`

Unthanks to headline at festival

The Unthanks
The Unthanks

Award-winning North East folk band the Unthanks will headline this year’s Holy Island Festival.

The acclaimed group – comprising sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank, Adrian McNally and Chris Price – will perform at St Mary’s Church on Lindisfarne on Sunday, June 24.

Becky said: “Growing up on Tyneside, we often visited the Northumberland coast and feel a connection to the area.

“That connection has been renewed more recently, because for six years now, we have run singing weekends on the Northumberland coast.

“The songs, the food, the sometimes-wild winter walks to the pub are special memories we share.

“I think part of what draws people to come on our singing weekends is the relationship our music has with the area’s countryside, coast and history.

“We are really looking forward to being a part of the festival, and I’m excited to explore Holy Island as a grown-up.”

Sister Rachel, married to Adrian, also the group’s manager, musical arranger and producer, added: “Being on this piece of the Northumberland coast inspires and grounds us so playing on Holy Island will be a real treat. It is a magical place.

“What a grand setting for a festival and a dramatic platform to sing and play music.

“We run singing weekends near Seahouses and the people who come and have never experienced the raw and wild beauty of the area are blown away by its majestic sense of horizon and space.

“People come from all over the UK and Europe to our weekends and, as well as singing the songs of our region with them, it’s a joy to show them the beauty of our coast and to create the economic contribution our weekenders make to a rural coastal area in the depths of winter.”

More than 4,000 visitors flocked to enjoy the first-ever Holy Island Festival – not to be confused with the Lindisfarne Festival, also held for the first time in 2015 – last year, and a sellout crowd of 250 packed into St Mary’s Church to see The Lindisfarne Story, performed by Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell.

This year, the Holy Island Festival is partnering with the Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership.

As part of the festival, the partnership will deliver a range of cultural and natural heritage activities linked to some of the projects being completed as part of the scheme.

The activities aim to help people understand and enjoy the landscape of Holy Island.