IT may-be mid-winter but music fans are already turning their thoughts to summer nights and the leading festivals.
Events organisers are responding by announcing their line ups with headliners now known for not only the rock feasts at Download and Bloodstock but also Catton Hall’s Bearded Theory and the Acoustic Festival of Britain, which is returning to Uttoxeter Racecourse.
Having sold sold more than 100 million records and registered more than 50 singles in the UK charts, the reformed UB40’s appearance is a coup for the organisers of Bearded Theory, which has decamped from Kedlston Hall to its new South Derbyshire home for 2014.
The phenomenally-successful UK reggae band, who scored No 1 hits on both sides of the Atlantic, still feature founder members Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue. They will headline the closing night of what was recently named the UK’s Best Small Festival.
This year sees the 35th anniversary of UB40’s first ever gig, now marked with a commemorative plaque at the Hare & Hounds in their hometown, Birmingham.
Bearded Theory festival director Steve Blount says: “As soon as we knew that Ali, Astro and Mickey were available to bring the hits of UB40 to our audience, we were absolutely determined to secure this amazing booking.”
Bearded Theory, named Best Small Festival at the UK Festival Awards 2013, takes place from May 22-25 at Catton Hall near Walton-upon-Trent..
UB40 join Carter USM, Peter Hook & The Light, Pop Will Eat Itself, Oysterband, Dreadzone, Hayseed Dixie, Fishbone, Dub Pistols, The Orb Sound System and more, with a further headline act is yet to be announced.
Tickets are now on general sale, with the price of a family ticket cheaper than it was in 2013, from www.beardedtheory.com and from Tourist Information Centres in Derby, Burton, Nottingham and Tamworth.
Meanwhile, X Factor favourite Matt Cardle is among the acts announced for the Acoustic Festival of Britain which will be held at Uttoxeter Racecourse from May 30-June 1.
Cardle, who shot to stardom after winning the seventh series of The X Factor, will be playing tracks from his latest album Porcelain and it has been rumoured that Mel C will be joining him on stage.
Mike Stevens, organiser of the festival, said: “Matt Cardle is coming which we are very excited about and we think Sporty Spice is going to be coming with him as his most recent album featured a duet with her.”
Other acts confirmed for the festival include folk rock band Fairport Convention, Fleetwood Mac tribute band Fleetwood Bac and singer-songwriter Emma Stevens.
Fairport Convention are credited with launching the UK folk rock scene with their 1969 LP Liege and Leaf.
Although legendary members Richard Thompson and Ashley Hutchings, guitarist and bass player respectively, have now left the band, they still boast founder member Simon Nicol on lead vocal and guitar. Fleetwood Bac are a UK Fleetwood Mac tribute band, endorsed by Mick Fleetwood, while Emma Stevens is a folk-pop singer and describes her music as ‘haunting’.
Further information about the festival is available online at www.acousticfestival.co.uk or on the Facebook page at The Acoustic Festival of Britain.
Over at Donington Park the Download Festival will welcome Status Quo for the fist time.
The vintage rockers headlined the Monsters of Rock Festival in 1982 but haven’t played Donington since.
Quo will be joined by Metal band Trivium who return to Donington for a very special performance of the set they played at their first Download main stage appearance in 2005.
They will join headliners Aerosmith, Avenged Sevenfold and Linkin Park – playing their debut album Hybrid Theory in full – as well as special guests Alter Bridge, Rob Zombie and Fall Out Boy.
Swedish metallers In Flames will also be joining the bill as will Steel Panther.
Download takes place at Donington Park from June 13-15. To buy tickets go to www.downloadfestival.co.uk.
Metal legends Megadeth will be the main attraction at Bloodstock, which will return to Catton Hall. Dave Mustaine’s band will join fellow headliners, Down and Emperor. Saxon, Decapitated and Flotsam and Jetsam are also on the bill.
Dave Mustaine says: “Every year Megadeth and our UK fans get closer and celebrate another year of metal greatness together.”
Bloodstock 2014 takes place from August 7-10. For tickets and more info, head to bloodstock.uk.com