Yorkshire family festival returns with all-female headliners

Imelda May, Kate Rusby and Suzanne Vega (Sunday) have been announced as headline acts for the eighth Underneath the Stars festival.

By Gemma Jimmison
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 4:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2022, 4:40 pm
Imelda May, Kate Rusby, pictured, and Suzanne Vega have been announced as headline acts for the eighth Underneath the Stars festival.
Imelda May, Kate Rusby, pictured, and Suzanne Vega have been announced as headline acts for the eighth Underneath the Stars festival.

The family-friendly event will be back at Cinderhill Farm, Barnsley, on Friday, July 29 to Sunday 31 with an all-star, all-female headline bill.

The arts and music festival boasts fantastic family workshop activities, and spectacular live performances from a host of musical styles ranging from ska, soul and indie, to brass bands and folk.

Headlining on Friday is Imelda May. One of Ireland’s most celebrated female artists, Imelda has performed with Bono, Tom Jones, Noel Gallagher, Elvis Costello and Van Morrison. She will be performing favourite hits and songs from her extraordinary album, 11 Past the Hour.

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Imelda May, pictured, Kate Rusby and Suzanne Vega have been announced as headline acts for the eighth Underneath the Stars festival.

Fan favourite and Barnsley’s own nightingale, Kate Rusby, will perform Saturday. Often hailed as the ‘first lady of folk’, and an Underneath the Stars festival figurehead, Kate celebrates 30 years of touring this year. With a back catalogue stretching over three decades, Kate will perform a selection of highlights, including those from her most recent albums, and from her forthcoming album 30: Many Happy Returns.

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Closing the weekend in spectacular fashion, Suzanne Vega will mark the final performance of Underneath the Stars 2022. Regarded as one of the foremost songwriters of her generation, her self-titled debut album sold 1 million copies with her follow-up Solitude Standing nominated for three Grammys, including Record of the Year.

Further highlights of the action-packed weekend include: This Is The Kit, revered for crafting music of great beauty, wonder and illumination, Mercury Prize nominated indie band The Big Moon, and Arthur Jeffes’ much-loved collective, Penguin Cafe, who will perform their eclectic array of genre-defying evocative pieces, mixing Arthur’s beautiful compositions with some iconic Penguin Cafe Orchestra classics.

Imelda May, Kate Rusby and Suzanne Vega (pictured) have been announced as headline acts for the eighth Underneath the Stars festival.

One of the most famous brass bands in the world, The Brighouse & Rastrick Band, and The Young’uns, an award-winning three-piece who capture hearts with a magical combination of acapella singing and heart-on-sleeve storytelling with an unashamedly political cry for social justice, will also perform, along with acclaimed singer-songwriter and acoustic based musician, Billie Marten, and Davina and the Vagabonds, renowned for their high energy shows filled with New Orleans charm and Memphis soul swagger.

Celebrated US folk and fun band, the joyful Dustbowl Revival, and Lanterns On The Lake will also join the festival for 2022 as will psychedelic, funk-fuelled groove machine Tankus the Henge, with their reputation for unforgettable song writing, and hair-raising shows like no other.

Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, recognised as one of the best live acts on the UK folk scene, multi-award winning Kinnaris Quintet, and the darlings of the international soul scene, Hannah Williams and the Affirmations also join the festival for 2022.

Underneath the Stars favourite, Damien O’Kane, will be joined by legendary banjo player Ron Block. With special guest Mike McGoldrick, the award-winning masters of instruments will be performing a ground-breaking crossover of traditional Irish and bluegrass banjo. Described by Frank Turner as ‘one of the best songwriters in the UK’, the festival will welcome Will Varley, acclaimed instrumentalists and winners of Best Album at the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, The Trials of Cato, and master musician N’famady Kouyate, who plays an exciting mix of Mandingue African music with western jazz, pop, indie and funk.

Closing the weekend in spectacular fashion, is 12-piece super group Intergalactic Brasstronauts, known for their brass, global rhythms, reggae and sci-fi, and feel-good music from South Africa, wrapped in rhythmic soul from Stone Jets. More artists are set to be announced on the Underneath the Stars’ website.

For artists’ day splits see below, or visit: https://underneaththestarsfest.co.uk/lineup/Returning for 2022, Underneath the Stars will have two covered stages beneath big top tents, so festival goers are guaranteed to enjoy classic Underneath the Stars live music performances without an umbrella. The tents will have no walls ensuring an unrestricted view of the two main stages for festival goers sat outside, and better ventilation for those inside. Plus, with a new layout and standing areas, audiences have the perfect spots for dancing in their wellies!

Festival Director Emma Holling says: “We’re thrilled to be welcoming an incredible line-up of all-female headliners to this year’s Underneath the Stars festival. Matched with the return of the big top tents, a fantastic diverse musical line-up and more of our loyal fans being able to attend this year’s event, what else could you possibly need?

“What’s more, we saw from last year’s event that being a green and sustainable festival is as important to us as it is to our audience, after only one bag of rubbish was left on site following the entire 2021 event. And this year will be no different, as a core value of Underneath the Stars is our commitment to promoting environmental sustainability.”

Underneath the Stars festival has enjoyed great successes thus far across the UK festival scene, taking home the Small Festival of the Year and prestigious Judge’s Award at the National Outdoor Event Association Awards in 2019.

Championing diversity, and accessibility, the festival has also gained an Attitude is Everything Silver Charter Award. AIE is a disability-led charity supporting non-profit and commercial organisations to make what they do more accessible and inclusive for Deaf and disabled people. Its Charter improves Deaf and disabled people’s access to live music by working in partnership with audiences, artists, and the music industry.

Weekend tickets are now available to buy, which include three days of music, fun and festivities in the beautiful corner of Yorkshire at Cinderhill Farm, Barnsley. Available to buy here: https://underneaththestarsfest.co.uk/tickets/