THERE'S less than two weeks to go until Upton House and Country Park in Poole becomes a showcase for some of the biggest names in the music business.

The three-night festival kicks off with a Classical Spectacular on Thursday, June 8, followed by an '80s Extravaganza on Friday, closing with internationally renowned singer-songwriter, Michael Bolton on Saturday, June 9.

Michael said: “I love performing in the UK and especially at an outdoor concert. I’m looking forward to seeing my fans again at Upton Country Park in June and promise them a fantastic occasion.”

Organisers say it is a real coup to have multi-million record selling Michael perform at the Upton House Music Festival.

He has won two Grammys, six American Music Awards and has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

His latest single, Old Time Rock’n’ Roll has been playlisted by BBC Radio 2.

Festival spokesman Stephen McManus said: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured Michael’s services for Upton House Music Festival. He is one of the world’s leading performers and the festival will be a wonderful opportunity to see him in a festival setting. He always puts on a fantastic show and I am looking forward to it immensely.”

Michael, whose new album Songs Of Cinema is out on February 10, has sold more than 60 million records worldwide.

His new album – the 27th in a career spanning 40 years – includes classics such as When A Man Loves A Woman, Stand By Me, I Will Always Love You, Cupid and As Time Goes By.

The Classical Spectacular features world renowned bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, Australian soprano Lauren Fagan, the celebrated BSO Concert Orchestra conducted by the acclaimed Gareth Jones and all female electric string quarter Escala.

Billy Ocean, the king of R&B is headlining the 80s Extravaganza on Friday, 9 June with Kim Wilde and Toyah co-starring.

Billy said: “It’s party time at Upton House! I’m really looking forward to having a great night with all my friends in Dorset.

“My band and I will be putting on a special festival show packed with all my hits and favourites – perfect for getting everyone up and dancing.”

Trinidad-born Billy has been a mainstay of the British and international R&B scene for 40 years, has had a string of top hits and has been showered with music awards ranging from Grammys to Brits.

His unforgettable hits include When the Going Gets Tough, Suddenly, Love Really Hurts Without You, Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car, Red Light Spells Danger, Caribbean Queen and Love On The Run.

His latest ‘best of’ album, the 30-track Here You Are, was released this year and went straight to the top of the charts.

Joining Billy at Upton will be punk icon Toyah Wilcox,

The pop star and actress has close links with Dorset through her 30-year marriage to Wimborne born and bred King Crimson musician, Robert Fripp, and her time spent living in Witchampton.

She said: “Dorset is very close to my heart and I love returning there whenever I can. It will be great fun playing Upton House Music Festival as well as meeting up with a few old friends.”

Toyah, whose 13 top 40 hits included It’s A Mystery, I Want To Be Free, and Thunder In The Mountains also includes a starring role in the mod movie Quadrophenia and work with Sir Laurence Olivier on her 35-year CV.

She added: “I love the variety in my career – it keeps it all fresh and I’ll certainly be looking to put on a colourful, energetic and exciting show for the 80s fans at Upton House.”

Completing the trio of 80s superstars will be Kim Wilde, whose first single release, Kids In America in 1981, was a worldwide hit and launched a career which has so far yielded thirteen studio albums and more than 30 singles, bringing sales of more than 20 million records.

In 1983 she was voted Best British Female Singer at the BPI Awards. She continues to perform on tours and festivals all over the world and was the recipient of a British Academy of Songwriters Composers & Authors Gold Badge Award in October 2015.

Kim, also a radio presenter and renowned landscape gardener, said: “I’m so looking forward to coming to Upton Country Park – I’ve heard the grounds are wonderful and I’m hoping to take a look around, especially to see the Walled Garden’s borders.

“But my first love is singing and because I love the special atmosphere of outdoors summer concerts I can’t wait to get up on stage to belt out Kids, Water On Glass, Cambodia, You Keep Me Hanging On and some of my newer songs.”

Award-winning Upton Country Park, home of the Grade II Listed Georgian mansion Upton House, has more than 130 acres of parkland, shoreline and formal estate gardens – and is just three miles from Poole bus and railway stations. Buses run along Poole Road which is the road next to the venue.

Last year’s Upton House Music Festival featuring Jools Holland, Katherine Jenkins and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra proved to be a runaway success which the promoters are hoping to emulate next year.

Tickets for the event are still available now, with various hospitality packages. See the website for details or call 01202 255161.