A talented young Barnsley musician is looking forward to singing in front of his biggest crowd yet at a Yorkshire festival this month.
Singer songwriter Toby Burton, aged 17, will perform at Underneath the Stars which is expected to draw around 10,000 music lovers to Cannon Hall Farm between Friday 24 and Sunday 26 July.
He joins an international line-up including Eddi Reader, formerly of Fairground Attraction; Radiohead drummer Philip Selway, who will deliver a solo performance, and Barnsley’s own award-winning singer songwriter Kate Rusby – whose family is organising the event.
The festival’s headliner is US star Mary Chapin Carpenter who has sold more than 13 million records and won five Grammy awards in her 25 year career. Other acts include Molotov Jukebox fronted by Natalia Tena, of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones fame, and Sheffield’s legendary guitar maestro Martin Simpson.
Toby, who is from Penistone in Barnsley, said: “It’s amazing to be part of such a fantastic line-up and this will be the biggest crowd I have ever played to. I am very excited about it.
“For me it’s just a great way to get my music out there and I really appreciate the opportunity to get involved in something as special as Underneath the Stars in my home town.”
Toby who turns 18 in August, began writing his own songs and performing when he was just 14. He started out on YouTube where he built a fan base and then started gigging at several local venues including The Plug and O2 Academy in Sheffield. Most recently he supported UK busker turned iTunes sensation Tristan Mackay on his Wire and Wood Tour at The Greystones in Sheffield.
Toby released his own EP of four self-penned songs in November last year and ‘Tales of a Hopeless Romantic’ has received critical acclaim and excellent sales, especially via iTunes. Two tracks, Shining and Slow Down, have enjoyed radio airplay on BBC Introducing.
Festival artistic director Joe Rusby, Kate’s brother, said: “We are proud to host Toby at Underneath the Stars and expect great things of him as a singer and song writer in the future.
“He’ll perform his own original songs and a wide range of covers in his set and will share the Saturday bill with some of our biggest stars including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Eddi Reader and Philip Selway.
“We set up Underneath the Stars to create a family-friendly music festival in the heart of Yorkshire with clear ambitions to bring world-renowned performers to Barnsley. It is great to see them playing alongside promising local talent like Toby.”
As well as showcasing a mix of folk, swing, jazz, rock and roll, blues and world music; Underneath the Stars will also feature arts, crafts and cultural activities, with artisan food and drink from Yorkshire-based suppliers. This year’s festival will include a giant planetarium, camper van cinema, storytelling, vintage fairground rides, music and dance workshops.
Last year’s event attracted around 5,000 people in total over two days, but this year has capacity to entertain 5,000 people a day over a three day programme.
The Rusby family is organising the festival in close collaboration with Cannon Hall Farm’s owners, the Nicholson family and will take place across three fields of Yorkshire farmland beside the popular farm visitor attraction – which will be open as usual during the festival.
The festival, which aims to put South Yorkshire on the UK festival map, has Yorkshire Cancer Research as its official charity partner at this year’s event.
Joe said: “Following the huge success of last year, we look forward to welcoming even more visitors this year and establishing Underneath the Stars as a national event on the UK music calendar.”
Day tickets and weekend tickets can be purchased from www.underthestarsfest.co.uk Weekend tickets are available with or without camping or glamping.