Alan Davies exclusive for Grassington Festival

Alan Davies.
Alan Davies.

A RARE live appearance by comedian Alan Davies of QI fame will be one of the highlights of this year’s Grassington Festival.

Davies, one of the UK’s best loved comedians and actors and star of Jonathan Creek and QI, Alan Davies, is to present an exclusive preview of material from his upcoming UK tour, Life is Pain.

Organisers have announced the full line up for the 2012 festival, which runs from Friday, June 15 to Sunday, June 30.

Alongside Davies, other big names attracted to this picturesque village include, Billy Ocean, The Unthanks with Brighouse and Rastrick Band and Animals & Friends and The Move (announced in November),

The famous Grassington ‘Festival in the Field’ marquee will plays host to the souring trumpet township jazz, hip hop and funk of South African living legend, Hugh Masekala.

Launching the festival on the opening night will be The South.

After 20 years, ten studio albums, five greatest hits compilations, thirty four chart singles and 15 million record sales worldwide, Ali Wheeler and Dave Hemmingway re-join other original members of The Beautiful South to bring you hits from the back catalogue, including Perfect Ten, Rotterdam, Don’t Mary Her, and You Keep it all In.

Other programme highlights include guitar percussionist Jon Gomm, who has recently exploded in popularity after the famous Wow tweet from none other than Stephen Fry; a talk by The Great Escape survivor, Frank Stone; and Tennessee blues singer songwriter Earl Thomas performing with British pianist and composer Paddy Milner.

The festival also has a strong visual arts programme this year, including the opportunity for festival visitors to borrow famous works of art by artists such as Picasso, from the Leeds Art Gallery picture lending collection. Leeds-based theatre group Slung Low will also return to Grassington this year to take a Retrospective look at the village as part of a project involving five Yorkshire Festivals.

Grassington Festival visitors will also be lucky enough to behold Architects of Air’s Luminarium: an awe-inspiring monumental inflatable light maze, which visitors can walk around inside.

The festival has a packed family events programme this year, including Bunk Puppets and Scamp Theatre’s Swamp Juice, which received rave reviews at Edinburgh Festival; and theatre group Illyria’s performance of Roald Dahl’s classic, The Twits.

Grassington Festival Director, Kate Beard, said: “The programme is one of o ur most diverse, broad and inclusive programmes yet. It’s my first year as festival director and I really wanted to pull out all the stops.

l Tickets will go on sale from April 23 for the general public.