Getting your folk music fix while social distancing

Now that theatres and music/dance clubs have had to close, we’re all missing our folk music as we try to stay safe and maintain social distancing. So in no particular order, here are some ways that Unicorn Magazine has found out about to get your ‘fix’ online.

Some of the musicians are doing it for free, some are putting a ‘tip jar’ out to receive donations and others are seeking a fee which can be paid online.  Check out the Facebook pages and websites of your favourite artists and look on YouTube to see what else you can find. And please support these artists with a donation or by buying a CD/merchandise if you possibly can – life is extremely tough for them in the current situation.

  • Kirsty Merryn is running an amazing two day online festival on 11 and 12 April. It’s £20 to join for both days and £10 for either the Saturday or the Sunday. You can also find information about this on her Facebook page. The current lineup is as follows with more to follow:
    • Saturday 4pm Lukas Drinkwater, 5pm Robert Lane, 6pm Gitta de Ridder, 7pm Iona Fyfe, 8pm Luke Jackson
    • Sunday 4pm Polly Paulusma, 5pm Kirsty Merryn, 6pm Katie Spencer, 7pm Ciaran and Greg (2xsolo slots), 8pm Alden, Patterson and Dashwood
  • Chris While and Julie Matthews will be ‘Live in the Lounge’ at 7.30pm on Friday 3 April. See their Facebook page for more details.
  • Ninebarrow are doing a live concert on Facebook at 7.00pm on Saturday 4 April.
  • Steve Knightley has been doing ‘Lick the Lockdown’ instrument lessons on his Facebook page – the one I saw was on ‘fingerpicking’ and he has promised others.
  • Ciaran Algar is performing some amazing tunes on Facebook.
  • Miranda Sykes (who is having chemotherapy to fight her recently diagnosed breast cancer), gave a  wonderful online concert last Saturday which you can see from her Facebook page. She has also said that she will be performing requests on Facebook over the next few weeks. She did the first one – Boo Hewerdine’s ‘Me and My Sister the Moon’ – yesterday.
  • Andy Webster of the League of Ukulele Gentlemen (well known to those of us who go to the ukulele workshops at Costa del Folk) has a brilliant website where you will find details of courses. I think he is offering one for children for £20 in early April. He is also performing songs on his Facebook page.
  • Keiron Jones of Hitchin Folk Club is working very hard to make available many of the audio recordings of gigs at the club over the many years he and his wife Maureen have run it. Sign up to the club’s mailing list and/or keep an eye on the Facebook page for more information.
  • Gareth Malone is running an international online choir on YouTube at 5.30pm each weekday. Click here to register. It’s free! Although it’s not folk music, it is singing which is good for us all at times like these.
  • Finally for this blog post, although it is not folk music, there is a Facebook group called ‘Rock the Lock Down’ which is promoting some amazing live online music.

If you have information about other events that people can ‘attend’ while staying safe, please email unicornmagazine@hotmail.co.uk and I will do my best to publicise it.

This is a fast moving crisis and things are changing all the time. Sadly, I know that The Gate to Southwell Festival has been cancelled as has the Show of Hands tour in may and all the events from Northampton Ceilidhs until September. The best advice is to check online, on Facebook or direct with the organisation if you are planning to attend/view anything in the next few months.

Stay safe, stay home and stay well!

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