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Folk Festivals

(13 Posts)
grannyactivist Wed 02-Jul-14 01:21:05

I was talking to a friend who's recently been to a folk festival and out of idle curiosity I googled folk festivals and I must admit to being really quite surprised at just how many there are: Apparently there are 67 folk music festivals taking place within the next five weeks.
So, my questions are; are you a 'folkie' and if so will you be travelling to one of these festivals? Or perhaps you've already been to one? I love folk festivals, but my husband is not a fan.

MiceElf Wed 02-Jul-14 06:17:01

Same here. I used to go to the wonderful Keele Folf Festival when I was at university and then to folk clubs all over London with many of the greats of those days - Ewan McColl, Peggy Seeger, Leon Rosselson, Ann Briggs, Johnny Handle and so on. But HymnsElf isn't keen so I stick to recorded music now sad

Mishap Wed 02-Jul-14 10:08:58

I would like to commend Folk by the Oak at Hatfield House (

I have to declare an interest, as it is the brainchild of my DD and her OH, and they have been running it very successfully for several years. It is such a lovely festival - gentle and child friendly, with high profile world renowned performers as well as the "Acorn Tent" for new young performers to get their first chance (an important part of the ethos of the festival).

Also this year is The Elizabethan Session, in which 8 high profile performers (Nancy Kerr, Martin Simpson, Jim Moray, Bella Hardy, John Smith, Hannah James, Rachel Newton and early music specialist Emily Askew) play brand new music that was inspired by the Elizabethan era during a one week residency in a country house in Herefordshire - also organised by my DD and partner - I am so proud of them and their enterprising spirit!

There are also lots of lovely side attractions (vintage tent etc.) and wonderful things for the children to do.

If you do go, please take special note of the bunting and large banners - I spent a long time making all these!!!

Tegan Wed 02-Jul-14 10:18:33

I was wondering why Nancy Kerr wasn't performing with her partner, James Fagan any more but all seems to be well [looking at their Facebook site]. I love the thought of them playing Elizabethan inspired music. I wish Hatfield House wasn't so far away; don't suppose they're having a live link at all [but perhaps some of the sets will make their way onto utube].

grannyactivist Wed 02-Jul-14 10:20:38

Mishap I think it's really kindly that Folk by the Oak are also supporting a charity.

Mishap Wed 02-Jul-14 10:51:18

Tegan - a CD of the Elizabethan Session is about to be released - watch this space!

Grannya - yes they have raised over £31,000 over the last few years - they donate 50p from every ticket. That is one of the things I love about their activities - the fact that their heart is in the right place and they donate to charity and also make sure that up-coming youngsters get their chance. There is a very warm atmosphere there. I think it is all wonderful - but then I could be accused of bias!!

Tegan Wed 02-Jul-14 11:05:26

Thanks Mishap; I'm definately interested in getting a copy of that.

grannyactivist Wed 02-Jul-14 11:25:59

One of the things I especially like about our local folk festival is the opportunity to visit the artisan stalls and see some beautiful crafts being made/sold. I always find it heartwarming too to see a large number of young people having really innocent fun whilst dancing or playing instruments.

rubysong Wed 02-Jul-14 13:46:36

Our nearest folk festival is Sidmouth and we have been several times and always enjoyed it very much. It has changed in recent years but it is still a great event. It's definitely more my thing than DH's so I don't get there too often. Not only have I got to see the big names (Steeleye Span, Wateson:Carthy etc.) It has also been an opportunity to discover fantastic people I knew nothing about (e.g.Jim Causley, Damien Barber).

Tegan Wed 02-Jul-14 13:48:32

Do Show of Hands play there?

janerowena Wed 02-Jul-14 14:02:31

Winchester has a great one, but it goes by the name of Mayfest so isn't always easily findable. It's at the end of May over the bank holiday, with all sorts of things going on in the town at the same time. I loved it. Lots of folk dancing troupes from all over the world, stands selling folk music and clothing, weird instruments etc., it brings the town alive and covers quite a large area of the city.

rubysong Wed 02-Jul-14 20:05:50

I've seen Show of Hands there several times Tegan I'm not sure who is on this year, I must have a look at the website.

Tegan Wed 02-Jul-14 20:13:35

Oysterband are playing Sidmouth; I'd love to see them again. Also a group called Calan..I bought a single from a group called Calan a few years back; wonder if it's the same ones? Show of Hands are playing but separately. I like Show of Hands but felt by the third time that I'd seen them enough [I was bowled over the first time I saw them though]. Some people seem to go to every concert they do. Saw Phil Beer with Feast of Fiddles recently and they were brilliant.