THE countdown to the 2009 Winsford Festival is gathering pace – and music lovers are snapping up tickets for some of the weekend’s highlights.

The 11th annual town showpiece takes place this weekend and this year’s festival boasts some all-new features.

The main stage will be replaced by a family-friendly ‘outdoor arena’ with dancers, street entertainers, a stunt man and white-knuckle rides.

And all live performances will take place in the designated ‘music zone’ – inside the brand new £10.8m Winsford Lifestyle Centre.

“The music we’ve got lined up this year is absolutely phenomenal,” said festival founder and co-ordinator Steve Smith.

“And there’s a fantastic amount of other entertainment on offer over the course of the weekend.”

The music starts at 11am on both days, and will last until the early evening.

Winsford’s Krystal, Will Garner and Street Light Disaster are lined up to play, along with The Valentines and New Beginning from Northwich.

There are still some tickets available for some of the weekend’s main musical attractions.

Class of 08, a tribute to High School Musical and other hit films including Grease and Dirty Dancing, will take to the stage on Saturday with shows at 3.30pm and 4.30pm. Tickets are £5.

ABBA Forever, one of the leading international Abba tribute acts, will entertain crowds on Saturday at 7pm.

The Swedish quartet’s sound is replicated with a six-piece band. Support comes from jazz performer Miss Winehouse. Tickets are £8.

To book tickets, call 01606 867539. To volunteer to help at the festival, call Steve Smith on 07786 554441. For more information on the bands, visit www.