CELEBRATING some of the best in up and coming and underground rock and metal, the count down is on as SOS Festival heads back to Prestwich.

Now in its 11th year, the music festival will return to the Longfield Suite on July 13, 14 and 15 for three rocking days of music and more.

Headlining this year's event are explosive British heavy metal outfit Absolva, featuring members of Iced Earth and Blaze Bayley; acclaimed Glasgow rockers Massive Wagons, fresh from tearing up the fields of Donnington; and Wigan hard rock band Bigfoot, who have just signed to Frontiers Records.

They will be joined by more than 30 bands and artists across two stages, including King Witch, Dendera, Silk Road, Falling Red, Breaking Waves and Ramage Inc.

The festival will also boast several bars, activities for children and a Metal Market, selling wares from merch and jewellery to plaques and art works to meeting all your rock needs.

A charity auction, with items including signed drum skins and artworks from some of rock's biggest names, and a raffle will also be held to fundraise for the festival's secret charity.

Festival organiser, Lynne Appleton, said: "SOS Festival is a family friendly event with a great party/festival atmosphere.

"We get bands from all over Europe wanting to play, and we have had bands from all over the world.

"We get people coming back year after year bringing their families and its a good way to introduce youngsters to music.

"There's going to be a lot of great music this year and we can't wait."

SOS Festival was set up in 2008 by Lynne and Mark Appleton, the owners of Whitefield-based independent record label and band management firm Rocksector Records.

The inaugural event ran for just one day at the Radcliffe Civic Hall, and had just one stage.

Since then the festival has grown rapidly year on year, expanding to a three day event with a second stage, never failing to draw in the crowds of avid rock and metal lovers for a weekend of fun in the pit and hanging out with family and friends new and old.

In recent years the festival has welcomed big names, including former Iron Maiden frontman Blaze Bayley and Saxon's Doug Scarratt.

Mrs Appleton, who can often be found at other festivals scouting out the latest talented artists for SOS and Rocksector, said: "We set up SOS Festival to give up and coming bands a place to play.

"When we were starting out there weren't a lot of little festivals where these bands could play — although there were the big ones like Download, Bloodstock and Leeds and Reading.

"So we started it to show case rock and metal bands, and since then it has it has progressed and everyone wants to play.

"We are a great supporter of the underground and have a good selection of everything from rock and metal through to blues and acoustic.

"It just gives bands a leg up up the ladder, so they are playing on a big stage in front of a lot of people, and a lot of the bands go on to get on the the bills of bigger festivals."

Tickets for SOS Festival priced £20 for the weekend, £8 for the Friday, and £10 for Saturday or Sunday are available from The festival website and Ticketline.

To find out more visit mwaweb.com/SOS_2018_HOME.HTML