Missing the live gigs? Why not try some online entertainment

Hi everyone. Hope you are all safe and well.

The lockdown goes on but the creativity and energy of folk musicians knows no bounds. From lone Morris dancers to full blown concert collaborations, music and dance are alive and well.

Sadly, there’s much too much going on for me to detail everything here. So go to the websites and Facebook pages of your favourite artists and bands for all the up-to-date information of what they are doing. There’s lots happening on YouTube too so have a look there to keep yourselves amused.

Most of the online gigs and events provide a way to give a donation to support the artists – most of whom have lost all their normal income through concerts and festivals. It’s not compulsory of course, but please be generous if you can.

Here are a few ideas to get you going:

Tonight (Saturday 2 May) we have a choice:

    • Miranda Sykes is doing a concert on 2 May at 7.30pm live via Facebook from her living room. Miranda is a great inspiration during these troubled times as not only is she coping with the lockdown like the rest of us, but she is doing these concerts between chemotherapy treatments – having been recently diagnosed with breast cancer.There will be a tip jar at www.paypal.me/sykesbass and Miranda has announced that she will be splitting the donations 50:50 with her 15 year old nephew Ted and his friends who were due to take part in the Ten Tors challenge which is (normally) run annually on Dartmoor and involves around 4000 youngsters navigating routes of 35, 45 or 55 miles (depending on age) across inhospitable terrain over 2 days, carrying almost 30lbs of kit and without adult support. This year’s event has been cancelled, but the lads have decided to turn it into a fundraiser for the NHS Charities Together. They are aiming to walk the 45 miles with full backpacks on in their gardens and local vicinity over 2 days.  

A great effort for a great cause. Miranda will be giving us an update on their progress during the gig.

      • Also on Saturday 2 May but at 7.00pm Ninebarrow are doing their 2nd livestream gig from their dining room via Facebook.
    • And then on Sunday 3 May at 7.30pm Chris While and Julie Matthews are doing their next ‘Live in the Lounge’ request show on Facebook.
    • On Friday 8 May at 7.30pm, Show of Hands are showing a never before seen movie about the band in 2008 ‘Hand Held – a feature length film’. Described by Phil and Steve as ‘an unseen gem’. Details on Facebook
    • On Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 May, Ciaran Algar is running The CCC Festival showcasing artists from the amazing #ciaranscoronacollabs. Watch live on Facebook or YouTube (search ‘Ciaran Algar’)
    • On Sunday 10 May at 7.30pm BST Richard Thompson (who surely needs no introduction) will be doing a livestream from The Royal Albert Hall in London. See his Facebook page or the Royal Albert Hall website for details
    • And I’ve just been told about the online Leigh Folk Festival this weekend (2 and 3 May). Details on the website.

That’s all I’ve got time to post now – enjoy the music, stay safe and please support the musicians in any way you can.

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