Headstock is ready to rock!

CROWD PLEASER -- the audience salutes the first Headstock -- DISPIC NHUD10-2420-25
CROWD PLEASER -- the audience salutes the first Headstock -- DISPIC NHUD10-2420-25

HEADSTOCK is ready to rock — that’s the message from organisers of the hit Newstead music festival, which steps into the limelight on Friday (September 9).

The spectacular event, which enjoyed its first outing last year, has been boosted from just one day to three this time around and will run until Sunday (September 11).

LIGHTNING STRIKE -- Ian Broudie, lead singer with headline act the Lightning Seeds

LIGHTNING STRIKE -- Ian Broudie, lead singer with headline act the Lightning Seeds

On stage will be a host of bands ranging from household names such as the Lightning Seeds and Echo And The Bunnymen through to up-and-coming talent.

The venue for the attraction will once again be the newly-created Newstead and Annesley Country Park, which was once the site of Newstead Colliery.

Thousands of spectators and revellers are expected to flood the site for a fun-filled and action-packed weekend of entertainment.

Julia Thistleton-Smith, who is one of the main organisers, said: “What we’re really chuffed about is that we have grown Headstock and we have an even greater breadth of music to offer.

HOPPING ONTO STAGE -- Ian McCulloch, lead singer of Echo and the Bunneymen

HOPPING ONTO STAGE -- Ian McCulloch, lead singer of Echo and the Bunneymen

“What’s so special is that we have more volunteers than ever and a whole host of people inspired by what we’re trying to do.”

The cash to create the country park, an eco-friendly ‘earthship’ visitor centre and get Headstock off the ground came from a £400,000 windfall when Newstead was chosen to take part in the BBC-backed Village SOS scheme.

The aim was to re-invigorate communities with an exciting business venture, attract the support of volunteers and plough proceeds back into regeneration.

The Newstead project starred on BBC TV on Sunday September 4.

But now all eyes are on Headstock, which is run by the charity Newstead Enterprise and has been labelled the Dispatch district’s answer to the world-famous Glastonbury festival.

More than 80 live music acts will take part with former ‘Red Dwarf’ star Craig Charles kicking things off tonight with a DJ set.

Echo and the Bunnymen take centre stage tomorrow (Saturday) night and the Lightning Seeds will bring the curtain down on the event on Sunday.

Also on site will be the BBC Introducing Stage to showcase new talent, while the The Welfare Stage will boast DJs and comedians. The attached bar will be a traditional working men’s club complete with landlady, darts board and bingo.

Headstock is run entirely by volunteers and musicians for the benefit of the Newstead community.

Other acts playing over the weekend include African Head Charge, Dananananaykroyd, C.W. Stoneking, Nick Harper, the Herbaliser Band, Tunng, Chris Liberator and Ralph Lawson.

Other attractions include street theatre, burlesque, speed dating with a difference, light installations, circus acts, workshops for grown ups and real-ale and cider at pub prices. For children there is a dedicated area — Kidstock.