HAILED as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Richard Thompson is the first headliner to be named for next year’s Purbeck Valley Folk Festival.

The folk-rock pioneer will be joined by his band Electric Trio at the annual event which runs from August 16-19.

Having co-founded the ground-breaking group Fairport Convention as a teenager in the ‘60s, Richard Thompson and his band mates have often been credited with inventing British Folk Rock.

Thompson’s body of work includes over 40 albums, many Grammy nominations and has been recorded by artists including Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, REM, Del McCoury, Bob Dylan, Los Lobos, David Byrne and Don Henley and many others.

This year saw Richard release his second Acoustic Classics album on Proper Records, coupled with Acoustic Rarities. As an in-demand live performer, 2018 looks set to further cement his iconic status with a US tour and a date with the Purbeck Valley Folk Festival in August.

Thompson’s genre defying mastery of both acoustic and electric guitar along with dizzying energy and onstage wit continue to earn Richard Thompson massive new fans and a place as one of the most distinctive virtuosos in folk rock history.

Purbeck Valley Folk Festival organiser, Catherine Burke said: “We are over the moon to have one of the all-time greats of folk music returning to headline for us. I love this festival because of the amazing atmosphere made by the people who come. There’s loads of brilliant music; we’re music-lovers so we make sure it’s always really great music.”

Catherine added: “We love having the support of so many local people in the Purbecks and we’re lucky to have a fabulous venue at Purbeck Valley Farm. Best of all, there’s a wonderful feeling among people who are here to enjoy the music.”

Other attractions for the family festival include kids entertainers, storytellers, craft workshops, music workshops, theatre workshops, song sessions, poetry, Purbeck Rising (for new talent) and open mics.

Weekend tickets (from Thursday to Sunday with or without camping) are available from £96 (youth £46, children age 4–11 £21). For more details, visit purbeckvalleyfolkfestival.co.uk