Where there’s a Will: Gigs at Dalby Forest sold out

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Organisers of two massive outdoor concerts at Dalby Forest have revealed both gigs are a sell-out due to major demand.

Thousands of music fans are set to rock to the sound of top-selling artists Will Young and Plan B at the open air gigs next week.

The Forestry Commission, which is hosting the concerts, says both performances have been oversubscribed, meaning a total of 10,000 revellers will be heading for the 8,600 acre beauty spot, near Pickering.

It means a massive boost for the local environment, as cash raised by the Forestry Commission Live Music tour helps care for woodlands in Yorkshire and the Tees Valley.

Organiser Tanya Rex said: “Despite the economic climate fans have flocked once again to this unique venue to see world class music. It will be a great weekend.”

The programme of live music was first launched back in 2001, but over the last decade or so it has become an increasingly important income stream for the Commission.

Since 2003 revenue generated by the forest has doubled from £7m to £14m - of that, the calendar of summer gigs generates in excess of £3m.

And with the likes of Massive Attack, McFly and Sugababes bringing new people into the forest, it has also been key in widening Dalby’s visitor base.

This year’s top acts are also set to take the venue by storm.

In the ten years since winning Pop Idol, Will Young has sold over nine million records and boasts a succession of hits including Jealousy, Leave Right Now, Light My Fire and Changes.

He said: “The forest gigs have a great reputation for their atmosphere so I’m really looking forward to performing my songs in such unique settings.”

The singer will perform in the spectacular natural auditorium next Friday, where he will be joined by Brit Award and Ivor Novello Awards nominee Nerina Pallot.

And on Saturday Plan B, also known as Ben Drew, will take his distinct urban sound to the stage.

The singer-songwriter, rapper, actor and film director came to prominence with the 2006 release of the critically acclaimed hip hop album, Who Needs Actions When You Got Words.

His next project, the soul-influenced The Defamation of Strickland Banks, takes the listener on a journey of a man who finds success hard to handle and then hits rock bottom. Released in 2010, the album went on to become the fifth biggest seller of the year and continued a chart presence through 2011. Featuring crafted hit singles like Stay Too Long, Prayin and The Recluse, awards have abounded for both artist and album, including a Brit Award for Best British Male and a trio of Ivor Novellos.

He said: “It’s going to be a real adventure taking the Plan B show into the woods. I’m really up for this and hope to see you there.”

Both artists will follow in the footsteps of top acts Paul Weller, Jarvis Cocker, The Beautiful South and Erasure, who have all played at the stunning venue.

The forest will be closed to the public both days from 4pm and arena gates will open at 6pm.

Bar and catering facilities will be provided, along with free car parking.

Visitors are advised to bring outdoor clothing and a torch.

Glass, cans, umbrellas, tables and tents are banned.