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Maidstone: Ramblin' Man Fair comes to Mote Park with Saxon, ZZ Top and Extreme among headliners

By Angela Cole

For lovers of music that’s heavy – and the heavier the better – the Ramblin’ Man Fair takes its third loud, long haired and lively bow in the centre of Maidstone.

In its third year, fittingly, the fair, which has become a firm fixture in the rock calendar for thousands of music fans from all over the UK and beyond, has extended itself to spread over three days.

Running from Friday, July 28, to Sunday, July 30, it will take over the County Town’s Mote Park in a wave of metal and leather.

Saxon are back for this year's festival Picture John Westhrop

Saxon are back for this year's festival Picture: John Westhrop

Previous headliners have included Saxon, Whitesnake and Europe, known for their 80s anthem The Final Countdown.

The festival will have a plethora of stages: the Planet Rock main stage, Prog In the Park, Grooverider, Outlaw Country stage and the Rising stage.

Festival favourite Saxon headliners the first day, on the Friday, which starts at 4pm.

Formed in 1977, Saxon have had a career spanning 40 years and have sold more than 15 million albums.

The Ramblin' Man Fair will be over three days this year Picture Andy Jones

The Ramblin' Man Fair will be over three days this year Picture: Andy Jones

Frontman Biff Byford said: “After a great time at the first Ramblin’ Man Fair we are very happy to be asked back to headline the inaugural Friday night this year. Get out your denim and leather – it’s going to be special.”

Rockers Extreme, who have sold more than 15m albums, will headline the fair’s main stage on the Saturday, which is a UK festival exclusive.

Everyone knows More Than Words, but there’s more to them than that. They’ll be showcasing in its entirety the million selling Pornograffitti album – their breakthrough 1990 release – which the single was taken from, along with Get the Funk Out. Their appearance will be a UK festival exclusive.

Extreme are one of the headliners

Extreme are one of the headliners

“There will always be a special place for the UK in our hearts,” said guitarist Nuno Bettencourt. “Recognizing Extreme as a rock band first and foremost has and will always connect us. Cannot wait to rock with you at Ramblin’ Man.”

Bearded rockers ZZ Top, who formed in Texas in 1969, and have kept the classic line-up of Dusty Hill, Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard for more than 45 years, will headline the main stage on the Sunday.

ZZ Top are among the headliners

ZZ Top are among the headliners

Festival director Chris Ingham from Spirit of Rock said: “Last year’s Ramblin’ Man Fair was a huge success in all areas. We promised that we would up the ante for 2017 and the team at RMF HQ can guarantee that the bill that has been assembled will hit every lifelong rock fan’s sweet spot.”

Reef will play at Ramblin' Man

Reef will play at Ramblin' Man

Reef also play the main stage on Saturday, as do British Lion, the band from Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris.

British Lion, led by Steve Harris from Iron Maiden

British Lion, led by Steve Harris from Iron Maiden

Also playing are the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, playing the Outlaw County stage, Blues Pills, Focus, The Gift, Ghoultown, Jessica Lynn, Vintage Caravan and The Picture Books.

DETAILS

The Ramblin’ Man Fair will be held in Mote Park, Maidstone, from Friday, July 28, to Sunday, July 30.
Tickets for the Friday are £45, or £65 VIP, while weekend general admission is £150 and VIP £250. For details and to book, visit ramblinmanfair.com or ramblinmanfair17.eventbrite.co.uk

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