Sun set to shine as Hale Barns Carnival returns with Russell Watson, The Real Thing and Gwen Dickey

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The sun looks set to shine on Hale Barns Carnival this weekend – with three days of top entertainment ahead.

‘People’s tenor’ Russell Watson, soul legends The Real Thing and Kennie Simon, and R ‘n’ B royalty Gwen Dickey are headlining a stellar music line-up, which begins tonight and runs until Sunday night.

And there is also a feast of free daytime fairground fun for all the family on Saturday and Sunday in what is set to be the biggest and best Hale Barns Carnival to date.

The weekend opens tonight when Salford born superstar Russell Watson returns to Hale Barns after opening last year’s event to headline another evening of traditional Proms’ favourites.

The Hale Barns Carnival returns this weekend

The singer, dubbed ‘The Voice’, is the best-selling classical artist of all time, with his debut solo album holding the number one chart spot for a world record 52 weeks.

He will be joined at Hale Barns by his band to perform a specially curated set full of Proms classics, including patriotic anthems like Jerusalem and Rule Britannia, and some of the world’s best-known operatic arias.

Support will come from Strong Infusion and rising star teenage soprano Millie Royle, who is currently a student at Sale Grammar School.

Tomorrow, Saturday 16th July, the stage is set for soul with a double headliner featuring Liverpool’s finest The Real Thing and Hot Chocolate singer and keyboard player Kennie Simon.

Saturday’s concert will feature The Real Thing and Hot Chocolate singer and keyboard player Kennie Simon

Hot Chocolate, formed in 1968 by Errol Brown and Tony Wilson, enjoyed a string hits including It Started With a Kiss, Every 1’s a Winner and the legendary You Sexy Thing.

The Real Thing return to Hale Barns Carnival after a storming set in 2019. The most successful black group in UK entertainment history, the band topped the UK charts in 1976 with You to Me Are Everything and enjoyed more success with Can’t Get By Without You, Feel the Force and Children of the Ghetto.

And R ‘n’ B royalty Gwen Dickey completes the line-up with a headline slot on Sunday night.

Born in Mississippi, Dickey was the unmistakable voice of Rose Royce with whom she had a string of successes including the international disco smash hit Carwash, Love Don’t Live Here Anymore, Ooh Boy and Wishing on a Star.

Sunday also features top Chic tribute Chic Out! playing disco classics including Good Times, Le Freak, I Want Your Love, Everybody Dance, We Are Family and Dance, Dance, Dance.

The concert will also raise much-needed funds for the Brainwave charity which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and does vital work to help children with disabilities reach their potential.

Gwen Dickey, lead singer of Rose Royce, will headline Sunday night

Along with individual concert tickets and weekend passes, special VIP secret garden tickets are also available, giving access to a premium bar, at-table waitress service, VIP toilets and exclusive musical performances as well as a great view of the main stage.

The live concerts are once again complemented by a two-day free Hale Barns Carnival family event on the Saturday and Sunday (16 and 17 July).

The event features local performances and live music, the ‘Kidchella’ mini festival experience for youngsters aged three to 11, traditional fun fair rides, a makers’ market with 30 stalls, plus a foodie village and bars. The Supercar Paddock also returns featuring rare classic cars and supercars.

This year the daytime programme will include a host of new attractions including Inflatable World – with a giant inflatable obstacle course; a 28ft rock climbing wall for adults and children giving a bird’s eye view of the festival site; The PartyBus soft play double decker, and a chance to test your skills in a special Football Academy.

And the Makers Market returns to Hale Barns for the first time since 2018, with more than 30 stalls from local artisans.

Daytime entry is free from 12 noon until 4pm.

Organiser Max Eden, from Hale Barns Events, said: “The finishing touches are being put to the carnival ground at St Ambrose Fields and we can’t wait now to open the gates for this year’s event.

“I’m incredibly proud of the brilliant line-up we have for music fans for 2022, and of course, as always, alongside the evening concerts we’ve also got two packed daytime carnival events – this year with a number of new attractions alongside all the usual family favourites.”

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