Underneath the Stars returns this weekend with a stellar line-up

Billy Bragg, credit: Murdo McLeod
Billy Bragg, credit: Murdo McLeod

The Proclaimers, Billy Bragg, Kate Rusby and Gavin and Stacey actor and writer Ruth Jones will join a wealth of internationally renowned musicians at this weekend's Underneath the Stars festival in Barnsley.

The sold-out festival will feature live music, performance arts and food at Cinderhill Farm, Cawthorne, from Friday, August 2 to Sunday 4.

Founded by the family production team of award-winning folk singer Kate Rusby, the independent music and arts festival is celebrating its sixth year with live music by internationally renowned musicians and emerging talents spanning folk, pop, acoustic, world and Americana. There is also a full programme of creative arts workshops, family entertainment and food and drink.

A non-for-profit community interest company, Underneath the Stars offers a charming and family-friendly experience, making it a firm favourite with festival goers of all ages. For 2019, the festival has announced Yorkshire Cancer Research as its official charity partner.

Headlining on Friday, The Proclaimers - aka twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid - have carved out a niche for themselves where pop, folk, new wave and punk collide, promising a formidable live experience. Topping Saturday’s bill, Billy Bragg has been a fearless recording artist, tireless live performer and peerless political campaigner for more than 35 years. The festival will be brought to a close by the Barnsley nightingale, Kate Rusby, performing traditional folk and stunning self-penned songs from her newly released album Philosophers, Poets and Kings.

Kate said: “Underneath the Stars has been built on my family’s passion for music and a desire to feed back into our local community. In its sixth year it’s a real honour to see Underneath the Stars becoming firmly established on the UK festival scene as a highly creative, unique and quality festival for all generations to experience together – we can’t wait to welcome them this weekend.”

Underneath The Stars' full 2019 line up is: The Proclaimers, Billy Bragg, Kate Rusby, The Unthanks, Hope & Social, Ruth Jones, Le Vent du Nord, CoCo and the Butterfields, Baskery, CC Smugglers, Talisk, Sam Kelly Trio, Damien O’Kane with family & friends, Old Man Luedecke, Ruth Notman & Sam Kelly, K.O.G & the Zongo Brigade, Cut Capers, The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican, You Tell Me, The Local Honeys, Shadowlark, Nia Wyn, Biscuithead & the Biscuit Badgers, Bess Atwell, Hannah Read, Alden Paterson and Dashwood, Barnsley Youth Choir, Milly Johnson, Emma McGrath, Katherine Priddy and Toby Burton.

The Unthanks full band will bring its North-East flavoured art-folk with a booming socially conscious heart while Hope & Social, returning by popular demand, offers anthemic songs and infectious melodies. Best known for her award-winning television writing, Ruth Jones will discuss her famed roles including the incorrigible Nessa in her hit TV series Gavin and Stacey and Sky 1's Stella, during An Audience with Ruth Jones.

Innovative Irish folk musician Damien O’Kane has appeared at every Underneath the Stars, both with his wife Kate Rusby and his own bands. This year Damien will be joined by his entire immediate family members and other guests for a special one-off show.

In Conversation with Milly Johnson will see the Barnsley author, one of the Top 10 female fiction authors in the UK, reading and discussing her work while Barnsley Youth Choir consists of more than 400 singers and is ranked fifth in the world rankings in its category, winning first prizes in some of the biggest international competitions in the world.

Alongside the musical line-up will be lively street-arts performers, storytellers, art installations and host of workshops to take part in, including everything from ukulele, swingdance and Tai Chi, to a singing workshop with a Kentucky US flavour by The Local Honeys and singing, songwriting and instrumentation with Alden Patterson Dashwood.

Underneath the Stars handpicks food traders and prioritises quality ingredients and value for money. In addition to its boutique street food vendors and bar areas, the Makers Market showcases local independent traders. It is committed to fair and ethical trading and making environmental sustainability a priority, pledging to be plastic-free in 2019.

The festival also provides a high level of accessibility for those with disabilities. Live music is performed in two striking circus-style big top tents and the main stage offers a seated arena.

The festival is now sold out. Visit underthestarsfest.co.uk for more information.