheme include More Music, Litfest, The Dukes, Live at LICA, Storey Gallery, Green Close Studios and Ludus Dance, a number of which receive Arts Council support.

The inaugural First Friday event took place in October and included the launch of a new, free 'what's on' app so that residents and visitors have instant access to the wealth of events across the district.

The next event - on Friday 7 December - will focus on young people and will feature Rock The Square with young singers and bands from The Dukes in Lancaster and More Music in Morecambe, a Youth Dance Triple Bill at Ludus Dance Studio, a free return bus to see Rae Morris perform at The Hothouse in Morecambe, the launch of 1625 celebrating the achievements of young and aspiring artists at Green Close Studios in Melling and free music in The Dukes bar before a performance of Treasure Island.

The project has also received funding from Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council.

Joe Sumsion, Lancaster Arts Partners chairman, said: "Lancaster's reputation as an historic city is well established and now it's time to shout about its status as an arts city too. This project signposts the professional performances, exhibitions and events taking place on our doorstep and celebrates the fantastic cluster of arts organisations in Lancaster, Morecambe and district."

Anthony Preston, Senior Manager for Regional Planning at Arts Council England, commented: 'It's great to see arts organisations coming together in this way and collaborating to promote the profile of the arts in the city and the local area. These kinds of partnerships spark fresh ideas and new approaches and help to encourage new audiences.'

More information about the scheme and the events planned is available on the Lancaster Arts City website.