Blair set for festival debut

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Rising Chesterfield folk star Blair Dunlop is poised to make his debut on the main stage of this year’s Cropedy Festival.

He will play the annual Fairport Convention fest, which takes place on August 11-13, on its opening night.

As the son of folk legend Ashley Hutchings and singer Judy Dunlop, Blair has been encouraged to take to the stage since a young age and he has now blossomed into a greatly admired singer and guitarist.

He’s certainly no stranger to the limellight, with an acting career that includes playing Little Willy Wonka in the blockbuster movie of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, alongside Johnny Depp, and touring for the whole of last Autumn in a new production of the play Lark Rise.

He has also performed at The Big Session, Towersey and Cropedy Fringe. For more information about Blair visit www.blairdunlop.com.

Fairport’s Festival highlights this year include Nashville’s Appalachian hell-raisers, Hayseed Dixie. UB40, one of the most influential reggae outfits in the world. Singer-songwriter and guitarist Steve Tilston with Leeds-based folk, roots and alt-country harmony outfit The Durbervilles. The Dylan Project featuring Steve Gibbons on vocals and PJ Wright on pedal steel guitar, the Dylan Project plays the very best from the master’s magnificent repertoire.

The bill also features bluesmeister Seasick Steve, indie-guitar rockers The Coral, the fabulous Blockheads, plus Mercury prize-winner Badly Drawn Boy (aka Damon Gough).

Fairport Convention and special guests will take the stage on Saturday evening for the festival’s finalé. As well as their customary repertoire and highlights from the brand new album, Festival Bell, they always hve a few surprises on offer. Who will they be this year?

For more details on the festival, visit www.fairportconvention.com.