ORGANISERS of a musical extravaganza promising to take over a North Yorkshire town's market place are celebrating their latest close-knit partnership.

Simon Thackray, of the Brawby arts venture, The Shed, will bring an eclectic mix of entertainment to Malton when The Shed's 11th birthday party hits the town on June 7 and 8.

Thanks to UK yarn giant Sirdar, micro-venue The Shed now has all the funding in place for the ambitious event.

Sirdar sponsored the unusual North Yorkshire Elvis Bus Tour, as well as HAT, a hugely successful blend of music, stories and knitting.

"We have now got the £20,000 we need to put on the event thanks to a little help from our friends," Simon said.

"We have hit our target for funding requirements, and what's nice is that £5,000 of that is from Ryedale businesses.

"I think it shows a real generosity which is very encouraging."

Poet Ian McMillan will perform at the event, alongside bands, including Billy Jenkins with the Blues Collective and Hank Wangford and the Lost Cowboys.

On Saturday evening Lady Lumley's pupil Mike Spink will return with Spinkfest, a showcase of young talent in Ryedale and the platform for five local bands.

Simon said: "I saw Mike's show last year and it was great. I decided I would stick it right up there, not tagged on at the end of the weekend.

"We will go from professional musicians on Saturday afternoon to Spinkfest and then back to more events."

There are also plans for some interesting knitting events, he promised.

The event will run from about 3pm until 10.30pm on Saturday, June 7, and from noon to 3pm on Sunday.

Simon said: "People are already booking in hotels for the event, travelling from far away and even from abroad.

"They keep asking if you need to book, but you don't, it's completely free, you don't need to get tickets, just arrive."

Updated: 10:55 Wednesday, May 21, 2003