Willowman 2017 set for the summer with Soul II Soul

North Yorkshire’s Willowman Festival is back for summer 2017 with soul and funk pioneers Soul II Soul booked to headline

Soul II Soul will be joined at Willowman 2017 by reggae stars Aswad, whose run of hits in the 80s and 90s made them household names.

Soul II Soul took over the charts in 1989 with the success of dance anthems ‘Keep On Moving’ and ‘Back To Life’.

The group also achieved global success with the album Club Classic Vol. One, which topped the charts in the UK and around the world selling well over four million copies.

Reggae favourites Aswad formed in the mid 1970s and since then the band has released 21 albums and had several UK hit singles including chart-topping ‘Don’t Turn Around’ and top-five release ‘Shine’.

Festival favourites Transglobal Underground have also joined the bill, bringing their unique fusion of western-Asian and African music to Willowman.

These are only the first wave of acts to be announced, with festival organisers working behind the scenes to bring in more top names in time for the summer.

The four-day family friendly Willowman Festival will once again take place at the Hillside Rural Activities Park in Knayton, near Thirsk, over the Solstice weekend between June 15 and 18.

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.

Despite many small festivals shutting down in 2016 or taking a fallow year in 2017 Willowman goes from strength to strength.

An early supporting cast includes Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5, Funke and the Two Tone Baby, Hip Hop Hooray, The Red Paintings, Beans on Toast and The Smokin’ Coconuts has also being announced with more acts set to be revealed soon.

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: “Every year the festival has grown as we build a reputation for fun, friendliness and great music.  The ale prices are pegged again at a sensible price for 2017.

“Judging by our early bird ticket sales 2017 is already heading for a sell out and we have more acts to unveil.  I think as well as the great music people are coming for the vibe and a few great days away.

“We are finding more and more groups of friends are using the festival for annual get-togethers, reunions and celebrations, so come and join us.”

The last 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 including the Fire Engine Chip Van and Pizza Logo, 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.

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