Razorlight and The Wanted join Alfie Boe, Ed Sheeran, Madness, Plan B, Steps, Will Young and more for 2012 Forestry Commission shows

Posted: 6th February 2012

As much a part of the music event calendar as festivals, tours and cancellations due to bizarre injuries, is the ever-expanding Forestry Commission concert series. Founded in 2001, the concept's remit was simple - to present major international acts in beautiful outdoor settings, seven of them to be exact. The first shows featured Jools Holland and The Levellers, with subsequent summers featuring Pulp, Paul Weller, Pet Shop Boys, Massive Attack and Westlife, amongst many others.

Now in its 11th year, this year's batch of concerts is just as essential, with two new names just added to the roster. We'll keep you informed of any more new Forestry Commission shows, right here!

They've sold over 4 million albums and show no signs of buckling under the strain of current music-trends. A new album is imminent and so is a Forestry Live show at Thetford Forest on 14th June. "America", "Wire to Wire" and other tracks from across their popular catalogue will have you swinging in the trees. Tickets cost £29.50 - we will have them on sale from 9am Friday 10th Feb.

Fans of one of the fastest-selling pop-bands will be eager to snap up tickets for this Forestry show on 20th July, due to be held at Gloucestershire's Westonbirt Arboretum (the final one to be announced for this location). The chart-toppers will wheel out the big hits such as "Lightning", "Glad You Came" and more - guests TBC. We will have tickets available from Friday 10th Feb at 9am, priced at £27.50.

He is best-known for becoming one of Britain's most-revered tenors from humble beginnings and continues his unstoppable rise with two Forestry shows, one at Thetford on 13th July and the other at Westonbirt on 21st July. Tickets available from 9am Friday 20th Jan, priced at £35.50. Expect songs from his recent 'Alfie' album. Boe is also playing other headlining summer shows throughout the UK (his winter tour is sold out).

Trying to buy tickets to see this man has become something of a lottery - his latest UK tour has totally sold out. Sheeran celebrates seeing his album '+' return to the top of the album chart by announcing a show at one of the first forests to host music shows, Thetford Forest. Not surprisingly, tickets for this show sold out at the drop of an effects pedal.

The Nutty Boys will be performing one step beyond their usual choice of venue by returning with their first Forestry show since 2005. Westonbirt Arboretum will once again resound to the nutty sound, with Suggs at the helm and (maybe) new material to boot. Madness will appear in Gloucestershire on 24th June with tickets priced at £36.50 - on sale now, but almost sold out!

The man behind Strickland Banks has already confirmed his intentions for this year with a full tour of all Forestry venues, starting with Thetford on 15th June, followed by the Sherwood Pines, Bedgebury etc, until Delamere Forest in Cheshire on 7th July. Tickets for this magnificent seven weigh in at £32 each and are available for all but Delamere Forest in Cheshire, which has now sold out.

Also appearing at all forests during the summer is Mr Evergreen (no pun intended), starting with Sherwood Forest on 15th June, followed by Thetford on the following evening and eventually finishing up in Delamare Forest on 6th July. Demand for Young's talents has resulted in all but one Forestry show selling out - you can still buy face-value tickets for his show at Cannock Birches Forest on 30th June, priced at £35.

Steps Steps' revival continues, this time with a show at Westonbirt Arboretum. The all-singing and dancing troupe will be in Gloucestershire in July, following up their UK tour and prior to shows on IOW and at Newmarket Nights 2012. Tickets for this Forestry Live show cost £36 and are on sale from Friday 27th Jan onwards.
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There will be plenty of pomp, theatre, tight trousers and falsetto-rock entertainment from Justin Hawkins and co as they invade their local forest in Thetford for just one show on Saturday 14th July. "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" and "Get Your Hands Off My Woman" will scare the wildlife and delight the sizeable audience, as well as new songs and the usual excellent Darkness show. Support comes from American rockers Black Stone Cherry. £36 - tickets are available now.

Delamere Forest is the almost-local setting for this special Forestry show for Liverpool's perky alt-pop outfit, set to take place on Sunday 8th July. They've had more hits than you might think - "Let's Dance To Joy Division", "Jump Into the Fog" and "Tokyo" will no doubt all feature in the band's set. Tickets are on sale now for £25.50.

Paul Pledger