AFTER much speculation over the last few months the International Festival of Country Music is back after an absence of 20 years.

The shows which featured artists from Hank Snow to Merle Haggard, George Jones and Tammy Wynette attracted a pilgrimage of country fans over each Easter weekend and was affectionately known as Wembley by the country fraternity.

Next year, this one-day event will take place at the Wembley Arena on Sunday, February 26, and will culminate with a rare appearance by Reba McEntire who last appeared in Britain over a decade ago. There are rumours that the venue has been booked for the Easter weekend of 2013. Lonestar, bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs and Little Big Town are this year’s headliners. Jo- El Sonnier, Narvel Felts, George Ducas, Will Bannister, George Hamilton IV, John McNichol and Raymond Froggatt are also on the bill.

Festival organiser Mervyn Conn says: “I have decided to bring back the festival mainly due to popular demand and the fact that country music has increased in popularity since I promoted the first event back in 1969.”

Wembley Tickets went on sale this week: Prices: £98, £78, £53. Box Office: 0844-815-0815; accessible seating: 0208-782-5629