GALTRES Parklands Festival takes place at Duncombe Park, Helmsley, next week, marking its tenth anniversary in style.

Running from August 22 to 24, the festival will feature more than 100 acts, including Levellers and Bellowhead on the first day, Tricky and Morcheeba on the Saturday and The Human League and Public Service Broadcasting on the last day, as well as comedy, dance, theatre and seaside-themed family entertainment.

Among the other musical acts will be York buskers Blackbeard's Tea Party; North Eastern folk troubadour Martin Stephenson; Foy Vance; Sadie Jammett; The Lumberjack Heartbreak Trucking Company; Gilmore & Roberts Band; Blue Rose Code Trio; The Jim Jones Revue; John Otway and Louis Barabbas & The Bedlam Six.

Plenty of York musicians will be performing too, such as busking favourites Blackbeard's Tea Party; Boss Caine and Guests; The Voice's Beth McCarthy; singer-songwriter Chris Helme; Littlemores; ...And The Hangnails; ukulele band The Grand Old Uke Of York; Holly Taymar & Chris Bilton; The Buffalo Skinners; Holy Moly And The Crackers and David Ward Maclean and Friends.

A wide range of caterers will provide dining options, using Yorkshire-sourced ingredients, and more than 100 local beers and ciders will be available at the festival bars.

Festival director James Houston says: “We’re incredibly excited at the prospect of this summer’s festival. We feel that the music, the food, the drink, the family entertainment and the performing arts we have lined-up for the event are of a truly amazing standard, and we can’t wait to share in it all with our festival-goers.

“North Yorkshire and Ryedale, in particular, are going to be represented incredibly well, through a new stage called the Ryedale ArtsBar, which will feature performances from acts chosen by the local creative community.”

Helmsley Arts Centre’s artistic director, Em Whitfield-Brooks, has helped put together the Ryedale Arts Bar programme, working alongside James to assemble a mix of music, spoken word, big-name acts, emerging artists, community performers and festival favourites, all different and all brimming with talent.

“The Ryedale ArtsBar is a new space at the festival this year, and we want to celebrate the best local artists as well as some of the highlights we’ve presented at the arts centre in recent years,” she says. “I love the commitment Galtres has to promoting top names alongside talented local performers and always with a strong emphasis on original material.”

Comic poet and BBC Radio 4 regular contributor Kate Fox will perform and compere on the first evening, while Galtres favourite Chris Helme will give one of his two festival performances and Newcastle trio Iceni return by popular demand.

Singer Amy May Ellis, 17, who is already turning heads wherever she sings, will open the Saturday bill at 11.30am, singer-songwriter David Swann will take to the stage at noon and the Helmsley Arts Centre community choir will perform at 12.30pm.

A constant flow of smaller acts interspersed with bigger bands will perform throughout that day, with vocal trio The Lennanshees, York band These And The Other Guy, Liverpool indie/soul rock'n'rollers The Roscoes and the nine-piece hip-hop act Savvy And The Savoir Faire joining the line-up.

“It’s been great to pull together a programme that mixes such a variety of ages, styles and genres for this one whole day and night at the festival," says Em. "It’s going to be an amazing day – over 12 hours of continuous entertainment – and we’re looking forward to amazing acts, big local support and lots of fun for everyone in this great new space at the festival.”

For more details on festival acts, activities and tickets, go to


The Human League fact file

Occupation: Pioneering electropop veterans.

What is electropop?: “A form of electronic music that is made with synthesisers” (

Band members: Current members are Philip Oakey, vocals and keyboards; Susan Sulley, vocals; Joanne Catherall, vocals. Previous members were Ian Craig Marsh, Martyn Ware, Philip Adrian Wright, Ian Burden, Jo Callis, Jim Russell.

Band formed: Sheffield, 1977.

Initial style: Downbeat electronic pop.

Later style: Upbeat electronic pop.

Debut album: Reproduction, 1979.

Breakthrough album: Dare, 1981.

Studio albums to date: Nine, including Reproduction (1979), Travelogue (1980), Dare (1981), Hysteria (1984), Crash (1986), Romantic? (1990), Octopus (1995), Secrets (2001) and Credo (2011).

Best-known songs: Being Boiled, Don’t You Want Me, Love Action (I Believe In Love), Open Your Heart, Mirror Man, (Keep Feeling) Fascination, Human, Tell Me When.

Most controversial moment: The band was initially an all-male synthesiser group. Founding members Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware left in 1980, however, to form synthpop band Heaven 17, alongside Glenn Gregory due to tensions in the band.

Undertones link: The Irish band’s1980 number nine hit My Perfect Cousin had the unforgettable couplet, “His mother bought him a synthesiser, Got the Human League in to advise her”.

You may not know: Popular BBC1 show Ashes To Ashes based one of its main characters on band member Joanne Catherall.

You may not know too: In 2008, the band was awarded an ASCAP award for 20 million U.S. radio plays of Don’t You Want Me.

You still may not know: The band named their 2011 album Credo meaning “belief” to pay homage to all the fans who had not stopped believing in them since their last studio album Secrets ten years earlier.

Where and when playing in North Yorkshire: Headlining Galtres Parklands Festival 2014 at Duncombe Park, Sunday, August 24.

By Charlotte Wainwright