Toploader to headline Oakham Festival line-up

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Preparations are in full swing and the excitement is building for one of the area’s biggest festivals which takes place next month.

The 10-day Oakham Festival runs from June 20 to 30 and promises to be a fantastic celebration of the arts.

The popular Funky Tent weekend, which takes place on June 28 to 30, is being run in partnership with The Grainstore Brewery. Toploader are set to headline on the Saturday night and there will be a singer songwriter night on Friday. TV presenter Loyd Grossman’s band The New Forbidden will also be performing. Tickets for the weekend are £20.

Oakfest! which will showcase dance, ukuleles and choirs from 10am to 4pm on June 29 in the grounds of Oakham Castle. The Rural Craft Fare takes place there on June 30. Both events are sponsored by Arts for Rutland and Oakham Town Council.

Laughs will be had at The Grainstore Brewery on June 20 when the venue welcomes the Funhouse Comedy Club. The event starts at 7pm and tickets are £5.

Festival organisers are delighted to be working with the East Midlands Book Award, which will be bringing its prize ceremony to the county for the first time. The event is being held at Barnsdale Lodge where crime writer John Harvey will present the prizes.

On June 21, Corby Male Voice Choir will perform at St Joseph’s Catholic Church and the Festival Orchestral Concert will be at Oakham School Chapel.

Rutland Concert Band will play at Oakham Castle on June 23, which will also host A Celebration of Early English Music on June 30. The castle will also host internationally renowned cellist Matthew Barley on June 23 as part of his national tour celebrating the creativity of Benjamin Britten.

The festival will be welcoming poet John Siddique for a workshop on June 23 and a reading the following day at Oakham Castle.

Throughout the 10 days, a literary trail of animals knitted by the Oakham Knit and Natter Club can be found shops throughout the town. They will depict literature titles and families are being urged to join in the fun.

For tickets and more information, visit www.oakhamfestival.co.uk, or call the box office on 07826733374.