NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

James and Happy Mondays to star at Wizard Festival

Image caption James are the headline act at this year's Wizard Festival at New Deer

Acts including James and Happy Mondays are expected to draw thousands of fans to a music and arts festival in the north east of Scotland this weekend.

The bands, who found fame in the 1980s and 90s, are to appear at the annual Wizard Festival in New Deer.

Other acts appearing at the fourth year of Wizard include Alabama 3, Sandi Thom, Peatbog Faeries and Pearl and the Puppets, as well as DJs.

The entertainment begins on Friday and continues on Saturday.

Wizard spokeswoman Angela Michael said it was set to be a successful event.

'Cusp of breakthrough'

However, she told BBC Scotland that some up-and-coming artists having to sign earlier festival exclusive deals means they are not able to play, and promote themselves, elsewhere later in the year.

She said it mainly affected the middle and lower part of bills and explained: "They are not able to play us because of that.

"Acts on the cusp of breaking through will maybe only get one festival."

Acts that have previously played at Wizard include The Charlatans.

Smaller events, such as Wizard, and Belladrum near Beauly, have grown in popularity in recent years.

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