Organisers target Olly Murs after new Betley music festival gets green light
A MAJOR three-day music festival featuring some of Britain's top acts is being planned for North Staffordshire this summer.
Talks are underway to try to secure acts including Tom Jones and Olly Murs for the first-ever Junction 16 festival.
Up to 15,000 people will be able to attend each day of the festival on the second weekend of August.
It will take place on 252-acres of farmland in Betley after Newcastle borough councillors approved an entertainment licence yesterday after there were no objections.
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Mother-of-three and landowner Jayne Speed, aged 47, who owns Betley Court Farm with husband Frank, said: "We are excited about getting the go-ahead for the event and can't wait to get started.
"It is in a good location and there are excellent road links.
"This has been in the pipeline since last summer but now the licence is in place it is all coming together."
The site already attracts 10,000 people a year to the annual Betley Show which is set to continue.
The Junction 16 festival will be spread over three themed days – Betley goes retro, Betley goes pop and a tea in the park day for families. Overnight camping will not be allowed.
Organiser George Bailey, aged 51, who runs Betley Mere Concerts, said: "We want to attract international acts.
"We are organising the ticket prices now and will look to have booked all the acts by next month. We have an established venue which is used to holding a large number of people."
Music promoters today welcomed news of the Junction 16 festival.
Chris Wilson, aged 27, of Penkhull, who works at the Sugarmill music venue, in Hanley, said: "Anything that brings artists and music into the area is massively beneficial to the local scene.
"It will be great for people to have the chance to see major artists at a venue that is actually near to home.
"I am hoping that it will really help put Betley and this area on the map."
Music fan and nursery nurse Megan Farrington, aged 20, of North Street, Newcastle, said: "It is a brilliant idea to have a festival because there is nothing like this in North Staffordshire.
"I will be keeping a look out for the tickets when they go on sale and can't wait for the line-up to be announced.
"Tom Jones would be brilliant because he is popular with all ages."
Junction 16 will be held between August 9 and 11. Ticket details are yet to be announced.