STARS including Africa Express, Fabio and Grooverider and the Outlook Orchestra are amongst the names that are set to headline at a new music festival in Southend.
The Southend City Festival is expected to draw in more than 10,000 people for the event from September 2-4.
It will be held at inside an aircraft hangar at Southend Airport and tickets will go on sale at 8am this morning, available from £10.
The line-up includes a mix of international and upcoming local artists.
It will be headlined by Africa Express, Fabio and Grooverider and the Outlook Orchestra, and the Music Man Project in a weekend like no other.
Carole Mulroney, deputy leader and councilor responsible for tourism, is over-the-moon with the announcement.
She said: “I believe this is the greatest show we could hope for the city of Southend, and it would not be possible without the commercial and public sector working together to make it happen.
“This will leave a lasting legacy as we will rise to the challenge of hosting an event of this size and stature for a city.
“It will be a huge boost for the local economy and signifies how we want to get things done in our new City – together in partnership and for this festival – together in sound.”
African Express brings together musicians from different cultures, genres and generations to break boundaries and offer a new perspective on Africa and its music.
It was founded in 2006 with a trip to Mali linking the likes of co-founder Damon Albam, Martha Wainwright, and Fatboy Slim.
Sam Duckworth, more commonly known as Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, has been leading the project alongside the council, DP World, the Town2City Partnership, The Music Man Project, Southend Airport, and the chamber of trade.
Mr Duckworth said the event is a dream for him.
He said: “This is a dream come true event for me, as a music fan and resident of Southend.
“To be part of a team working to bring some of the best artists in the world to Southend fills me with pride.
“To know that in September, neighbors and friends will be able to walk to a show, that friends from around the country will come to visit and this is the line-up they will be seeing… wow.
“The airport and the council have been wonderful in their support, and I have been bursting at the steams keeping this under wraps.”
Ernst Schulze, chief executive officer of DP World UK, added: “At DP World, we focus on making a positive economic and social impact wherever we work.
“This outstanding cultural celebration will boost the local community in our nation’s newest city, attracting international artists and showcasing local talent.
“We are delighted to be supporting it.”
Chief executive officer of London Southend Airport, Glyn Jones, said they are prepared for the large volumes of people expected.
He said: “We are truly excited to host a festival for Southend.
“It will bring people together from across the area to celebrate Southend’s city status and experience music from internationally renowned artists.
“We are well placed to act as the venue for this event given the size of our airport hangar, our frequent trains from London, own train station within 100 paces of the airport and 1,200 car parking spaces, and have a lot of experience welcoming and coordinating the arrival of large volumes of people.”
Or for more information following @SouthendCityFestival on Facebook and Instagram.