Silverstone Classic reveals UB40 as first headline act

Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue
Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue

British reggae pop legends UB40 will top Saturday night’s live music line-up at this summer’s ‘Rocking and Racing’ Silverstone Classic.

Since forming in 1979, the seminal troupe have sold more than 70 million records worldwide, racked up 40 top 10 hits and received multiple Grammy nominations.

A trio of the key founding members – frontman Ali Campbell, singer Astro and keyboardist Mickey Virtue – reunited five years ago, selling-out venues around the world.

At home, the UK reggae pioneers have recently been performing songs from their first two best-selling Labour of Love albums, with a sell-out arena tour that included memorable shows at London’s O2 Arena, the Manchester Apollo and the Barclaycard Arena in their native Birmingham.

They are set to release their new album, A Real Labour of Love, in March.

Campbell said: “We’re having an outstanding time on the road. It’s all about promoting reggae.

“Fans care about the music and that’s what we’re giving them. We’re having a great time and we’re doing it in style.”

Campbell sang on all of UB40’s greatest hits including Red Red Wine, Can’t Help Falling in Love and Many Rivers to Cross.

Nick Wigley, CEO of Goose Live Events, organiser of the Silverstone Classic, said: “We are thrilled to have yet another amazing chart-topping band performing at the Silverstone Classic.

“We will be celebrating more than 60 years of epic endurance motor racing history with three spectacular sports car races staged back-to-back at dusk on Saturday evening.

“Now fans – especially the ever-increasing numbers staying at Silverstone for the entire festival weekend – will be able to follow up the very special sights and sounds of those three stunning showdowns by rocking along to the equally evocative songs of UB40. It is shaping up to be the perfect night out.”

While the racing remains the heartbeat of the Silverstone Classic, organisers will be announcing more acts in the coming month.

All Silverstone Classic tickets must be purchased in advance and will provide automatic admittance to the live music concerts on both evenings, as well as Silverstone racing paddocks, all open trackside grandstands, air shows, funfair rides and the vast majority of the family entertainment on offer.

Early Bird tickets cost £37 and are available now. See silverstoneclassic.com for more.