AMERICAN soul icon Lionel Richie, British ska legends Madness and Irish pop stars Westlife will headline the first ever York Festival next year.
Mounted by Cuffe and Taylor, the three-day music festival will be held at York Sports Club, Clifton Park, Shipton Road, from June 19 to 21 2020.
Three-day passes, giving access to every night, are available at £129 from today at york-festival.com. Tickets for each night go on sale at £39.50 at 9am on Thursday.
Opening-night headliners Madness, the Camden Town Nutty Boys with a music-hall wit and ska roots, will be joined by Ian Broudie’s Lightning Seeds; BBC radio presenter Craig Charles, for a funk and soul DJ set; Leeds indie rockers Apollo Junction and rising York act Violet Contours.
Westlife will play York Festival on the Saturday as part of their Stadiums In The Summer Tour. Billed as “Britain’s top-selling album group of the 21st century”, they will combine such hits as Swear It Again, Flying Without Wings and You Raise Me Up with songs from their November 15 album, Spectrum.
Joining Westlife in the June 20 line-up will be All Saints, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, indie rock band Scouting For Girls and Take That’s Howard Donald for a DJ set.
On the closing night, Lionel Richie, 70, will be the star attraction as the four-time Grammy Award winner performs both solo and Commodores material.
Promoters Cuffe and Taylor present the Scarborough Open Air Theatre concert programme each summer, bringing Lionel Richie, Madness and Westlife to the East Coast in past years, as well as the likes of Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Sir Elton John and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.
They also staged Rod Stewart’s York Racecourse concert on June 1 this summer, drawing 35,000 to a specially erected amphitheatre in the centre of the Knavesmire course.
Director Peter Taylor says: “This is the very first York Festival, so we wanted to make this a very special debut year.
“To have Lionel Richie, Westlife and Madness as headliners – alongside many other brilliant chart-topping artists – is a real coup. We feel this is the perfect line-up for the first year of what we hope will become a major annual event in this wonderful and historic city.
“We cannot wait for Friday, June 19 and opening night. This really is going to be a weekend to remember.”
York Festival will be staged at York Sports Club, the home of York RUFC, York Cricket Club, York Tennis Club and York Squash Club, where The Best Of York Music Festival was held on May 26, The Big Nineties Festival on October 25 and Oktoberfest on October 26.
Nigel Durham, Trustee of York Sports Club and Chairman of York Cricket Club, said:“We are delighted to be hosting the first York Festival, a major new event for the city of York.
“An historic city the size and stature of ours truly deserves a high-profile music festival like this. And to be attracting such massive stars as Lionel Richie, Westlife and Madness is just brilliant.
“And with the festival being staged in the heart of the city, right here at York Sports Club, this really will capture the imagination and be a great thing for the city, residents, local businesses and visitors.”
Cuffe and Taylor are working closely with City of York Council and Make It York, whose role is to showcase and promote the city around the world.
Championing the inaugural York Festival, Sean Bullick, managing director of Make It York, says: “York Festival will be a brilliant addition to the city’s already busy calendar of summer events for both residents and visitors to enjoy.
“Welcoming such music legends and chart-topping artists, as well as showcasing local talent, is another step forward for York’s cultural offer and we are delighted to help spread the word to audiences.”
In addition to three-day passes and day tickets, a range of VIP offers are available. For more information, go to york-festival.com.