Moonrunners at Willowman Festival

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Wearside band Moonrunners will be flying the Sunderland flag at this year’s Willowman Festival in North Yorkshire.

The four-piece will be performing on the same bill as New Model Army, The Wonder Stuff and The Orb SoundSystem at the family-friendly festival, which is again set to take place near Northallerton.

The three-day event is on during the summer solstice weekend, from June 20-23, attracting thousands of music fans from across the UK.

Formed in 2009, MoonRunners are a female-fronted indie-rock band, who last year were named UK’s Student Band of the Year in a national competition.

The band is made up of Jordan Deehan on vocals, Nathan Hughes on guitar, Owen Morgan on bass and John Timney on drums.

Wearside rock fans can support the band at Willowman by getting their hands on cut-price, early-bird tickets at Hot Rats records in Sunderland, which has a limited number of weekend tickets to the North’s own “mini-Glastonbury” for £50.

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 of Northallerton, which has better access, parking and a built in drainage system and is home to the festival again this year.

Steve 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.

“Every year we strive to focus on regional talent and this year is no exception, with Moonrunners and The Lindsay Tin from South Shields flying the flag for the North East.”

This year’s bill is topped by The Wonder Stuff, who 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 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 night of the festival.

Adding more 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.

Other acts include 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 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, or call into Hot Rats records in Stockton Road or Tel: 567 2099.