PREPARATIONS are well under way for one of the district’s biggest music festivals.

The Allen Valleys Folk Festival will return at the end of September for the sixth time.

Headlining this year’s festival are folk group The Unthanks, consisting of Rachel and Becky Unthank along with Adrian McNally, Niopha Keegan and Chris Price.

The group are known for combining traditional Northumbrian folk music with other genres.

Also on the billing are the Rheingans Sisters, who won the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for best original track, and French duo Turfu.

The festival also includes the iconic ceremony that sees a wooden sculpture representing the Allendale wolf burnt to the ground.

There will also be various fringe events and workshops – including ukulele, clog dancing, dulcimer, harmonica and willow weaving – held across the festival’s three days.

Festival organiser Peter Aldcroft said: “This year’s festival has something for everyone.

“We open on Friday night with a full-blooded ceilidh from Hexham’s Hedgehog’s Skin and close on Sunday afternoon with a delightful set from The Unthanks.

“In between you’ll experience a range of talent from the lyrical originality of The Rheingans Sisters to the high energy dance rhythms of Saturday night headliners Me & My Friends and Turfu.”