The 49th Cambridge Folk Festival ended in rousing style on Sunday night in what organisers Cambridge City Council have hailed as a ‘bumper year’.
The Festival was a complete sell out (14,000 total attendees) and included performances from The Mavericks, KT Tunstall, Levellers, The Waterboys, Amadou and Mariam, Steeleye Span, Martin Simpson and Capercaillie plus a range of folk, americana, blues and world music performances across the Festival’s four stages.
Performance highlights included: Bellowhead joining Levellers on stage for a run through the “Levs” The Recruiting Sgt; KT Tunstall performing versions of The White Stripe’s Seven Nation Army performed on a kazoo and a stirring version of Don Henley’s Boys of Summer; the eccentric and electric Bombay Royale performing on stage with a large inflatable elephant; a hilarious kids concert from UK comedic-poet John Hegley; landmark sets from Hertfordshire sisters The Staves who graduated to Stage 1 on their third appearance at the Festival; singer/songwriter Lucy Rose who headlined Thursday’s Stage 2 and US sisters Larkin Poe who’s two sets wowed the Festival audience over the weekend.
As well as the eclectic musical offering on the stages, Festival-goers also enjoyed a range of workshops from a guitar workshop from virtuoso instrumentalist Tommy Emmanuel, reed garland making, how to play Northumbrian pipes, storytelling and children’s instrument making. Attendees were also able to soak up the weekend’s glorious sunshine at the Festival’s duck pond and wilderness areas.
Media partners BBC Radio 2 broadcast two live shows from the Festival with Dermot O’ Leary and Mark Radcliffe both happily posing for photos with delighted Festival goers. Commenting on the Festival, Dermot described the unique and friendly vibe of the event saying that he looks forward to returning in future years. Mark Radcliffe also commented during his live show that, in his opinion, the audience represented a diverse cross section of ages and was getting younger. Both shows are available to watch via the BBC’s iPlayer
The Festival’s newest performance area, the 100-capacity ‘ The Den’ was once again a big hit, showcasing some of the hottest rising talent in the folk and acoustic worlds including ‘ones-to-watch’ sets from Common Tongues, CC Smugglers and Hudson Taylor.
Saturday night at the Festival was also brought to a close with the event’s third ever ‘silent ceilidh’ (hosted by Jim Moray) which saw the odd sight of people dancing to traditional jigs and reels whilst wearing headphones to hear the music.
Festival fans also took to Facebook and Twitter in their thousands throughout the four days and exclusive footage was added throughout the weekend to the Festival’s website, making the event one of the most digitally interactive to date. Interviews and footage are available to view on the Festival’s website.
The Festival also had a great range of Scottish acts which were supported by Creative Scotland.
Sarah Brown, Executive Councillor for Community Wellbeing said, said ‘2013 has been a bumper year. We are delighted to have once again sold all the tickets for the event in what has been a difficult year for UK Festivals. We’d like to thank all the artists, traders, staff, sponsors, volunteers and of course, the audience for their support and involvement in creating such a great atmosphere and making it such a huge success. We look forward to welcoming everyone again next year for the 50th anniversary in 2014’.
The 2014 Cambridge Folk Festival runs from 31 July to 3 August. Tickets go on sale on Monday 2 December.
The folkmaster also wrote a “day by day blog” that includes media footage from each day. The links to these blogs are below (day 4 blog is still in progress of being written):
Festival web links: