THE sounds of four decades of indie and pop will be ringing out across Sedgefield next month as Hardwick Live returns with its most exciting line up yet.

Hardwick Hall will become the focus for music lovers from across the North-East and beyond over the weekend August 18 and 19, as the popular festival becomes a two-day event for the first time.

“Each year we look to build on the success of the previous, and last year we had a fantastic response after running Madness the night before the festival,” says John Adamson, owner of Ramside Estates which runs the event. “We realised the only way we could develop from there was to make it a full two-day event, which is what we’ve done this year.”

On Saturday, August 18, the Kaiser Chiefs will lead a star-studded line up. Ricky Wilson and the multi award-winning band have notched up a string of hits including Ruby, Every Day I Love You Less and Less and I Predict a Riot and continue to release new material. They will be joined by American rhythm and blues favourites Vintage Trouble, who have performed with some of the world’s biggest stars including Rolling Stones, ACDC and The Who.

Saturday will also feature appearances by Ash, Lucy Spraggan and Jake Shears of the Scissor Sisters along with several local artists including Dansi and Beth Macari.

On Sunday, Shaun Ryder, Bez and the rest of the Happy Mondays will be bringing back the sounds of the Madchester era as they take to the stage. Their performance will follow a busy line up which will also feature Shed Seven, Feeder, Echo & the Bunnymen, Public image Ltd, Heather Small and former Spice Girl Melanie C.

Support acts on the day will include the return of Tyneside Northern funk band Smoove & Turrell, who supported Madness at last year’s event along with The Cuban Brothers, New York Brass Band and Detroit Social Club.

Adding an extra level to the weekend will be some of the world’s biggest DJs who will be mixing it up throughout the weekend. Back for a second year is Brandon Block, who will be leading the way on Saturday along with several others, including Danny Rampling and Alex P. Sunday will see another 10 DJs taking their place at the decks, with headliners Graeme Park and Greg Wilson.

“We have tried to make the festival appeal to a mix of ages and music tastes and I believe we have our most eclectic selection of artists yet,” says John. “The objective was to create a two-day festival that people will remember for years to come, and I’m delighted that we have managed to attract such high profile stars. We have tried to balance the big international artists with leading local up and coming favourites, and it all points to a fantastic two days of music and entertainment for all of the family.”

Tickets for each day start from £49 for adults and £16 for 12-16-year-olds and £8 for three-11-year-olds, and weekend tickets are also available. Parking will be available at the event, and coaches will also run to and from Hardwick Hall Live from on five different venues routes from across the region. There are also limited camping spaces left for tents, but these are expected to fill up soon.

For the latest information to purchase tickets and find full details of the coach routes, visit the website:

A veritable feast of fun

IT’S not just music that visitors to Hardwick Live can look forward to this summer. A children’s activity village will feature fairground rides and activities throughout the weekend along with shows and workshops.

This year, organisers have launched a new pop-up feasting area which will offer fine dining experiences under canvass. Leading North East chefs Terry Laybourne, Marcus Bennett and Chris Finnigan will each host a 30-minute cooking demonstration and guests will then enjoy a three-course meal with a glass of Taittinger.

These experiences will be held each lunchtime and evening with a different menu each time. Admission to these four events is by advance ticket only, with prices starting at £30 per person.

More information on the dining experiences and the chance to buy tickets along with details of the children’s entertainment is available on the Hardwick Live website.