At this time of year we would normally be attending festivals. But of course there is nothing normal about 2020!
However, the creativity of musicians and event organisers shines through and we still have access to some wonderful music:
- On Sunday 23 August ‘virtual’ FolkEast’ took place. A few hundred people braved the weather to attend but you can watch it in the comfort of your home via the wonders of Facebook. The great line-up of artists was topped by the inimitable, multi-award winning FolkEast patrons The Young’ uns, the bill also included performances by festival favourite Sam Kelly (together with Evan Carson and Toby Shaer from his Lost Boys band), the brilliant John Spiers (Bellowhead, Knight and Spiers, Gigspanner Big Band); instrumental duo The Hut People (Sam Pirt and Gary Hammond), new folk singer-songwriter sensation Katherine Priddy and local Suffolk duo Honey & The Bear (Jon & Lucy Hart). And the legendary Peter Knight contributed a song to the day from his home in France.
- The official festival programme for Whitby@Home 2020 (23 – 28 August) is available on Facebook. There are a huge number of events – some of which you need to book in advance. Enjoy!
- Shrewsbury Virtually Folk Festival will be held on 29 and 30 August bringing us an amazing two days of music, dance, workshops and more.View the full programme here.
- The online 2020 Towersey Festival takes place on Saturday 29 August 9.00am – 11.00pm. You can find details here.
- And if you want music on Monday 31 August, for six and a half hours starting at 2.00pm, the Folk on Foot Festival 3: TOGETHER AGAIN will re-unite musicians who haven’t been able to play together during the lockdown. Co-hosted by Nancy Kerr and Steve Bannister, the festival will feature a series of 30 minute sets in spectacular or quirky locations.The lineup is
- The Breath (Rioghnach Connolly, Stuart McCallum and a special guest)
- Eliza Carthy and David Delarre
- Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit
- Julie Fowlis, Éamon Doorley and Duncan Chisholm
- Karine Polwart, Steven Polwart and Inge Thomson
- Kris Drever, John McCusker and Phil Cunningham
- Lady Nade, Kit Hawes and Aaron Catlow
- Nancy Kerr, Martin Simpson and Andy Cutting
- Peggy Seeger with her sons Neill and Calum MacColl
- Rachel Newton Music and Lauren MacColl
- Sam Lee and his band
- Show of Hands (Steve Knightley and Phil Beer)
- Spiers & Boden Official (John Spiers & Jon Boden)
Half the money we raise will go to the charity Help Musicians – which supports musicians undergoing financial hardship – and the other half will be divided equally between the artists who take part in the Festival.
Full details of the festival and how to donate (and get your T-shirt) can be found here.
- After a short, well-deserved break, Cambridge Folk Club resumes its virtual meetings on Friday 28 August with a showcase featuring Liz Simcock. Details here.
- Folk Weekend:Oxford’s wonderful series of online concerts continues to delight us. Jack Rutter is performing on Friday 28 August. See details of this and all the other events here.
- And on Saturday 5 September at 7.30pm, Chris While and Julie Matthews will present an other concert ‘Live from the Headshed’. This talented duo have worked hard to perfect their sound and vision during the pandemic and have given us some superb performances. Tip jar available (please give generously) but no obligation. Details here.
- And those of you who like sunshine and 4*/5* hotels with your music will be thrilled to know that Costa del Folk (an innocent and much lamented victim of the global pandemic) has risen like a phoenix and two festivals are now planned for 2021 – Ibiza in April/May and Portugal in September/October. See the Costa del Folk website for full details.
Many other musicians and artists are doing live shows via Facebook, Zoom etc – sadly, there are far too many to mention individually here. Please continue to support your favourite artists and to seek out new ones. These are tough times for many people. The pandemic will be over one day and we all want the music to play on……..
Stay safe and keep supporting live music and dance.