A ROCKING weekend of top class music and summer fun is coming to an historic Bolton pub.

Popular town centre watering-hole The Three Old Crowns is set to host its inaugural Crownsfest on May 25 and 26 in lieu of the cancelled Bolt Fest.

A line-up of 14 talented bands from Bolton and beyond will play across the two days on an outdoor stage in a battle of the bands-style competition.

In addition to the prestige of claiming the first Crownsfest crown, the best two bands, as decided by the audience, will also win cash prizes.

The format was decided on to give a boost to young and smaller bands playing original tracks and support the town's music scene.

Among the bands confirmed are Bolton youngsters Conixi, Manchester four-piece Sparrowhawk, Manchester metal outfit Viral Strain, and Bolton hard rockers Unknown Refuge.

Throughout the weekend there will also be barbecues, drink offers, face painting and family friendly activities.

Landlady and event organiser Natalie Cardwell said: "With Bolt Fest being cancelled we thought we would try and do something and make up for it.

"We decided on the battle of the bands idea so more original and smaller bands are not overpowered and they are in with a chance of winning.

"We also wanted to make it as family friendly as possible as we can and hopefully we can have a great weekend."

The festival will also mark a relaunch for The Old Three Crowns, one of the oldest pubs in England, which is currently undergoing a huge makeover.

As part of the five figure renovations, the pub’s original listed stain glass windows are to be restored to bring them back to their glory.

There will also be a revamped bar area, a fully refitted kitchen and overhauled woodwork.

The latest addition to Bolton's growing live music scene, Crownsfest is also being supported by nearby Booth's Music shop, who have lent The Old Three Crowns the stage.

Colin Liptrott, from Booth's Music and the founder of Cider 'ouse Jam Nite, said: "We are happy to be supporting Crownsfest, and there is a lot of support for it, as there's not always much going on in the town's music scene at the moment. It's good to see someone putting on a live festival."

Wristbands for Crownsfest, priced £8 for the weekend or £5 for a day, are available from the pub.