NORTH EAST talent will go under the spotlight at this year’s Split Festival.
The Futureheads today announced they will headline the Sunday of the annual Sunderland festival, which will run for three days from September 21-23.
The Mackem four-piece will be joined at Ashbrooke Sports Ground by a host of other local talent including Mercury Prize-nominated folk group The Unthanks, Sunderland indie rockers Field Music and singer songwriter Kathryn Williams.
Split organisers say they are in talks with a household name to headline on Saturday, to be announced in the coming weeks.
As well as music acts, gig-goers can look forward to outdoor film screenings, comedy and folk, two music stages and a food tent.
Split music programmer and Futurehead Ross Millard said: “We’re now in out fourth year and we’ve moved steps forward each year to make it better than previous years.
“When the other acts are announced I think people will get a real idea of where we are headed.
“I’m really confident that people will be impressed with the Saturday headliner.
“We’re just not in a position to announce the national acts because of negotiations.”
Advance tickets will be £25 a day or £40 for the weekend.
Ross added: “The whole idea of Split is to create an experience for people.
“There are so many festivals now and the cultural element is played down.
“What’s important to us is to showcase great artists that represent what’s going on in the North East, while also giving people the chance to see national acts on their doorstep.
“The other elements are the comedy tent and the food tent which has an artisan feel to it.
“For us it’s all about the experience of being there, having great music, great food and great entertainment.
“I think people appreciate that our festival has an identity.
“We put a lot of thought into who we book. It’s not just who’s on the radio at that time or who will sell tickets.
“It’s not just a business to us. As with anything cultural, it’s about benefiting the people buying the tickets.”
He added: “The Unthanks is a big coup for us as they don’t do a lot of festivals like ours. They usually stick to folk festivals, but I think theirs will be a great performance.
“The fact that the North East list is so long shows that there is a wealth of talent up here. It could have been a lot longer.”
For the first time, Split is introducing an under 18s and student ticket price of £17.50 a day or £30 for the weekend to encourage a new generation of Split-goers to come along and sample the experience.
In keeping with its family-friendly policy, under 11s will go free.
Split has also linked up with Sunderland University, so freshers buying a freshers’ fortnight wristband can gain free entry to the festival.
Tickets are on sale now from www.splitfestival.com.
North East acts playing at Split Festival 2012:
Kyla La Grange
This Ain’t Vegas
The Lake Poets
The Cornshed Sisters
Let’s Buy Happiness
The Chapman Family
The Greeting Committee
That F****** Tank
John J Presley
The Unit Ama
The Real Davina