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Hot Chocolate’s lead vocalist Kennie Simon is set to join the line-up for what is guaranteed to be an unmissable night of music at this summer’s Hale Barns Carnival.

The singer will co-headline the Saturday night bill alongside Liverpool legends The Real Thing, together bringing sweet soul sounds and irresistible dance anthems to next month’s carnival.

This year’s Hale Barns Carnival takes place across the weekend of Friday 15 July, Saturday 16 July and Sunday 17 July 2022 – with the live music being extended to three evenings for the second time, reflecting the demand for tickets.

And with exactly one month to go, excitement is building for the 2022 event.

Along with The Real Thing and Kennie Simon, the 2022 weekend programme also includes ‘People’s Tenor’ Russell Watson on the Friday night, along with R&B royalty Gwen Dickey – the voice of Rose Royce. And top Chic tribute at Chic Out! will appear in support on the Sunday evening, playing irresistible disco classics from Chic, Nile Rodgers and Sister Sledge.

Singer and keyboard player Kennie Simon fronts iconic British soul band Hot Chocolate which was formed in 1968 by Errol Brown and Tony Wilson.

The group has enjoyed a string of fantastic hits over the last half-a-century including It Started With a Kiss, Love is Life, Every 1’s a Winner, No Doubt About It, the number one record So You Win Again and the legendary You Sexy Thing.

The Real Thing

Meanwhile The Real Thing returns to Hale Barns Carnival after a storming set in 2019 and as part of the band’s 50th anniversary year.

The soul, funk and disco pioneers – originally called The Sophisticated Soul Brothers – were formed in Liverpool in the early 1970s and changed their name to The Real Thing in 1972, making them Britain’s longest-established as well as best-loved and most successful black group in UK entertainment history.

The band topped the UK charts in 1976 with smash hit You to Me Are Everything and went on to have a host of other successes including Can’t Get By Without YouFeel the Force and the groundbreaking 1977 record Children of the Ghetto.

Tickets for the concert are on sale now.

In addition to individual concert tickets and weekend passes, special VIP secret garden tickets are also available, giving access to a premium bar, at-table waitress service, VIP toilets and exclusive musical performances as well as a great view of the main stage.

The live concerts are once again complemented by a two-day free Hale Barns Carnival family event on the Saturday and Sunday (16 and 17 July).

The event features local performances and live music, the ‘Kidchella’ mini festival experience for youngsters aged three to 11, traditional fun fair rides, a makers’ market with 30 stalls, plus a foodie village and bars. The Supercar Paddock also returns featuring rare classic cars and supercars.

This year the daytime programme will include a host of new attractions including Inflatable World – with a giant inflatable obstacle course; a 28ft rock climbing wall for adults and children giving a bird’s eye view of the festival site; The PartyBus soft play double decker, and a chance to test your skills in a special Football Academy.

And the popular Makers Market returns to Hale Barns for the first time since 2018, with more than 30 stalls from local artisans.

Daytime entry is free from 12noon until 4pm.

Organiser Max Eden from Hale Barns Events said“We’re really excited to be able to announce Kennie Simon as a fantastic addition to the Saturday night line-up. Kennie looks and sounds uncannily like the late, great Errol Brown, who co-founded Hot Chocolate, and I know that along with the brilliant The Real Thing, he’s going to have the Hale Barns audience up on its feet and dancing the night away.

“I’m particularly proud of the programme of top-class entertainment that we’ve brought together for this year’s carnival. And of course, alongside the evening concerts we’ve also got two packed daytime carnival events with a host of new attractions alongside all the usual family favourites.”