INTERNATIONALLY acclaimed musicians will be first to perform in the big concert hall of Winsford's new community owned venue.

Artists from Italy and Cuba will be on stage as The Hive opens its main entertainment space this weekend.

Audiences of up to 300 can now be accommodated following major renovation work of the former De Bees club.

The Hive in Winsford

The Hive is a community owned venue providing space, facilities and resources for entertainment, learning and community activities

Sam Lyon, events and marketing supervisor of The Hive Live Ltd, said: “It’s been an incredibly exciting journey watching the project take shape and expand its roots within the community.

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"Over the past few months since The Hive opened its café and courtyard, we’ve welcomed people of all ages, from all walks of life and from many surrounding areas outside Winsford, which has been one of our biggest goals.

"This weekend acts not only as a celebration of what we’ve achieved as a venue with international artists wanting to come and play here, but it also acts as a thank you to all the customers and community who have supported in our journey so far.”

Italian fingerstyle guitarist Luca Stricagnoli will be performing an intimate acoustic concert on Friday before touring the UK and USA.

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Cuban musician Rene Alvarez

Cuban musician Rene Alverez

A Cuban Latin salsa fiesta will be staged on Saturday starring Rene Alvarez and his band Havana Latin Fun.

A salsa dance masterclass hosted by legendary dancers Osbanis and Anneta will launch the fiesta in the new large open plan community space.

Celebrations will continue with live music, DJ sets and dancing until 2am.

Damon Horrill, treasurer of The Hive Live Ltd,  said: "We're thrilled to be opening the full venue this weekend, it's a great space.

The Hive at night

The Hive was established in 2011 to continue festivals that had began in De Bees

"To have both Luca over from Italy and Rene from Cuba to help us celebrate this weekend is quite something.

"It's been a huge challenge but with the help of countless volunteers and the hard work of tradesmen, come Friday, we will have the venue we need to deliver everything the community has asked for and more hopefully."

The Christians, China Crisis, Xander & The Peace Pirates and tribute shows QE2 (Queen), Bjorn Again (Abba), The Complete Stone Roses, Noasis (Oasis), The Electromantics and Pure Presley are among acts lined up in the coming months.

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