The iconic reggae sound of Bob Marley will be ‘Jamming’ them in at this year’s Willowman Festival in North Yorkshire, with a bill-topping appearance by The Wailers.

Now in its fifth year, The Willowman Festival has gained a national reputation for offering an eclectic line up of both new and established artists, while keeping ticket prices affordable.

The appearance of The Wailers is expected to draw the biggest crowd yet to the family friendly festival which is set to take place June 19 to 22, at Hillside Rural Activities Park in Knayton, near Thirsk.

Together with Bob Marley, The Wailers have sold in excess of 250 million albums worldwide and in England alone, they notched up over 20 chart hits, including iconic tunes such as Jamming, One Love, No Woman No Cry and Buffalo Soldier.

Director Steve Williams said: “Reggae music is the beat that makes everybody dance and this year’s festival will be host to the world’s most popular reggae band ever!

“We are delighted to announce to have secured the appearance of Bob Marley’s one and only Wailers and once again we have kept tickets prices rock bottom for a four-day festival.”

This is not The Wailers first connection with Yorkshire as the band performed with Bob Marley at Leeds University Student Union in 1976 on the Rastaman Vibration Tour and also at the same venue in 1973, where the band made a classic live recording.

aston barrett of the wailers at willowman festivalThe anchor of The Wailers is Aston “Family Man” Barrett, who in addition to being Marley’s most trusted lieutenant, played on countless other classic reggae hits throughout the seventies.

The night before The Wailers appearance, Willowman Festival-goers can enjoy ‘Funky Friday’, with BBC Radio DJ and star of TV’s Red Dwarf Craig Charles, who will bring his worldwide acclaimed Funk and Soul Show to the stage. Also on the bill is North East-based Funk and Soul band Smoove and Turrell.

Steve Williams added: “Every time Craig has been to Yorkshire he has had venues jumping. We are planning to make Willowman a huge open air disco for the night and everyone is invited to don their whackiest funky fancy dress, with prizes for the best.”

Also on the bill is Icicle Works frontman Ian McNabb, reformed classic punk and dub reggae band Ruts DC and festival crowd pleaser Radical Dance Faction  make a return visit to Willowman.

Mountain of Love, featuring two founding members of Alabama 3, are also on the line-up as well as up and coming psychedelic band New Electric Ride, who create a 60s brand of music influenced by early Pink Floyd and The Byrds.

Pikey Beatz meanwhile make a welcome return with their crowd pleasing dance roots reggae style and making their debut are Avalanche Party which recently formed by members of two local bands The Chapman Family and 3 foot Ninja.

Early bird tickets are available for a limited period at £55 (which includes four nights camping) online www.willowmanfestival.co.uk