A MUSIC festival which attracts over 10,000 visitors has announced its line-up for this year’s event.

The Head for the Hills festival, formerly the Ramsbottom Festival, will feature The Stranglers, Beth Orton, Dutch Uncles and ska legends the Neville Staple Band as some of the highlights.

The event is returning for its seventh year, and will once again be hosted at Ramsbottom Cricket Club, on September 15, 16 and 17, following last year’s record attendance of 12,000 people.


After returning in 2016 with the highly acclaimed album, Kidsticks, Beth Orton will headline Saturday night.

Known for her collaborations with electronic artists including the Chemical Brothers, Beth Orton heads up an eclectic day full of music and arts with Manchester indie band, Dutch Uncles, and Neville Staple included.

Dutch Uncles’ first appearance at Head for the Hills follows the release of their fifth studio album, Big Balloon, released earlier this year, which showcases their blend of art-pop, and takes inspiration from David Bowie’s Low and Kate Bush’s The Red Shoes.

Legendary ska vocalist/toaster Neville Staple, founding member of the Specials and Fun Boy Three, also plays Saturday with the Neville Staple Band; whose February release Return of Judge Roughneck (& Dub Specials) showcases early reggae tunes, ska stomping rhythms and new tracks.

Complementing the stellar Saturday line up further will be Edinburgh-based tropical-pop quartet Indigo Velvet, local indie-pop band the Dantevilles and folk singer-songwriter Beans on Toast.


On Sunday, legendary British new wave punk band The Stranglers will arrive in Ramsbottom off the back of a major UK and Australian tour.

With a career spanning four decades, 23 UK top 40 hits and 17 UK top 40 albums, taking in new wave, art rock, gothic rock and even pop, The Stranglers have never stopped performing and will close the festival in style with the final headline show of the weekend.

Singer-songwriter Tom Hickox also joins the Sunday line up; his latest album Monsters in the Deep was released to an incredible critical response in March, and is filled with ‘magnetic storytelling and vibrant melodies’, according to UNCUT magazine.

He’ll finish his festival season in Ramsbottom after touring the UK this summer.

Also joining the line-up for Sunday will be rising British folk star Will Varley, riotous six-piece indie-folk party band Skinny Lister, rock, funk, blues, ska, roots and gypsy rhythms from Tankus the Henge, topped off with sea-soaked gypsy folk from Dublin band The Eskies, who come to Ramsbottom as part of a year-long tour of the UK and the Netherlands.

Pennine Pop and Take me to Church will be hosting family raves on Sat and Sun.

Arts and culture

The intimate festival will feature a wide variety of daytime family arts, food stalls, and beer tents offering a range of locally-produced craft beers including a specially-commissioned festival ale.

Bury Collective returns offering pop up art shops, Thank Art sketching sessions, print and lantern workshops and the ever popular Heads on Sticks.

As part of the Northern Festival Network, the programme will include brilliant performing arts and theatre including staged shows, walkabout comedy and intriguing installations and workshops.

Pif-Paf Theatre will offer acrobatic storytelling across the weekend amongst installations including The Umbrella Tree by Rag and Bone and the especially commissioned ‘Between Stillness and Storm’ by Aidan Moesby.

The festival is in its second year of a pledge to reduce environmental impact, including waste disposal, energy use and impact of visitors.

The team has maintained a huge focus on the development of the accessibility to the site and as a result has increased the number of audiences with disabilities dramatically since 2013.

Tickets are now on sale for the event, which is organised by The Met in association with The Bridgewater Hall.

David Agnew, artistic director at The Met, said: "We’re thrilled with developments for this year’s festival – for us it’s all about surprising and delighting audiences and supporting new talent.”

Early bird tickets have now sold out so ticket prices now start at £29 for a day ticket and £72 for a weekend ticket, with discounts for children and families, while youngsters under the age of six go free.

There are a limited number of tickets available at this price, with the next wave arriving at the start of July.

A local campsite offering a Lancashire welcome is included as part of Greater Manchester’s finest festival of arts and music.

Pitches are available from £18 per night or from £39 for the whole weekend.

Friday’s line up, additional stages and further arts and culture news to come.

For more information and further updates, visit: www.headforthehills.org.uk