The Year Bowie came to Blackburn : 1973

Project aims to bring back the memories of music stars of ‘73

A local Heritage Lottery project is set to re-ignite local people’s memories of an amazing year in the 1970’s in Blackburn.

1973: The Year Bowie Came to Blackburn will take place in Blackburn during 2017 with a series of events and concerts and is set to launch with a special event on Saturday 14th January at King George’s Hall.

The free project launch event is open to all and is expected to attract interest from people who attended some of the concerts in the 1970’s, people who want to discover more about the music scene from the era or want to discover more about the history of King George’s Hall.

The evening will feature music sets by local bands paying tribute to the music of the era as well as a chance to see memorabilia from the 1973 concerts. There will also be an introduction to the project as well as an opportunity for people to share their memories or get more involved in the events during the year. As well as the concert by Bowie, the incredible year in Blackburn saw performances from music icons including The Sweet, Slade, Steeleye Span, Status Quo, Mott the Hoople and Queen.

Ian Alderson is one of the music fans leading the project. He grew up in Blackburn and attended many of the 1973 concerts at King George’s Hall, including David Bowie.

He said, “Bowie’s death in January last year deeply saddened me because I was a huge fan. But it did get me reminiscing with old friends from Blackburn about his May 1973 King George’s Hall concert and how witnessing his musically electrifying, wonderfully theatrical and glamorous performance had knocked all of us – naïve young northern teenagers all – for six and was still miraculously burned deep into all our memories forty plus years later.

“The 1973 Bowie Came To Blackburn project feels like a great way for all of us to relive these memories and all the other great King George’s Hall 1973 gigs – and share them with the current generation of young people.”

Frankie Mullen, Project Director said, “We are very excited to launch the project. 1973 was an iconic year in Blackburn when so many great stars performed at King George’s Hall. The 8th of January 2017 would have been Bowie’s 70th birthday and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the lifetime achievements of the original ‘Starman’.

“We want as many people to take part in the project during 2017 and hope that we can inspire a new generation. We are hoping that people will bring their memorabilia from the concerts of the 70s and as well as sharing their memories, we are excited to see photographs that many never have been seen by the public before.”

Treasures from King George’s Hall archives:

At the launch a number of ‘star objects’ from the King George’s Hall 1973 archive will be unveiled, which will be on public display in a cabinet in Blakey’s Bar throughout the year of the project.

The Launch Event takes place at Blakeys Bar at King George’s Hall on Saturday 14th January from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. The event is free and open to all ages. There will be performances of 70s classics by McNally Music Tuition Drum Tutor with his band Sky Valley Mistress, an acoustic set by Teri Birtwistle, McNally Music Tuition’s vocal tutor and activities for children including the opportunity to have a 70s face-painting makeover.

Tickets or registration is not required for the event.

©2023 Blackburn BID

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