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The Libertines, The Jacksons, Jools Holland and UB40 to play Rochester Castle Concerts 2020

The line-up for this year's Castle Concerts has been announced by its new promoters.

The annual music festival, which takes place in the grounds of Rochester Castle each summer, will boast Jools Holland, The Libertines, The Jacksons, and original members of UB40.

The Libertines will be appearing at the Castle Concerts
The Libertines will be appearing at the Castle Concerts

But it won't feature its traditional Last Night of the Proms-type orchestral finale this year.

London-based AGMP has taken over the running of the event from Medway Council, which has come under fire in recent years for its handling of the event.

The company launched the Innervisions Festival in 2018 and has promoted tours from artists, such as Prince, James Brown, Eminem, Black Eyed Peas, Van Morrison, Faithless, and George Clinton.

The concerts get under way on Wednesday, July 8, when regular performer Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra appear with Gilson Lavis, Eddi Reader and guest vocalists Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall.

On Thursday, July 9, The Libertines will take the stage with a full line up including bad boy Pete Doherty and Carl Barât, performing songs new and old, including favourites such as Don’t Look Back into The Sun, Can’t Stand Me Now, and The Likely Lads.

Jools Holland will be appearing at the Castle Concerts
Jools Holland will be appearing at the Castle Concerts

The following night, The Jacksons – Tito, Marlon and Jackie – will be performing songs from the 70s and 80s, including Show Me The Way To Go, Blame It On The Boogie, Shake Your Body, Can You Feel It, and Walk Right Now.

On the Saturday, founding members of UB40 Robin Campbell, Brian Travers, Jimmy Brown, Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan, and long-time members Duncan Campbell (vocals), Martin Meredith, Laurence Parry, and Tony Mullings will appear.

They will be performing hits including their three number ones – Red, Red Wine, I Got You Babe, and Can't Help Falling in Love with You.

The version of the band featuring lead singer Ali Campbell performed in 2018.

Members of UB40 will be performing at this year's Castle Concerts
Members of UB40 will be performing at this year's Castle Concerts

AGMP, which says supporting acts will be announced later, is using the castle grounds in a deal with Medway Council where the venue is provided free for the first year but the company will pay a standard rate for any council services such as waste disposal.

The company works with venues across the UK with its Innervisions Festival taking place at locations across London.

Medway Council says there are no plans to hold a Proms event outside of the Castle Concerts.

Last year's event was marred by the no-show of Jess Glynne who pulled out due to ill health, leaving organisers facing mounting losses.

In the past two years there has also been criticism about a decision to ban people from bringing their own alcohol with them, although it was on sale "at pub prices" around the venue.

Medway Council's portfolio holder for community services, Cllr Howard Doe (Con), said: “We are pleased the concerts will still be taking place this summer and that AGMP Ltd have come up with a line-up of diverse acts.

“With much experience in running large music events, AGMP Ltd is keen to build on the popularity of the concerts and we are particularly pleased it is offering local bands and singers the opportunity to perform on stage.

“We are pleased our residents can continue to enjoy live performances from international performers on their doorstep and at no cost to the council taxpayer.

"If you’d still like to be kept up to date with all the Castle Concert news please follow the Facebook page."

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