Grassington festival unveils headline acts for 2014

Craven Herald: The Boomtown Rats The Boomtown Rats

Just days before the Tour de France’s Grand Départ comes to the Dales, another – very different – treat will be on offer in Grassington.

The 2014 Grassington Festival will offer 15 days of top quality music and arts from June 13 to 28.

And, this week, the organisers released details of the main acts, which will perform at the Festival Field events towards the end of the fortnight.

Only Men Aloud will perform on Thursday, June 26 and will be joined by special guest Laura Wright.

Since winning BBC One Last Choir Standing in 2008, Only Men Aloud have gone on to sell hundreds of thousands of albums, were awarded album of the year at the Classical Brits and have performed at some of the world’s most prestigious events.

Singing with them will be Laura Wright, one of the biggest selling classical artists of this decade and the first female singer since Katherine Jenkins to reach number one in the classical chart with her album The Last Rose.

“This looks set to be an outstanding night,” said festival director Kate Beard.

The Boomtown Rats – famously described as “licentious, festering reprobates” and “leprous anti-establishment scumbags” – are set to rock the marquee on the penultimate night of the festival, June 27.

They were one of the biggest bands from the late 70s and 80s with a string of top ten hits and platinum albums and their fast, loud, furious music will transport the audience back to the punk scene. Bob Geldof continues to be a defiant anti-establishment voice and says it is “time to go back to Boomtown – if only for a short while…”

The Last Night Party will be staged on Saturday, June 28 and should get everyone up and dancing.

Taking centre stage will be soul singer Heather Small, best known as the lead singer in the band M People. She will sing a mix of M People hits, jazz covers and her own solo tracks, including Proud – and having been a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in 2008 she may even join in the dancing!

However, music lovers will have to wait until the spring for the full programme to be released, but it is likely that the imminent Tour de France will get a mention.

Each year, the visual arts have a theme – last year’s was the weather, with umbrellas taking up residence around the village, and in 2008, the beach came to Grassington.

The festival also tries to put on community events.

A Band Anyone Can Join – spearheaded by the Hope & Social – was one of the highlights of this year’s festival and a video of the performance has just been uploaded on the festival website.

It gave people a life changing experience, allowing them to perform in front of a packed crowd in the town hall, and has been described as one of the most awesome performances ever to take place at Grassington Festival.

The box office for the headline acts will open on Monday for Star Friends, Wednesday for Friends and Monday, December 9 for the general public.

It can be contacted via grassington-festival.org.uk or on (01756) 752691.

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