Page last updated at 17:27 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 18:27 UK

X Factor star signed for festival

Rhydian Roberts
Welshman Rhydian Roberts was second in the X Factor last year

A new festival in Pontypridd will be given the X Factor after it was confirmed the reality show's star Rhydian Roberts will headline it.

The show's runner-up will perform his first gig in his home country at the inaugural Big Weekend in the Park.

The event, which will run from 18 to 21 July, will include an open-air cinema, family fun day and a pop concert.

It follows news that this year's Full Ponty event, which was previously held in the town, has been cancelled.

The fourth Full Ponty two-day festival was due to take place later this month.

It is understood its backers Pop Factory and Avanti did not have an adequate line-up to follow previous successes, including Tom Jones's homecoming concert and last year's headliners Lostprophets.

So, instead, Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) council says it is putting all of its resources into its new Big Weekend festival, the first of its kind to be held outside Cardiff and Swansea.

It's a major coup for us to book Rhydian - and we're really, really pleased
Christian Hanagan, of Rhondda Cynon Taf council

It will have a family open air cinema, two special concerts at the Muni Arts Centre, a family fun day and a concert in the park, headlined by Rhydian and other artists, who have yet to be announced.

The X Factor singer - famed for his peroxide spikes - came second in last year's ITV1 reality talent show, behind winner Leon Jackson.

"It's a major coup for us to book Rhydian - and we're really, really pleased," said RCT council's head of strategy Christian Hanagan.

"After we found out the Full Ponty wasn't happening this year the council was left with a blank canvas for the Big Weekend. We set about trying to develop our own festival, which we hope will become an annual event.

"While the Full Ponty has been aimed more at 18 to 25-year-olds, the Big Weekend will be very much family orientated. That's why it's great to have Rhydian headlining as he appeals to a wide range of people."

The festival - which coincides with the 40th anniversary of Pontypridd's twinning with Nurtingen in Germany - will be mainly based in Ynysangharad Park.

But it will also have street entertainers and fringe events around the town.

"The Full Ponty has been great for traders in the town and we hope a whole weekend of events will bring lots of people to Pontypridd from all over," he added.

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