From dancing to ska in the sun and a wide array of food to a competition of the cutest puppies, there was plenty to love about the return of a popular festival weekend in Saddleworth.

Taking place at Well-i-hole farm, which is surrounded by the hilly scenery of Greenfield, the hotly anticipated Wellifest and Saddleworth show took place at the weekend.

Every year, the big event raises thousands for charities and local causes, and this year the Saddleworth Rotary promised to put on another spectacular family-friendly event.

The Oldham Times: It's a stunning setting for a festivalIt's a stunning setting for a festival (Image: Newsquest, Olivia Bridge)

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The main stage on Saturday for live music sat below the towering pots and pans monument and, on this occasion, a flawless blue sky.

The Oldham Times: Tickets had sold out for the big day and families set up their spot on the grassTickets had sold out for the big day and families set up their spot on the grass (Image: Newsquest, Olivia Bridge)

Broadcaster and radio DJ, Mike Sweeney, came just down the road from Uppermill to warm up the crowd with some Northern Soul.




♬ One Step Beyond (2009 Remaster)

Then the Machester Ska Foundation came to the stage and immediately attracted a huge horde of dancers who scurried through the crowds and quite literally ran to the 'dance floor' to the beat of Madness' 'One Step Beyond'.

The Oldham Times: The dancers who dominated the dance floorThe dancers who dominated the dance floor (Image: Newsquest)

The dancers stayed in their spots for the whole set as banger after banger blared out from the likes of Madness, such as 'It Must be Love' and 'House of Fun', Bad Manners' 'Special Brew', The Specials' 'Monkey Man' and finally a rendition of Bob Marley's 'Stir it Up'.

Three women, each with a bucket hat, barely even stopped for air as they danced to each tune.

The Oldham Times: Manchester Ska Foundation brought serious beatsManchester Ska Foundation brought serious beats (Image: Newsquest, Olivia Bridge)

Another couple also got into the thick of it, swooping one another around while young girls in tutus twirled to the music.

Saddleworth's Ska-lovers aside, there was also an impressive array of stalls for foodies - from Greek to Italian (pizzas), and desserts like donuts, crepes and ice cream from popular Saddleworth ice cream shop Grandpa Greene's, as well as festival classics like burgers and hot dogs.

The Oldham Times: The Greek gyros I tried included chicken and halloumi The Greek gyros I tried included chicken and halloumi (Image: Newsquest, Olivia Bridge)

The kids were also well catered for too with a large fun fair comprised of swings, a merry-go-round, a 'minions' bouncy slide, trampolines, a helter-skelter as well as face painting and henna tents.





♬ Dancing In The Moonlight


Then on Sunday, furry family members had the chance to soak in some of the festival atmosphere at the farm by taking part in friendly dog games, such as musical 'chairs' (but using hoops instead), followed by a dog show arranged by Simply Animals.

The Oldham Times: There was lots of entertainment and fun for children all weekendThere was lots of entertainment and fun for children all weekend (Image: Newsquest, Olivia Bridge)

Categories of the show included the scruffiest dog, golden oldie, young handlers, best rescue, cutest puppy, happiest dog and best trick before the winners faced off in a final showdown.

The Oldham Times: The dogs and their handlers limbered up with 'musical hoops'The dogs and their handlers limbered up with 'musical hoops' (Image: Newsquest, Olivia Bridge)

Bruce, who won first place for best rescue, third for best young handler and fourth from golden oldie, also stole hearts at the dog show.

His owner Emma Waterson, said Bruce was a rescue from Romania with Oakwood Dog Rescue in Hull bringing neglected animals to the country for a better life.


The Oldham Times: Bruce (with three rosettes) and DanielBruce (with three rosettes) and Daniel (Image: Newsquest, Olivia Bridge)

"He was starved when we got him - you could see his ribs and he was very reactive to other dogs.

"We never would have been able to do a show like this when we first got him - he's come on so much", Emma beamed with pride as chilled Bruce showed off his three rosettes at his first-ever show.

"It’s a great day Saddleworth show.

"It's such a nice chilled atmosphere with lots to do for us and the kids as well", Emma added.

The Oldham Times: Darcy (middle) with Vinnie, crowned the happiest dogDarcy (middle) with Vinnie, crowned the happiest dog (Image: Newsquest, Olivia Bridge)

Meanwhile, over on the main stage were some spectacular vocals and performances from Mahdlo's Youth Group.

The Oldham Times: Zach at the Saddleworth Show gave us a taste of Radiohead and MorrisseyZach at the Saddleworth Show gave us a taste of Radiohead and Morrissey (Image: Newsquest, Olivia Bridge)

Rhodes Bank Choir later sang some feel-good hits with some impromptu choreography.

Again, youngsters had an even wider selection of games to take part in with Punch and Judy going at it, painting stalls, gymnastics, a giant bubble blower and a laser maze.

The Oldham Times: It was a race against time to scoff my Grandpa Greene's ice creamIt was a race against time to scoff my Grandpa Greene's ice cream (Image: Newsquest, Olivia Bridge)

Later in the afternoon, local dignitaries including the leader of Oldham Council, Arooj Shah and the Mayor of Oldham, Councillor Zahid Chauhan made an appearance.


The whole weekend is put together by the Saddleworth Rotary, with volunteers taking no admin fees as all proceeds go to charity. 

If you have a story, I cover all things Oldham from food reviews and local business news to music and events, pubs, education, crime, property, health, community concerns and much more. Please email me at or send me a message on Twitter @Livbridge with your news.