The award-winning team behind Are You Listening? Festival have announced the final group of acts performing in Reading Abbey Ruins this September.

The venue may be ancient, but the line-up for the debut of Down at The Abbey is fresh, taking place Saturday 7 September in the stunning and historic Reading Abbey Ruins.

Topping the announcement is off-kilter dream popster Rozi Plain. Rozi is a touring member of This Is The Kit, and but has toured solo alongside Devendra Banhart and counts Bon Iver and The National as fans. Plain’s shuffling, colourful music has seen her dominate BBC Radio 6 Music and win the love of The Line Of Best Fit, Loud & Quiet and Pitchfork. Rozi Plain will mesmerise in the medieval ruins in September.

The quirky indie stalwart Darren Hayman joins the bill. As a member of famed indie band Hefner, Hayman recorded an impressive twelve live sessions for music legend John Peel. Since then, Hayman has released a staggering 20 solo albums and continually toured, at times employing The Wave Pictures (who also play Down At The Abbey) as his backing band and performing alongside The Pictish Trail, Stewart Lee and Robin Ince.

The kaleidoscopic Rachael Dadd has also been announced. Spending most of her time as a touring musician in Japan, Dadd has performed her lo-fi psychedelia at End of the Road, Green Man and Glastonbury Festivals. Rachael has also toured the world alongside This Is The Kit, Laura Marling and Francois & The Atlas Mountains, as well as the aforementioned Rozi Plain.

Aldworth Philharmonic Soloists are set to perform too. The classical group are an off-shoot of Reading’s esteemed Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra, who blew away crowds at Are You Listening? Festival in April and were awarded a Cultural Award for their public performance ‘Schumann at the Station’ last year.

The other acts announced are local hero and former Pete & The Pirates member Pete Hefferan; Reading’s hottest indie band The Keep Cats (performing a special acoustic set); multi-talented Welsh songstress Bryde;punk looper soloist The Amazing Tiger Band; and stomping country entertainers Damien A. Passmore + Dr. J.

Already announced to perform in the historic medieval ruins are live-wire piano maestro and festival headliner BC Camplight; hauntingly talented folk singer and Scottish Album Of The Year winner Kathryn Joseph; Moshi Moshi Records signed indie stalwarts The Wave Pictures and previous BBC 6 Music ‘Album Of The Year’-picked folk rocker Tom Williams.

The line-up is completed by Electro-blues livewires Vienna Ditto (playing an exclusive comeback show); local party starters Saltwater Sun; piano pop-er Ever Hazel; country blues duo The August List; and member of (David Bowie tribute) Holy Holy, Jessica Lee Morgan.

The award-winning Siren Craft Brew will be running the main Festival Bar, and there will be a number of pop-up bars and mouth-watering street food stalls to festival goers happy on the day.

Speaking of the latest music announcement, festival organiser Dave Maul said: “We’re extremely proud of the diverse and talented line-up we’ve got together to perform in the serene abbey ruins.

“The space is really magical and with this amazing group of artists performing, plus the delicious food and drink line-up, we’re sure Down At The Abbey will really make a mark”.

Reading Abbey Ruins is a venue like no other. King Henry I started the construction of Reading Abbey in 1121 and once built, the great royal abbey was one of the largest monasteries in Europe for some 400 years, housing monks and religious relics including the hand of St James. In 1539, on the orders of King Henry VIII, Reading Abbey was destroyed, the monks were banished and the Abbot was executed.

In recent years, the Grade I Listed, Scheduled Monument sits beside the infamous Reading Gaol and has undergone a £3 million renovation, re-opening to the public in June 2018. The independent team behind Down At The Abbey are extremely excited to launch their brand new festival in this truly unique and historical space in the heart of Reading.

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