American singer songwriter to headline South Yorkshire music festival

9 March 2015

Mary Chapin Carpenter has been announced as the headline act at a South Yorkshire music festival this summer.

Underneath the Stars Festival will see the US songwriting legend lead the line-up at its second annual event, which will be held at Cannon Hall Farm, Barnsley, between July 24th and 26th.

The event is being organised by Kate Rusby, who is also a singer-songwriter of international fame and hails from Barnsley, and her family.

Last summer, more than 5,000 people attended the first Underneath the Stars Festival and the Rusbys hope the weekend will attract double that number this year.

Festival artistic director Joe Rusby, Kate’s brother, said: “We are delighted to announce that Mary Chapin Carpenter will lead the star-studded line-up at our second festival.

“Mary is a huge name in the music industry and the fact that we have been able to attract a quality performer like her to South Yorkshire is testament to how quickly we have established a good reputation for the festival.”

Mary Chapin Carpenter has sold more than 13 million records in her 25 year career. Her original work and distinctive heartfelt singing style has gained her an international fan base, five Grammy awards and place in Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Underneath the Stars aims to showcase an eclectic mix of music including folk, swing, jazz, rock and roll, blues and world music as well as provide arts, crafts and cultural activities, with artisan food from local suppliers in a family-friendly setting.

Kate Rusby will perform at this year’s event too. Barnsley-born Kate is one of the most respected and well-loved artistes in the UK music industry. Her 22-year career includes several studio albums and thousands of live performances all over the world. She has won various awards including several BBC Radio Two Folk Awards and in 2014 her contribution to the UK music industry was recognised with a prestigious Gold Award from BASCA (British Association of Songwriters, Composers and Authors).

The Underneath the Stars line-up for 2015 also includes scots chanteuse Eddi Reader, formerly of Fairground Attraction; Philip Selway (Radiohead) in an intimate singer-songwriter setting; Molotov Jukebox with their unique tropical-gypsy-dance sound fronted by Natalia Tena, of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones fame; legendary guitar maestro Martin Simpson; US old-time music genius Bruce Molsky; cheeky North East trio The Young’Uns; Bristol based vintage-swing fusion outfit Electric Swing Circus; Leeds-based eclectic six piece Hope and Social, Galleon Blast featuring BBC Radio presenter Mark Radcliffe, plus many more.

To accompany the music, this year’s festival will feature a giant planetarium dome, creative crafts, storytelling and vintage fairground rides, plus music and dance workshops and artisan craft traders. Food and drink will be provided by Yorkshire-based producers and sellers.

The festival will feature camping and glamping with facilities which aim to offer services a ‘cut above’ usual festival expectations. Free hot showers and luxury loos stocked with hand-made LUSH soaps will be available.

Joe said: “We aim to provide visitors – whether they are seasoned festival goers or a complete newcomers - with a unique festival experience in a beautiful setting with excellent facilities and very the best in entertainment and atmosphere.

“We set up Underneath the Stars to create a family-friendly music festival in the heart of Yorkshire with clear ambitions to bring world-renowned performers to Barnsley.

“Following the huge success of last year, we look forward to welcoming even more visitors this year and establishing Underneath the Stars as a national event on the UK music calendar.”

Underneath the Stars is organised in close collaboration with Cannon Hall Farm’s owners, the Nicholson family. The event is held across three fields of Yorkshire farmland beside the farm visitor attraction – which is one of the biggest in the UK, attracting thousands of visitors a year.

Underneath the Stars weekend tickets, with or without camping, are now on sale for a discounted price until March 31st via www.underthestarsfest.co.uk

Music lovers can also like Underneath the Stars on Facebook or follow the event on Twitter

Below, listen to Joe Rusby and Emma Holling speaking on BBC Radio Sheffield about Underneath The Stars festival.

Notes to editor

Attached photograph shows Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Photographs of Kate Rusby and from last year’s event are available on request.

For media enquiries, please contact 01226 767872 or e-mail press@underthestarsfest.co.uk - for more information, visit http://underthestarsfest.co.uk

Underneath the Stars is a not-for-profit organisation run by a board of directors which includes Kate Rusby’s brother and sister, Joe Rusby and Emma Holling.

Singer-songwriter Kate Rusby was nominated for the Mercury prize for her album Sleepless in 1999 and has won several BBC Radio Two folk awards. She was also made an Official Patron of Yorkshire in 2008 in recognition of her passion for her home county and the way she promotes Yorkshire wherever she goes on tour. Yorkshire and her family roots are also an important influence on her music and her writing. Kate has honorary doctorates from Huddersfield and Sheffield Hallamshire Universities. Most recently, in 2014 she was awarded a Gold Award from BASCA.

Cannon Hall Farm is home to rare breeds of cows, pigs, donkeys, ponies and sheep as well llamas, alpacas and even reindeer. Daily activities include sheep and ferret racing, milking demonstrations and animal petting. There is an outdoor adventure playground and a new indoor play zone, plus a farm shop where the farm’s own home produced beef, pork and lamb can be purchased. Visit www.cannonhallfarm.co.uk

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