Greenbelt Festival Shares Details Of Their 50th Anniversary Line Up

March 30, 2023

Greenbelt Festival Shares Details Of Their 50th Anniversary Line Up

Greenbelt Festival is declaring the summer officially open, the festival have unveiled the first raft of names for its 50th anniversary festival this August Bank Holiday.

The first Greenbelt Festival took place in 1974 on a farm with the words ‘If you’ve got a field, you’ve got a festival’. The Sun Newspaper reviewed the first one as ‘The Nice People’s Pop Festival’, but it was more subversive than it appeared.

In 1981 a youthful U2 phoned Greenbelt just before the festival began, to ask if they could play because ‘God had told them they should’. These days it’s the UK’s leading festival of artistry, activism and belief and is still fuelled by a uniquely progressive spiritual vision – with artists, speakers, thinkers and more coming from all over the world to the fields of Boughton House near Kettering, its home for the last 10 years.

Creative Director Paul Northup said: “We’re 50 this year and we think that’s worth celebrating. Not just to get nostalgic, but to stand in solidarity and look ahead. To find the courage, creativity, and inspiration needed to face the next fifty years.”“As ever with Greenbelt, there’s plenty more to announce as we head into spring, but we’re so excited to be able to share 2023’s initial line-up with you.”

On Friday night Greenbelt festival-goers will be raising the roof for the Indigo Girls as they kick off the first big night of programming.“We can’t quite believe Emily and Amy haven’t played the festival before,” said Paul. “But we’re overjoyed to welcome these iconic pioneers as they make their Greenbelt debut.”“On our FridWe’re humbled to welcome back our Ukrainian friends, the brilliant Balaklava Blues,” said Northup. “This time we’re putting their wild brew of dance-meets-protest-music on our main stage and teaming them up with a scratch choir of Ukrainian refugee singers, forced to flee their country following Russia’s invasion of their homeland.”

The festival is also thrilled to be welcoming the mighty Laura Mvula to the main stage on Saturday night with her spiritual, soulful party music.“A true artist with one of the great voices, we cannot wait to bring her back to Greenbelt, a festival she’s been to before as a festivalgoer, but is now returning to as a headliner.”Closing out the festival on Sunday night will be American singer-songwriter Ezra Furman, sharing her songs of community and acceptance across a dreamscape of lush indie rock.“Who better to close out our 50th and lay down a marker for the future than Ezra and her music, made where her faith, hope and identity intersect?” 

Alongside Greenbelt debutantes like Ezra, the festival welcomes back some Greenbelt favourites in the shape of Grace Petrie and Duke Special too. Also making his long-awaited return to the Greenbelt stage (and the UK) will be the legendary Bruce Cockburn, who is travelling over to the UK from his home in San Francisco.

Elsewhere on the music stages there are the afro-fusion rhythms of K.O.G, the immersive showbiz of Oh My God! It’s the Church and the banging Palestinian pop and theatrical camp of the extraordinary Bashar Murad.

Away from the music stages and sharing their wisdom and words will be thinkers like the brilliant economist Ann Pettifor and theologian Cole Arthur Riley, as well as writer and campaigner Jack Monroe and Brian Eno, who is back for more already having enjoyed his first visit last year.

Elsewhere on our theatre stage will be ground-breaking physical theatre shows like The Chosen Haram, an incredible story about holding onto faith and sexual identity. Comedy shows by the Prince of Puns, Milton Jones, as well as ‘Attenborough’as you’ve never heard him before” are promised. 

Greenbelt’s radical pay-what-you-can model mean that 4-day weekend tickets start from just £150 for those who choose the Supported price, and purchases can be spread gradually over monthly interest-free payments.“There’s plenty more where all this comes from too, so make sure you grab your tickets and strap yourself in for everything that we’ve got in store for you this summer,” said Paul Northup.  “We want as many people there as possible with us. To join the 50th party and be part of something truly special.”

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