FINE Young Cannibals frontman Roland Gift will kick off the 31st Bewdley Festival this year, organiser have announced.

The popular singer will be performing at The Mecure Hotel on October 12 from 8pm – the opening act of the 10-day festival celebrating music, comedy, drama and discussions.

Roland rose to fame with the Fine Young Cannibals during the 1980s with a string of hits including ‘She Drives Me Crazy’, ‘I’m Not the Man I Used to Be’ and ‘Good Thing’.

Other ‘evening event’ acts who have been confirmed include ex-Fairground Attraction singer Eddi Reader, BBC broadcaster Jeremy Vine, former Government minister Alan Johnson and award winning jazz singer Clare Teal.

The ‘daytime events’ will start with festival favourite Max Keen who will give a lecture on King Edward I at Bewdley Baptist Church on October 13 at 2.30pm.

Among the other daytime performances will feature Professor Maggie Andrews from Worcester University, cartoonist Barry Venning, writer Brett Westwood, The Archers star Tim Bentinck and horticulturist Chris Baines.

A spokesman for Bewdley Festival said: “Since the first festival was held in 1988 we have always striven to bring the best to Bewdley and the best out of Bewdley by programming an eclectic mix of very well-known stars, and local talent.

“The line-up for this year’s Bewdley Festival has something to meet everybody’s taste as once again the Festival has brought together a collection of international, national and local artists to entertain, enthral and challenge the audiences for the whole of the Festival, during both our daytime and evening programmes.

“It all begins on Friday, October 12, when a specially constructed theatre inside the Mercure Heath Hotel will resound to a rare performance from Roland Gift, of Fine Young Cannibals, and his six piece band.”

Details of the full line-up and further information on the festival is available through the website at

Tickets are available through the website’s online booking system and from the Bewdley Tourist Information Centre situated in Bewdley Museum in Load Street.

Friends of Bewdley Festival can reserve tickets by calling the Festival Office on 01299 404808 between 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.