The Venga Bus is comin’...to Hemsworth, in what a town leader says is the biggest event staged in the council’s history.
In an audacious move, Hemsworth Town Council is to hold a music festival next summer for 7,500 revellers and have secured the Dutch dance pop group, The Vengaboys, as the headline act.
The group, which had seven top-10 hits in the UK in the late 1990s, including two number ones, have pencilled in West Yorkshire as part of a European tour which will see them perform in Berlin, Rotterdam, London and Zurich.
Earmarked for the August Bank Holiday next year at Hemsworth Water Park, there will be 10 support acts including Queen tribute act, Mercury, along with other tribute acts to Meat Loaf, Cher and Pink.
Tickets will be priced at £30 for adults and £15 for youngsters with local residents to be given first refusal on tickets before they go on general sale.
Hemsworth Town Council chairman, Councillor Jim Kenyon is confident the event will be a sell out.
He said: “We said we wanted to do something special next year, this is a deprived area, so we asked our agent to put costs together for a concert.
“He told us about The Vengaboys and said we had to move quickly on it.
“They have a big following so I think we will make money on this.
“The tickets will go on sale in November and by February I think we will have sold them all.
“If you look at their tour from a few years ago, it was a total sell out, and they were charging a lot more than us to get in. We have had so many people say they are really looking forward to it.
“We had 16,000 hits on our website within hours of putting it on. I would imagine it’s probably the biggest thing we have ever put on.”
But while Coun Kenyon is confident of filling the park, there have been concerns raised by some over the cost of putting on the event, which comes to £80,000 in total.
There have also been queries over the whether the park can accommodate that many festival goers.
Coun Kenyon says less than £7,000 deposit will be paid before the event, with the rest due once it is finished.
He also says an expert has looked at the area of the park which will be used, suggesting it will be the size of a football field that could easily hold more than 7,500 people.
Coun Kenyon added: “You are always going to get people that are concerned and it’s good that they are, but we have discussed this in-depth for months.
“We have been through everything in fine detail. We’ve even been in touch with farmers about using their land as a car park for 4,000 vehicles.”
Calling themselves a party band, the Dutch four-piece have sold a massive 25 million records worldwide.
They enjoyed major success in the late 1990s with their three singles We Like to Party, Boom Boom Boom, and We’re Going to Ibiza, the latter of the two reaching number one in the UK.
In 2001 they were named the biggest-selling dance group on the plant at the World Music Awards.