Lunar Festival line-up announced
Sixties legends The Pretty Things are just one of many great acts set to light up the main stage at this year’s Lunar Festival.
Taking place on the Umberslade Estate in Tanworth-in-Arden from June 4-7, the festival returns for the third time and this year’s event promises to be the biggest and best yet without any shadow of a doubt.
Organised by the team behind the Moseley Folk and Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul festivals, Lunar differs from its sister festivals in offering a full-on festival experience with camping, rather than just a daily programme of events.
While Moseley Folk and Mostly Jazz take place in the more constrained suburban confines of Moseley Park, Umberslade allows organisers the opportunity to spread their wings considerably.
And spread their wings they do with a diverse and varied festival programme that surely offers something for everyone.
If last year’s event, which featured stunning performances from the likes of Temples, Arthur Brown and the Polyphonic Spree was anything to go by, this year’s festival should prove to be a sell-out.
As well as The Pretty Things, some of the main musical acts include Tinariwen, a spellbinding group of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali and former Dr Feelgood guitar legend Wilko Johnson.
Rising stars Public Service Broadcasting, who weave samples from old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material around live drums, guitar, banjo and electronics are a perfect festival act, while The Bootleg Beatles doing a 1966-70 set is surely a must-see.
Other main acts include The Fall, Sun Ra Arkestra, Julian Cope, Robyn Hitchcock, Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin, Jane Weaver, BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the Amazing Snakeheads, Psychemagik, Sylvan Esso and Higher Intelligence Agency.
BBC Radio 6’s Mark Radcliffe will compere proceedings on the Saturday.
The Pretty Things are sometimes described as the most under-rated and overlooked band Britain spawned in the sixties.
Guitarist Dick Taylor parted company with fellow Rolling Stones founders Mick Jager and Keith Richards to do his own thing.
The band had a truly seminal influence on the music of the era, being cited by many of their more famous peers as a major influence.
They were later name-checked by the likes of Iggy Pop, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Nirvana, & The Libertines, as a primal influence and guiding light.
They were also responsible for the world’s first rock opera in 1967 in the shape of SF Sorrow, which was acknowledged as the template for The Who’s Tommy.
As previously Lunar will offer much more than just an array of musical acts with some great club nights – including Magic Door and well-known Birmingham psychedelic club Sensateria – offering entertainment into the early hours.
Given its Tanworth-in-Arden setting the festival also reinforces the village’s connections with singer-songwriter Nick Drake.
Drake grew up nearby and following his untimely death was buried in the village churchyard.
A hugely popular part of last year’s festival is set to return, albeit with a slightly different twist.
Last year, in association with the Nick Drake Estate, 40 people were whisked away to a secret location to listen to Drake’s Five Leaves Left album on the Drake family’s own radiogram. This year, 40 lucky festival-goers will be given the chance to listen to his Bryter Layter album in similar fashion.
Lunar also offers an impresive array of activities aimed at young and old alike. They include Calypso Kids, Crochet Skills, Drum ‘n Bounce and Ska Aerobics, as well as African drumming, Bhangra dancing and Northern Soul dance workshops.
The Pink Moon Meadow offers an area dedicated to play, creativity and tea and cakes, spanning everything from five-a-side football to workshops in felting, freestyle dance and hip hop theatre
Facilities are also being expanded this year to include a quiet camping field away from the main festival and luxury camping facilities which include romantic wooden gypsy caravans.
Families can also avail of reduced price admission to Umberslade Children’s Farm, with a £5 wristband enabling access to the attraction for the whole weekend.
* Day tickets cost £19 for children and £39 for adults. Weekend tickets (including camping) cost £39 for children, £89 for adults and weekend family tickets are £189. Children under 12, accompanied by adults, go free.
To find out more and buy tickets visit www.lunarfestival.co.uk