Manx stars to take centre stage at Cyclefest

in Arts

There will be a host of home-grown, but world renowned talent this year at the new look Cyclefest family weekend.

Blues guitarist Davy Knowles is to head the bill on the main stage, alongside folk stars Mabon and Mec Lir, who all feature some of the best musicians to come from the Isle of Man.

Cyclefest 2017 will be returning to Milntown estate on the Saturday and Sunday, May 13 and 14, and the organisers are hoping to build on the success of the first family festival, held last year.

There are many changes to the event, most notably the creation of an artisan food and drink village, complete with it’s own Village stage.

Mec Lir, a Manx folk-pop group who have spent the last year wowing crowds at festivals all over the world, will appear on the main stage, sponsored by Pokerstars, on Saturday evening.

They feature David Kilgallon, Greg Barry, Tom Callister and Adam Rhodes. Tom and Adam will be fresh from a UK tour with Imar, who this week celebrated releasing their debut album.

Saturday night will feature Manx-born blues guitarist Davy Knowles, the US-based blues musicians who will be touring the UK and Europe, in support of his new album ‘Three Miles from Avalon’, shortly before he heads out to Australia.

Cyclefest will continue with the traditional music theme on the Sunday evening.

Welsh folk stars Mabon, featuring adopted Manx men Jamie Smith and Paul Rogers, will headline the Pokerstars stage, to close the festival off in fine style with the type of infectious, bouncing energetic folk that they have become known for all over the world.

This follows on from the theme set last year, when the folk supergroup ‘Barrule’, which featured Jamie, Tom and Adam, brought last year’s festival to a close.

The daytime entertainment will feature the same acts on the Pokerstars stage on both days, where three award-winning acts, Laura Oakes, The Elephant Room and Flats And Sharps, will get the crowds into the festival mood.

Laura Oakes is one of the UK’s fastest rising country stars, and has recently been named as ‘female of the year’ by the British Country Music Association. She is also a member of two popular groups, The Shires and Ward Thomas, both of whom are receiving a lot of radio airplay at the moment.

The Elephant Room are one of the most sought-after bands in Scotland at the moment.

The neo-trad outfit will get the party going with their own type of ceilidh sound, blending ska, funk, rock and folk to create a unique sound that had festival crowds bouncing throughout last year.

Flats and Sharps consist of five brilliant musicians and are a US country bluegrass band who will bring their incredible skills and fast, furious finger picking sound to Milntown. Their momentous year last year saw them release a debut album and play the Cambridge Folk Festival and the Royal Albert Hall.

There will be three acts on the Village stage for the weekend, and each of them are names to keep an eye on for the future.

Two singer/songwriters Dan Betteridge and Katy Hurt, will play throughout each afternoon, and following them will be the exciting rock’n’roll band William the Conqueror.

They are a three piece, featuring the talents of renowned singer-songwriter Ruarri Joseph, ace drummer Harry Harding and multi-instrumentalist Naomi Holmes.

With a motto of ‘not what you’d expect’, their sound is reminiscent of Neil Young, at his most harshest, and their influences range from folk to blues and Americana to grunge era rock.

If that isn’t enough, organisers say there’s more to come.

Wristband tickets are available to buy online now at www.iomcyclefest.com priced at just £10 per adult and £5 per child for single day entry. There are also savings to be made on weekend tickets and family bundles.

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