Melvin Benn unveils first acts for Heavenly Planet

Drummers Of Burundi, Ukulele Of Great Britain, The Wonder Stuff and Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba are among the first acts unveiled for next year's brand new Heavenly Planet festival.

Patrick Duff, Toto la Momposina & Colores de Columbia, The Bays, Fence Collective and Chase & Status were also announced at today's launch (full line up below). 

The new festival has been created to fill the gap left in Reading by the departed WOMAD, which moved to Wiltshire three years ago from its home on the Thames.

Festival Republic, which owns some of the land along the river, has partnered with Reading Borough Council and WOMAD's former artistic director, Thomas Brooman, to create a natural successor for the town.

Heavenly Planet will be a celebration of 'song, music and optimism', according to Melvin Benn of Festival Republic, as part of a world-wide brand with an event already planned for Sicily next autumn.

The inaugral festival will take place on the site already made famous by Reading Festival and WOMAD – adjacent to the River Thames in the heart of Reading – on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 July 2009.

Benn told journalists and guests aboard a barge on the river: "It will have world music as its starting point but definitely not as its end point.

"It will be a festival of great quality with families enormously welcome."

Guests will be treated to various music stages, attractions and workshops with the festival having open access to the banks of the Thames.

Tickets are on sale HERE, priced £75 for the weekend or £35-£45 per day. The line up is as follows, with many more acts to be announced over the coming months. 

Drummers of Burundi
Sharon Shannon Big Band
Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
The Wonder Stuff
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba
The Oysterband – Ceilidh Set
Toto la Momposina & Colores de Colombia
Boban & Marko Markovic Gypsy Orchestra
Eliza Carthy
Chase & Status MC Fuse Takura & Plan B
The Bays
Bloco Electro
Bill Cobham in The Big Bang
The Fence Collective featuring The Three Craws – King Creosote, James Yorkston, The Pictish Trail
Ku-Da-Mix Orchestra
Glass Half Full
Patrick Duff
Sleeps In Oysters
TC & Jakes