Willowman Festival, the North’s own ‘mini-Glastonbury’, returns for a fourth year with a top rock line up.

New Model Army, The Wonder Stuff and The Orb Soundsystem head an eclectic line-up at the family friendly festival which is once again set to take place near the town of Northallerton in North Yorkshire.

The three-day event will run over the summer solstice weekend from the 20th to the 23rd of June, attracting thousands of music fans from across the UK.

The festival is run by Northallerton-based musician and promoter Steve Williams, who is the ex-musical director of Scotland’s successful Wickerman Festival.  He launched the Willowman Festival in 2010, originally based on a farmer’s field outside the village of Brompton.

Last year the festival moved to the better equipped Hillside Rural Activities Park outside Northallerton which has better access, parking and a built in drainage system and is home to the festival again this year.

Steve said he is looking forward to the best Willowman Festival yet.

He said: “Moving the venue last year was a very positive move as Hillside is perfectly set up to host events of this size. We have a great line-up with bands that attract a loyal following so we expect a great turn out.  Early bird ticket sales this year have been the best yet!

“We set out to create an eclectic and family friendly atmosphere centred around a traditional festival feel, plus of course a great dollop of Yorkshire fun.”

WM TW Header Bill toppers The Wonder Stuff have enjoyed a career spanning three decades notching up top 40 hits like Golden Green, Size of a Cow and Caught in my Shadow along the way.  This was topped by their cover of Dizzy with comedian Vic Reeves which hit the number one spot back in 1991. The band split back in 1994 but regrouped in 2000 and have been regulars on the major festival circuit ever since.

They will be joined on the bill by post-punk rockers New Model Army who will be making the short journey from their native Bradford to grace the main stage.

Also on the bill is Liverpudlian band Space who shot to fame and chart success in the 90s with hits like The Female of the Species, Neighbourhood and the memorable Ballad of Tom Jones.

The Orb Soundsystem will be performing on the Friday (21) night of the festival. Headed up by dance music pioneer Alex Patterson, the Orb Soundsystem will offer a rare treat to fans of intelligent electronic beats.

Adding yet more rare ingredients to the Willowman melting pot London based, The Men They Couldn’t Hang will entertain the Willowman faithful with their legendary folk punk set. Rated highly by John Peel, The Men They Couldn’t Hang have a die-hard following stretching back to the mid eighties.

Other acts include Sunderland band The MoonRunners, Welsh based electro punk rockers Sicknote, festival stalwarts Radical Dance Faction and hotly tipped prog-rockers Syd Arthur. Also confirmed are Nucleus Roots, Sarah Gillespie, Flutatious, This Ground Moves, Rosie, Driven Serious, Thatcher’s Bush, Annie Dressner, Little fire, Weird Shapes, Purple Mafia, and Silver Trees.

Early bird tickets are currently on sale priced at £50 per adult including camping and parking, while family tickets are priced at £160. For further details on the festival line up and early bird ticket offer visit www.willowmanfestival.co.uk

Tickets are also available from HotRats records in Sunderland (0191 567 2099)