IT would normally see the town’s pubs and bars packed with thousands of punters, but this weekend Barnsley Live will take place in a slightly different setting.

Organisers of the free festival, which raises money for local charities every year, had hoped it might still go ahead later this year.

But with the lockdown lurching on and large gatherings still off-limits for the foreseeable future, it’s been decided to move the festival online.

Videos from some of the local musicians originally set to perform will be shared on a Facebook group, ‘Barnsley Live From Isolation’, tomorrow.

Organiser Chris Scarfe said: “We had to make the decision back in March when we realised we wouldn’t be able to do it in a month or two.

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“Nobody knew what it was going to be like.

“We’re obviously gutted because you can’t beat the whole day as an event, but we’re looking forward to this.”

The festival has grown in size year-on-year, with last summer’s thought to be the best-attended since it began, and regularly raises thousands for local causes.

The online festival will raise money for Barnsley Hospital Charity, following the charity single released last week featuring more than 20 local musicians.

Chris said: “A lot of musicians have been live-streaming performances, and I think we slowly realised it was possible.

“It’s been overlooked previously but hopefully people will continue to do these things, as not everyone can get out to a gig.

“We looked through all the applications and asked those from Barnsley if they wanted to be involved.

“We’ve got around 27 or 28 bands and solo musicians who’ve pre-recorded performances, which we’ve been stitching together along with some vox-pops sent in by local people about what Barnsley Live means to them.”

The festival starts at 2pm tomorrow and will run into the evening, with each act playing between ten and 15 minutes.

To donate, visit the Facebook group.