World-class musicians, comedians and artists will be heading to the Yorkshire Dales next summer for the annual Grassington Festival.

The event surpassed itself last year with its 30th anniversary celebrations, resulting in a stellar programme of entertainment as well as a Guinness World Record for the longest line of bunting ever made.

And the 2011 line-up is expected to be just as thrilling.

The full programme will be announced in spring, but festival director Amelia Vyvyan this week revealed some of the big names performing at the Skipton Building Society-sponsored event in June and July next year.

She said: “We have something very special in store at the Festival in the Field marquee events. Imagine the sounds of your favourite rock and roll, classical, punk and jazz tunes all performed through the medium of ukulele.

“The much sought-after Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will be coming to town on Wednesday June 29.

“Then we’re especially delighted BBC Radio 4 has chosen Grassington Festival as a venue to record two episodes of the cult comedy panel game I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue on June 30.

“Now chaired by deadpan comedian Jack Dee and featuring the regular line-up of Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke Taylor and festival favourite Barry Cryer, this will be a very special evening for Grassington.”

Amelia also revealed there will be a spectacular 1960s gold double-bill featuring Gerry and the Pacemakers and the Searchers on Friday July 1, each with their full line-ups.

They’ll be treating festival-goers to classics like Ferry Cross the Mersey, You’ll Never Walk Alone and Needles and Pins.

A triple bill of disco favourites will bring the festival to a storming finale on Saturday July 2. The Real Thing, Maizie Williams’ Boney M and Gwenn Dickey’s Rose Royce will close the festival fortnight and bring the house down with hits such as You to Me Are Everything, Rasputin and Car Wash.

Amelia said: “Our last night party has become something of a legendary event and this year, we’re really looking forward to partying the night away.” Another night of high-quality entertainment is also being planned for Tuesday June 28, with details to be announced soon.

In addition to the headline acts, festival organisers announced they would be pulling out all the stops to support Grassington’s Britain in Bloom bid by adopting a floral theme to many events.

Blooming Marvellous will be a key theme for the visual arts element of the festival.

There will be a carnival-style parade on the opening night and visual arts director Bryony Pritchard is working on an array of workshops and exhibitions.

The rest of the programme is also blossoming with world-class gems. Opera singer Lesley Garrett will be hosting a special intimate evening at Grassington Town Hall and Chris Beardshaw, the award-winning garden designer and TV presenter, will give a talk.

There will be a chance to hear music by pianist Benjamin Grosvenor – 2004 winner of BBC Young Musician of the Year, Alan Barnes and his Ellington Octet and the Irish/American all-female super group Cherish the Ladies. A crop of fresh local talent will also be invited to take part in the festival fringe.

As media sponsors of Grassington Festival, The Craven Herald will be first to announce exclusive festival news. Advance tickets for the Festival in the Field events went on sale today.

Contact the box office on 01756 752691 from Monday to Saturday between 10am and 4pm. Tickets can also be booked online at, or at the Grassington Hub, which is open weekdays from 10am to 4pm. Due to BBC restrictions, I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue tickets will go on sale in the spring.

Visit the festival website to find out more about becoming a sponsor, a patron or a volunteer or taking part in the fringe.