More online concerts and festival updates

I hope you all had a good Easter despite the lockdown. The online festivals (such as Folk on Foot which raised over £90,000 to help artists and Folks at Home) and concerts by superb artists including the wonderful and very brave Miranda Sykes certainly helped me cope over the weekend.

The thing that made me smile more than anything else was a highly creative video of dancing mice by Chris Short of The Churchfitters – using his time effectively while in lockdown in France. See this on Facebook

Here’s some more news about the folk world:

  • Today is the last day of the Gate to Southwell Festival fundraising campaign.You can donate here.  They are trying to cover the losses made because of the cancellation of the 2020 festival and if you donate, you’d be part of an amazing group of people helping the festival push forward to 2021. Their losses are actually higher than their fundraising target but they’re exploring other routes for funding (like the Arts Council) as they’re not eligible for any of the Government schemes because they are a not-for-profit organisation, and don’t have staff who could be furloughed (they’re all volunteers) or business premises
  • Towersey Festival (which is family run and the oldest festival in the country) also has a crowdfunder running (you can donate here).  They have already spent considerable amounts of money which they will not be able to recoup and for which there is no insurance cover in this global catastrophe
  • Chris While and Julie Matthews are doing a second online ‘Live in the Lounge’ concert on Facebook on Friday 17 April at 7.30pm (and have hinted that they will do a third one soon too)
  • Steve Knightley has numerous posts of performances, music lessons and even a glimpse of his lovely wife in a shortie nightie!! on his Facebook page, YouTube and the Official Show of Hands Page
  • Phil Beer has announced that he will be recording a performance for streaming soon (technology and internet issues prevent him doing a live gig just now)
  • Cormac Byrne is doing free online bodhran lessons via his Facebook page
  • Emily Slade, Simon Care, Tim Edey, Daria Kulesh and Daoiri Farrell are (separately!) doing concerts from their homes
  • Ciaran Algar launched his Patreon in late March – various tiers include access to exclusive videos of songs and tunes, fiddle tutorial videos, personalised shoutouts and even some hand-drawn artwork.  See his Facebook page for details and also news of his #ciaranscoronacollabs with many other talented musicians
  • Ninebarrow are doing a second concert from their dining room on Saturday 2 May on Facebook at 7.30pm BST.

Plus numerous other artists doing amazing things all over the internet – sadly too many to mention. Just look for your favourite artists on YouTube, Facebook etc and you will find more than enough music to lift your spirits.

I’m sorry to tell you that yet more festivals have been cancelled:

  • Warwick Folk Festival – postponed until 22-25 July 2021.
  • Wychwood Folk Festival – postponed until 4-6 June 2021
  • Cambridge Folk Festival – postponed until 2021

and sadly I fear they will not be the last to take this drastic but necessary step to safeguard everyone involved.

That’s all for now folks – if you have any news you want Unicorn Magazine to help publicise, please email me at

Stay safe and keep yourselves and the music alive.

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