Underneath the Stars 2020, the seventh iteration of this wonderfully intimate three day festival with a big heart, has three musically excellent headliners in store, Paul Carrack (Friday), Kate Rusby (Saturday) and Suzanne Vega (Sunday).
The Underneath the Stars festival takes place in the quite wonderful pastoral rural setting of Cinderhill Farm, Barnsley. It is a festival that each year grows in reputation, and won Small Festival of the Year and the Judge’s Award at the National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) Awards 2019. The festival has also gained an Attitude is Everything Silver Charter Award. Attitude is Everything is a disability-led charity supporting non-profit and commercial organisations to make what they do more accessible and inclusive, including access to live music.
Headlining the main festival Planets stage on the Friday, is singer songwriter Paul Carrack, who has a stunning musical track record. He has graced the ranks of some great bands, including Ace, Squeeze, and Mike and The Mechanics. His distinctively expressive and soul based voice is instantly recognisable on songs like Ace’s How Long and Squeeze’s Tempted. Listen to Ace’s You’re All That I Need to really appreciate the beautiful soaring romanticism of his voice, and imagine for a moment listening to it in the warm heart of rural Yorkshire.
To honour Yorkshire Day on Saturday 1st August, Barnsley’s very own Kate Rusby will headline the Planets stage, performing both traditional folk and her own emotionally resonant songs. The 2019 album Philosophers, Poets & Kings was a musical tour de force, and Kate has a way of authentically connecting with an audience, that will make for a very special set. Listen to Kate’s Jenny from the Philosophers, Poets & Kings album, with its warm-hearted lyrics and uplifting brass arrangement.
Suzanne Vega will headline the festival on the Sunday. Her work includes standards such as Luka, Marlene on the Wall and Tom’s Diner, and offers a poignant and poetically observational take on life. She is a beguiling storyteller with a keen eye for compelling melodies.
You can be guaranteed that the rest of the final line up, with other announcements such as Martyn Joseph and Eddi Reader, will cross genres, embrace different musical traditions, and will speak to everything that makes live music such a life-affirming force.
The festival effortlessly sold out last year, so don’t leave it too late to get hold of tickets, and become smitten with what will be one of the best festival experiences this summer.
All words by Gareth Allen, you can find Gareth’s author profile here.
Photograph of Kate Rusby by David Angel