THE countdown is on for this year’s Sunshine Festival, which is now in its ninth year.

And organisers are out to cement its place as “the heart of England’s greatest family festival”.

A spokesman said: “The three day event is held over the August bank holiday weekend in the picturesque setting of Upton upon Severn, with a stunning backdrop of the Malvern Hills. Each and every year it welcomes musical and variety legends from across the musical spectrum and this year is no different.”

A recent big addition to this year’s programme is the “ultimate festival band”, Bad Manners.

The spokesman added: “Still going strong and now into their fourth decade of creating mod mayhem, this legendary British Ska band are still packing venues out all over the world.

“Tours of the USA, Australia and Europe still dominate their heavy touring schedule and the band is still fronted by the man himself Buster Bloodvessel.”

Between 1980 and 1983, Bad Manners spent 111 weeks in the charts and had fifteen hit singles including Lip up Fatty, Special Brew, Lorraine, Just a Feelin, Ne Ne Na Na Na Na Nu Nu, Can Can and Walking in the Sunshine.

Another headliner will be Glen Matlock, best known for being the bass guitarist in the original line-up of the punk rock band, The Sex Pistols.

The Korgis will also be there. The British pop band is known mainly for their hit single.

But the headliners everyone will be talking about will be the legendary Status Quo.

The spokesman said: “One of the UK’s most successful bands of all time, Status Quo have racked up an amazing sixty top 40 hits including Whatever You Want, Rockin’ All Over the World, Caroline and In the Army Now. Twenty-two of the hits reached the Top 10 and in 1991, Status Quo received a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.”

And then there is Heather Small.

The spokesman said: “She is an English soul singer, best known for being the lead singer in the band M People.

Her debut solo album was Proud, which was released in 2000. After a chance meeting with Manchester DJ Mike Pickering, formerly of Quando Quango, Small and her distinctive voice helped to sell over 10 million albums worldwide, singing with his group M People.

They had considerable success with songs such as Moving On Up” and “Search for the Hero.”

George McCrae, billed as the World Ambassador for Love, will also be taking a bow.

The spokesman said: “There are few singers in soul music with a unique signature sound starting in the 60’s and still going strong today.” And what about Five Star, those 80’s hit machines; not to mention that legendary British reggae group, Aswad?

The Wurzels will also be taking a bow, “those combine harvester driving legends of the West Country!”

The Sunshine Festival comes to Upton from August 23 to August 26, and more than 100 artists are now confirmed.

For full details and tickets, go to