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SUNDERLAND is set to score a musical hat-trick at North Yorkshire’s third Willowman Festival.

City-based Hyde and Beast, B>E>A>K and The Lake Poets have all been confirmed to appear at this summer’s festival.

First held in 2010, the Willowman is a four-day celebration of arts and music set in picturesque countryside that’s just an hour away from Sunderland by car.

The Sunderland acts will be sharing an eclectic bill which includes Benjamin Francis Leftwich, former Stranglers front man Hugh Cornwall, Ska legend Neville Staples from The Specials, Utah Saints, Vintage Trouble and Jah Wobble.

Northallerton-based event director Steve Williams, said “l am delighted to pepper my line-up with some of the most innovative emerging talent from the North East of England.

“Hyde and Beast will entertain the masses with their retro sound and Beach Boy-esque harmonies.

“B>E>A>K are ranked very high in the Willowman pecking order and promise a very visual and innovative set.

“Solo performer The Lake Poets will not be outshone with his own brand of thought-provoking lyricism and he also has the distinction of recently being voted by Sun FM Radio as this year’s best unsigned act.”

The 2012 Willowman festival will take place over the summer solstice opening its gates on June 21 and running through to June 24.

Up to 5,000 people are expected to attend the event at Lenthor farm, near the villages of Brompton and Osmotherley.

As well as live music, the Willowman Real Ale tent is back along with a wide range of food stalls and this year there are hot showers available.

Steve Williams added: “Willowman is an event that appeals to all ages and this is reflected in the line-up which is a blend of emerging and established acts.

“The Children’s Willow Wonderland is going to be the best yet this year.

“There will be a variety of things to keep children occupied from games, robots, toys and stilt walkers to jugglers, hoola hoops and magicians. Plus there will be face painters and storytellers.”

Steve, of Viking Productions, is the ex-musical director of Scotland’s Wickerman Festival, which won the Best Grassroots Event in 2007.

Steve said he chose the Willowman venue because of the success he has enjoyed there with the popular Viking Volksfest and added that a pagan element will be included in the festival to link in with the solstice.

Steve said: “The natural setting of the site makes it a perfect venue to put on live music.

“We will have all the attractions that people expect at a popular rock festival and we are now established on the small festival rock calendar.

“All the bands featured are proven quality live acts, chosen because of their festival experience and popularity.

“The landowner, farmer Derek Plews, has also constructed his own stone circle at the top of the site which is used by local and visiting Pagans from far and wide.”

l Tickets, which include four days camping, are £75 each (children under 12 free) and are available from Hot Rats music shop on Stockton Road, Sunderland (567 2099) or online from www.willowmanfestival.co.uk