Stereo MCs get connected with Willowman

The Willowman Festival in North Yorkshire has finalised its 2016 line up with the addition of headliners Stereo MC’s.

Other acts joining the bill include punk rock stalwarts The Membranes and Liverpool indie legends The Real People.

They will join original punksters The Undertones, ska legends The Beat, reggae stars Misty in Roots and jazz funksters James Taylor Quartet on an exciting bill of acts at this year’s event.

The four-day family friendly festival will once again take place at the Hillside Rural Activities Park in Knayton, near Thirsk, over the Solstice weekend between June 16 and 19.

Hip hop favourites Stereo MCs were formed in Clapham, London in 1985 and are best known worldwide for their 1992 transatlantic Top 20 hit single, “Connected” and are sure to generate a party atmosphere at Willowman.

Willow-goers will also get to hear The Real People who are credited with helping Oasis get their big break when they offered to record their first demo which ultimately got them a record deal.  Bass player and vocalist Tony Griffiths is credited with providing vocals on the Oasis track Supersonic from Definitely Maybe and his brother guitarist and vocalist Chris Griffiths also co-wrote Rockin’ Chair with Noel Gallagher in 1993. This was released as the B-side to the single of Roll with It in 1995, and also appeared on the album The Masterplan.

Billing itself as the UK’s best value four-day music festival, Willowman includes free parking, free camping and a range of real-ales at pub prices that would have your average CAMRA member smiling into their pint pot – all for just £70 (limited tickets at this price).

Festival goers can currently buy spring-saver tickets for £70 per adult before they eventually rise to £90.

Now in its seventh year, The Willowman Festival has gained a national reputation for offering a diverse line up of both new and established artists, while keeping ticket prices rock bottom.

Also on the bill is former Inspiral Carpets frontman Tom Hingley with his band The Kar-Pets and upcoming Leeds based electro indie band Apollo Junction.

Fans of The Undertones can expect to hear all their favourite songs including Jimmy Jimmy, My Perfect Cousin, Here Comes the Summer, Julie Ocean and of course Teenage Kicks which legendary DJ John Peel famously described as his favourite record of all time.

The Beat return to Willowman after performing at the first festival back in 2009 where they played a hit packed set including Mirror in the Bathroom, Hands Off She’s Mine and Too Nice To Talk Too.

Misty in Roots, who were recently featured in a BBC6 documentary, will continue a reggae theme at Willowman.  Last year Bristol roots pioneers Talisman performed while in 2014 reggae legends The Wailers attracted a record headlining crowd.

Supporting cast includes South Tyneside favourites Stan, Tyneside troubadours Fickle Lilly and Americana influenced Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra from Newcastle.

Last year Willowman Festival unveiled its new expanded acoustic stage and bar housed under a large Bedouin-style Berber tent which returns with an array of talent.

Festival director Steve Williams said: “As The Undertones sang ‘Here Comes the Summer’.  It may be chilly now but soon the Willowman faithful will be chilling out in North Yorkshire to some great sounds with some great food and drink. The festival has built up a reputation for fun, friendliness and great music and the ale prices are pegged again at a sensible price for 2016.

“As well as the great music people are coming back year after year for the vibe and a few great days away.”

The remaining second tier spring saver tickets are on sale for a budget-busting £70 (which includes four nights camping and free parking) at www.willowmanfestival.co.uk  Tickets for children aged 11 and under cost £2 to cover the cost of administration and wrist bands, while young people tickets (ages 12 to 16) are priced at just £60.  For full ticket prices please visit the festival website.

There will also be the usual range of sensibly priced food stalls, vintage clothing stalls and a luxury shower block.  Children’s entertainment will once again be laid on and on the Sunday the now traditional closing Willowman parade will take place.