Fairport Convention will close this year’s Wickham Festival which runs from August 5-8.
The folk legends are the new Sunday night headliners after Covid travel regulations forced the Waterboys to postpone until next year.
It is a major coup for organisers who have secured one of the biggest names on the circuit for their only UK outdoor festival appearance this year.
Festival chief Peter Chegwyn said:
‘We are absolutely delighted to be able to get Fairport Convention as I know they will be hugely popular with our fans.
‘It was disappointing that Covid restrictions mean we had to put back the Waterboys until Sunday August 7, 2022 but this is fantastic news not just for our regulars but for Fairport’s loyal following.
‘They were recently forced to cancel their own Cropredy festival because of the pandemic so I know they are really looking forward to performing at Wickham. It should be quite a night and we are already getting a lot of interest in tickets.’
Sales have gone exceptionally well with a huge per centage of fans rolling over last year’s tickets when Coronvirus forced the entire event to be postponed in line with all other festivals.
With Rock icon Van Morrison headlining, the Saturday night is almost sold out and the remaining three days are not far behind.
‘After more than a year of lockdown and restrictions, people are desperate to get out again and to enjoy top quality live music. With a superb line-up and our unique family atmosphere, it is little wonder we have seen record sales.
‘Sadly, a lot of events have already been cancelled but we held our nerve and we are thrilled that the easing of the rules means the Wickham Festival is definitely going ahead. Our decision not to cancel has been vindicated and we are all set for a record-breaking, successful and safe festival.
‘We will of course still be monitoring developments and taking all the appropriate safety measures as the well-being of the artists, staff and fans is our main concern.’
The main stage will now be open air and the arena space has been doubled though organisers are going to great lengths to retain the trademark intimate atmosphere.
They will be setting up plenty of sanitising and hand-washing stations and will encourage people to bring their own chairs and to respect each other’s space.
Other artists include Lindisfarne, Nick Lowe, the South, Show of Hands, Seth Lakeman, Nine Below Zero and the SAS Band including Steve Harley (Cockney Rebel), Tom Robinson, Graham Gouldman (10CC), Toyah, Madeline Bell and Spike Edney (Queen) – plus many more.
In addition to the four music stages, there will be late-night comedy featuring Keith Farnan, Steve Bugeja, Jayde Adams and others. And there will be the usual craft stalls, high quality food outlets and plenty of free entertainment for children.
Tickets and full details of artists, camping and prices are available from www.wickhamfestival.co.uk