An legend of the 80s and 90s Madchester scene will headline the first night of a returning music festival near Swindon this summer.

WrdeUp celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and its new management team has just announced the first acts booked to appear at the event on the Lower Recreation Ground.

Bez, who starred in the Happy Mondays and Black Grape, will bring his popular DJ set to the festival on Friday, July 5 from 6.30pm as part of a special show called Bez’s WrdeUp Weekend WarmUp.

He will be supported by FatBoy Slim tribute act FatBoy Tim, with the Norman Cook lookalike performing on stage and joining in with the DJing.

A local warm-up act, yet to be announced, will also be involved.

A spokesperson for the festival said: “Bez, the man himself will be headlining the night with his popular Indie DJ Show, playing all your favourite classics from the last 40 years and you can guarantee he’ll be getting audience members involved and shaking their maracas.

“Not only does FatBoy Tim look like Norman (Cook), perform like Norman and generally misbehave on stage like Norman, but he is a totally world-class DJ.”

Swindon Advertiser: Bez from the Happy Mondays will play a DJ set at WrdeUpBez from the Happy Mondays will play a DJ set at WrdeUp (Image: WrdeUp)

The 2024 event will be the first for new organisers Fandangos Events, who took over from the outgoing committee following difficulties in recruiting more event volunteers.

Having supported the festival for the past five years, Fandangos have given themselves a two-year window to make the event financially sustainable and aim to enable it to continue running for the benefit of the community for the foreseeable future.

Tickets for the weekend warm-up show are on sale to over-18s for £13 each at

The festival’s Saturday line-up on July 6, which is yet to be revealed, can be enjoyed by people of all ages in a family-friendly environment with music, food and drink, and interactive activities for children from 2pm to 11pm.

After acquiring the festival earlier this year, Tom Falding, of Fandangos Productions Ltd, said: “We’re very proud and excited to be taking over the reins from the departing committee, who have worked so hard to create such a fantastic family-friendly event for the community of Highworth and beyond.

“We hope to bring fresh energy to the show, we’ll be rolling out a few additions or the odd amendment to the event to help it grow while still maintaining the community, family friendly and musical spirit of the event”.

“Thanks so much for your support and we looking forward to delivering the key event for the town”.