Rick Astley under starter’s orders at York Racecourse

Rick Astley: the first name to be confirmed for next summer’s concerts on Knavesmire

EIGHTIES’ pop icon Rick Astley is the first headliner to be confirmed for next summer’s Music Showcase Weekend at York Racecourse.

The Lancastrian crooner, 53, will perform after the seven-race card on Saturday, July 25, in his return to the North Yorkshire open air after his Dalby Forest concert on June 23 2017.

Tickets for the Astley and racing double bill go on sale today at yorkracecourse.co.uk and on 01904 620911.

Astley, from Newton-le-Willows, topped the charts in 25 countries in 1987 with Never Gonna Give You Up, setting in motion a career that brought him eight consecutive British top ten hits and 40 million sales.

After stepping aside to focus on his family, he returned from his long hiatus in 2016 with his third platinum seller, 50, a number one album on which he played all the instruments, as well as writing and producing it.

He repeated that creative process for 2018’s Beautiful Life, and last month he released the career-spanning compilation The Best Of Me, a double disc that included an independently recorded set of reimagined interpretations of his songs, old and new.

This year, Astley joined Take That’s 38-date stadium tour as their special guest, playing to more than 500,000 people. In the summer too, he graced Reading Festival’s main stage, performing Never Gonna Give You Up with Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters, no less.

Since releasing 50, he has sold more than 100,000 tickets to his own British headline shows, including Leeds First Direct Arena last year, and his forthcoming tour dates take in gigs in Australia and Japan, plus his New Zealand debut, before arriving at York Racecourse next July.

James Brennan, head of marketing and sponsorship at York Racecourse, says: “Everyone at the course is really excited that a northern boy is set to play York. Add in the spectacle of the racing itself and we hope it will prove a summer day to savour.”
Astley’s show will be one of three race-day concerts on the Knavesmire course next summer, with further acts to be announced for Saturday, June 27 and the evening meeting on  Friday, July 24.

Charles Hutchinson