Happy New Year to you all! Despite the virus and the weather there is plenty to be cheerful about in the world of folk music. Here are a selection of things that are happening in the next few weeks:
On Friday 8 January at 7.30pm, Miranda Sykes is celebrating her birthday by doing a live concert online from her living room. Tune in via her Facebook page here. Free to watch but there will be a tip jar.
On Sunday 10 January at 8.00pm, Firebrand Music presents a virtual concert by Phil Beer via private YouTube link. 2 x 45 minute sets with a 10 minute interval. Tickets £15 plus booking fee, per household can be bought here.
The amazing Celtic Connections is online for the first time in 2021 running from Friday 15 January to Tuesday 2 February. Tickets for the whole festival are available for only £30 (early bird) or £40 (full price) on the Celtic Connections website now. This is a fantastic opportunity to hear and see performances from a fabulous range of performers – without the costs of travel and accommodation! I can’t wait!
On Saturday 16 January at 7.00pm, Ninebarrow do their latest livestream. This talented duo have really raised the bar with their wonderful livestream concerts from various (challenging) venues this autumn and I’m sure this concert will be no exception. Details are on their website where you can also watch Episode One of their ‘Wandering Minstrels’ streams – a must for anyone who loves the Dorset landscape and the great music these guys produce.The shows are free to watch but please make a donation if you can.
On Saturday 6 February at 8.00pm, Steve Knightley goes online with The David Hall, South Petherton. Two sets of 45 minutes with an interval and an optional meet and greet. Tickets from the David Hall website here.
Tim Edey continues to entertain and delight us with his regular Saturday Sleeping Tunes and he has re-streamed some of his concerts. See his Facebook page and website for details.
I’m delighted to tell you that several festivals have already announced plans to go ahead in 2021 – Beardy Folk Festival, New Forest Folk Festival, the Gate to Southwell Festival and Shrewsbury Folk Festival are the ones I definitely know about.
St Albans Folk Festival 2021 will take place from June 25-27 2021. We can’t predict what form it will take, but there will definitely be a festival. If you missed the 2020 day of free music, you can catch up with the online showcase performances on theYouTube channel and you can make donations via https://www.gofundme.com/f/st-albans-folk-festival-2020
And until 29 January you can catch up on BBC IPlayer with the great work of the Association of Festival Organisers at the hearing on the future of UK music festivals at the Select Committee of the Department of Digital, Culture Media and Sport. The outcome of these discussions will be crucial for folk festivals in 2021.
And before I end this blog, I want to offer huge congratulations to John Kirkpatrick who was awarded a very well-deserved MBE in the New Year’s Honours for services to folk music. And to wish Reg Meuross belated best wishes for his birthday which he celebrated this week.
Many folk clubs are continuing with online events and Zoom meetings – do check out your favourites and support them. Some local radio stations are also featuring folk music and introducing a new audience to it. Please let me know about events and gigs you come across so I can share the news across the Unicorn Magazine community.
In the meantime, stay safe and keep the music and dance going in any way you can.