NEW bands will feature alongside big name acts at this year's Cropredy Festival.

The annual festival of rock, pop, and acoustic music takes place on Thursday to Saturday, August 9-11 - and the organisers promise it will be the best Cropredy with up to 20,000 music fans attending.

This year, Fairport Convention celebrates their fortieth anniversary, and the 2007 festival's two themes are 'Forty Glorious Years' and 'emerging young acts.' Headline acts include Jools Holland, Seth Lakeman, Richard Thompson Band, and Show of Hands, and on Saturday night, Fairport will close the show with their customary marathon set. Fairport are renowned for encouraging and supporting young musicians.

Each year, the winner of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award is invited to play at Cropredy and the 2007 winning act is four-piece band Last Orders.

Other emerging acts include folk-rockers Kerfuffle, all-girl trio Hummingbird, and award-winning newcomers Give Way.

As part of the 'Forty Glorious Years' theme, there will be a one-off special performance by Fairport's 1969 line-up.

Chris While will sing in place of the late Sandy Denny, joining Ashley Hutchings, Dave Mattacks, Simon Nicol, Dave Swarbrick, and Richard Thompson to perform the classic Fairport album Liege & Lief in its entirety.

Other Cropredy acts include The Strawbs, Viva Santana, Mad Agnes, Bob Fox and Billy Mitchell, Wishbone Ash, Iain Matthews, The Bucket Boys, and Richard Digance.

Tickets for the event are on sale from and prices range from £37 to £75.