UK Folk Festivals


Flickr - lothlaurien - Crossover Junctions Musical Instruments

By true definition, U.K folk festivals are the grass roots celebrations of acoustic and classically influenced native  music - often with a lick of regional influence, and a sprinkling of local legend added to the mix. With the relatively recent resurgence in popularity of artists such as The Pogues and Bob Dylan, folk was able to shrug off the barn-dance band stigma pre-1980, and prove to the world that it could be equally as energetic as the rock, indie and dance genres. With over 300 folk festivals occurring in the U.K annually, you can be guaranteed of a rompin', stompin' good time, no matter where you toss your hat.

Warwick Folk Festival, Warwickshire, 29-31st July
Despite it's idyllic British heartland setting, Warwick is very much a lively town, and home to a festival that attracts award-winning national artists from all four corners of the U.K. Despite much of the festival gigs occurring within the purpose-built halls of Warwick School, the festival is very much dedicated to the continuity of folk music, having played host to 2009's BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner's The Demon Barbers, Dylan-esque Jim Moray, and infectious Grass Mountain Hobos. For cottages near Warwick.

Whitby Folk Week, Yorkshire - Last Week of August
Whitby Folk Week is to Yorkshire, what the Mardi Gras represents to New Orleans. Seven days of partying and world music ring out on the streets of this picturesque North Yorkshire town, attracting some of the top names in folk music. Past sessions have included folk legends such as Keith Donnelly and squeeze-boxer John Kirkpatrick, dubbed the 'Sultan of Squeeze'. Holiday cottages in Yorkshire.

Cambridge Folk Festival, July 31-August 4th
The inception of Cambridge Festival in 1964 wasn't the mastermind of a folk music visionary. In fact it was the borough's own  City Council who were first inspired to hold an event of such eclectic proportions. Together with socialist Ken Woollard, the council set in motion the cogs for the first festival, which headlined musician Paul Simon for the main stage finale. Now boasting four stages, and extensive camping grounds, the Cherry Hinton Hall site also headlines some of folk music's biggest acts. Past successes include The Waterboys, Steve Earle, Oysterband, Billy Bragg and Idlewild, among just some of the star-studded line-ups. Somewhere to stay in Cambridge.

The Big Tent Festival, Fife, Scotland. July 26-27th
Located at an enviable spot on the doorstep of rural Fife, the Big Tent Festival is a relative newcomer to the well established Scottish Celtic and folk scene, yet has made a huge impression since the first event in 2005. Encouraging genres from blues and folk, to soft rock and Ceilidh; the Big Tent Festival has proudly showcased the likes of Aberfeldy, McFalls and a host of world music for the eclectic ear. The Big Tent also lays claim to being one of the 'greenest' festivals in existence with extensive measures in place to both protect, and enhance the beautiful surroundings of rural Falkland village. Fife holiday homes.

The Green Man Festival, Brecon Beacons, Wales. August 19-21st
The splendid amphitheatre of the Brecon Beacons and towering Sugarloaf Mountain set the stage for one of Wales' newest, and most loved folk music festivals, whose repertoire of genres now also extends to blues and world music. Originally starting life as a one-day event, Green Man has evolved to become an 'all-weekender', with over five stages/ areas dedicated to the sub-genres of folk and world music. The Fence Collective, Jose Gonzalez and Seasick Steve comprise just some of the notable acts who have played within the hallowed Brecon hills, and visitors will also find a strong inclination toward film, art, literature and theatre as the festival has matured. Holiday cottages in the Brecon Beacons.


AT 11:43


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