Stage is set for second Coastival

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THE stage is set for the second Coastival festival which begins tonight.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to Scarborough this weekend to attend the more than 100 events being held during the biennial three-day extravaganza of music, comedy, theatre, arts, performance and activities for children.

Coastival will begin with a lantern parade, complete with giant dinosaurs, setting off from Valley Road, and will be topped off with a hotly-anticipated headline performance by rockers Levellers at the Spa Ocean Room tonight.

Organiser Wendy Clews said: “The lantern parade always gets Coastival off to an exciting start and we are looking forward to a good turn-out this year. “It will be all the more spectacular this year as we have giant dinosaurs to ‘accompany’ us along the route!

“Then we have a fantastic line-up of local talent in Scarborough’s Finest, which is always a great curtain-raiser for Coastival.”

The first 300 children arriving with a lantern will receive a free glow stick ready for the parade. The winners of the lantern-making competition held for youngsters over the past few weeks will be announced, with £50 for the best individual lantern and £100 for the best school entry. The parade starts at 5pm and will make its way down to the Spa.

Ms Clews said: “The stage is set, the planning is over and it’s time for the Coastival curtain to rise.

“We have a fantastic line-up of entertainment ahead this weekend and Coastival-goers are in for a brilliant time!”

The first day will also include a concert by Scarborough’s Finest at the Spa Theatre at 6.30pm.

The event is supported by the Evening News. It is set to feature Scarborough Hip Hop School, Hatton School of Performing Arts, Stephen Joseph’s ‘Fun-Key Choir’, Coastival’s Streets Ahead project, working with Graham, Raincliffe, Friarage and Braeburn schools, and Whitby-based The Committee – winners of the 2010 Battle of the Sands contest.

The line-up over the weekend will range from comedy with Count Arthur Strong, Shappi Khorsandi and Jon Richardson, jazz, including Claire Martin, world music such as 17Hippies and a vast array of other attractions, events, performances and installations, as well as events for children in Rollercoastival.

Perennial festival favourites and former Glastonbury headliners Levellers have announced tonight’s gig will see the first performance of their new set - Levelling the Land Live 2011 - before they take it on tour in March.

Levelling the Land is the band’s seminal 1991 album and will be performed in its entirety for the first time to mark the 20th anniversary of its original release, followed by an extended encore of hits from the band’s back catalogue.

Ms Clews added: “It is a tremendous coup for Coastival. We were thrilled when Levellers agreed to play Coastival but to have them perform Levelling the Land Live ahead of their tour is the icing on the cake for us. It promises to be an unforgettable night at the Spa.”

In 2009 a total of more than 9,000 people attended the 96 events that were held during the first ever Coastival, bringing an estimated £175,000 boost to the local economy. It was most notable for a headline show from rock band Feeder, with Mark Richardson, of Skunk Anansie and formerly of Scarborough’s the Little Angels, on drums.