THE first headliner for a revamped festival in Basingstoke has been announced.

B LOVE is the new name for what was Basingstoke Live and will feature over 70 live music acts at the War Memorial Park on Saturday, 7 and Sunday, 8 July.

Topping the bill on the Main Stage on the Sunday of the now paid-for ticketed event will be Reef, best known for their 1997 hit Place Your Hands.

The event is funded by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and programmed by the B LOVE Forum.

The council’s arts and events manager Ross Harvie said: “We are very excited to unveil our brand new B LOVE music festival, showcasing and celebrating the borough’s love of live music.

"This year’s new ticketed event will bring bigger and better acts to the borough for just a small cost while still supporting the very best of Basingstoke’s live music scene, providing a fantastic variety of music to suit all musical tastes.

“We’ve always said our aim is to grow the music festival and attract top quality acts for all ages.

"I’m delighted we have confirmed Reef to perform on the Main Stage and attracted world-class outdoor aerial performers to support our aim to make the music festival an event that can be enjoyed by all the family.

"I would like to thank the B LOVE Forum for all their hard work in programming the stages and I look forward to seeing the full line-up announced in the new few weeks.”

More news, including who will top the bill on the Main Stage on Saturday and other stage headliners, will be announced soon.

This year’s festival will be the finale event in the three-week long Basingstoke Festival and will combine top music acts with 50 of the borough’s best musicians over five stages.

Organisers are promising a mix of music genres from rock, pop and acoustic performances to reggae, grime, drum n bass and everything in between while the festival will also feature free activities for children, including storytelling, arts and crafts, a percussion playground, face painting and music workshops.

There will also be performances from aerial theatre company Ockham’s Razor and Zoielogic Dance Theatre’s highly-acclaimed outdoor show RIDE.

Grammy Award-nominated percussionist and composer The Junkman will also be in residence for the weekend, performing and leading workshops.