Folking looks forward to the New Forest Folk Festival

New Forest Folk Festival 2018
Coco & The Butterfields get the audience on their feet at New Forest Folk Festival 2018

The New Forest Folk Festival (taking place 3rd to 7th July), now in it’s eighth year, has been growing at a steady pace and is often referred to as “the small and friendly folk festival with the big line-up”. This year is no exception with artists including The Oysterband, Ralph McTell, Ashley Hutchings Morris On Band, Gigspanner Big Band, 3 Daft Monkeys, Richard Digance, The Sandy Denny Project, Reg Meuross and Merry Hell to name but a few.

You should be hearing Paul Johnson’s festival introduction (if not click play below).

New Forest Folk Festival 2018
Crowd shot form New Forest Folk Festival 2018

NFFF is situated in an idyllic farm location on the edge the New Forest. For many guests with tents and campers it is a holiday break with music rather than purely a music festival.  It is a time to catch up with friends over a pint of real ale or a glass of Somerset cider along with delicious homemade food. Many of the artists now stay over for a few days to chat and network with their musician mates in a relaxed atmosphere. It has become a genuine gathering of the UK folk clan!

Chris Leslie NFFF18
Chris Leslie with a magnificent solo set in 2018

With the single stage at the bottom of a gentle slope where the public can get up close and enjoy a dance when motivated, The New Forest Folk Festival is often likened to Cropredy but on a smaller scale –  indeed various members of Fairport Convention have performed on occasions both solo and with other groups. There is a wonderful cross-over where artists can be playing solo or with one band and then join another as a guest later on. These fantastic impromptu moments are loved by audience and artists alike.

Ken Nicol, Paul Burgess and Rick Kemp at New Forest Folk Festival 2018
Ken Nicol, Paul Burgess and Rick Kemp at New Forest Folk Festival 2018

Last year, 10cc’s drummer Paul Burgess played on the Friday in a trio then on Saturday when he came back to pick up his drum kit he found himself back on the stage as a guest with Hunter Muskett. Fiddle virtuoso Tom Leary has been known to appear many times over a weekend and has been a great friend of the festival since the beginning. In the Autumn he will be touring America with Joe Brown.

TRADDarrr at New Forest Folk Festival 2018
TRADDarrr at New Forest Folk Festival 2018 with some of the Sandy Denny Project.

For lovers of Sandy Denny’s music, The Sandy Denny Project will be very special. It started when BBC Radio Northampton, as part of National Music Day 2017, chose ex-Fotheringay MkII members Sally Barker (The Poozies, BBCTV’s “The Voice”) and guitarist PJ Wright (Little Johnny England, TradArrr, The Dylan Project) to celebrate the award of Sandy Denny’s Blue Plaque at Byfield Village Hall, the scene of her last-ever gig in 1978. The following year Sally and PJ constructed a dream folk-rock band to commemorate the passing of Sandy, 40 years before, for a sell-out concert at Byfield – “Sandyfest.”

This year the band, perform again at Byfield and also at two of English folk-rock’s best loved festivals – Cromer’s  Folk on the Pier and the New Forest Folk Festival. With the line-up of Sally, PJ, frequent Fairport guest Anna Ryder, fast rising star Marion Fleetwood (voice, fiddle, guitars) and the rhythm section of bassist Mat Davies and drummer Mark Stevens from Little Johnny England, the material is approached not as a tribute band, slavishly copying the records, but as a tribute in its best sense – an interpretation of Sandy’s wonderful body of work.

PJ Wright at NFFF18
PJ Wright conducting a slide workshop at The Fringe last year.

Something else that is very popular are the free workshops and singaround’s at the woodland fringe where people have enjoyed a mixture of subjects such as slide guitar with PJ Wright, fiddle playing with Tom Leary, song writing with Reg Meuross, ukulele for beginners, poetry, morris dancing and lots more.

To check out the full artist line-up and bios plus info on everything that is going on visit the website which is You will also find lots of photos and information.

Southampton Ukulele Jam NFFF18
Southampton Ukulele Jam do a workshop at the woodland fringe last year before transferring to the main stage for a fun session.

Tickets are £95 for the whole five days and day tickets £35. Children are roughly half price and under 5 yrs free. Prices rise to £105 & £40 at the beginning of June. They can be ordered online and you receive them by email.

O.U.T. West Festival announces 2019 line-up

O.U.T. West Festival

O.U.T. West Festival



– 12 – 14TH JULY 2019  –

Back by popular demand – ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST FESTIVAL – returns for its much anticipated 6th annual outing in Summer 2019.

Continue reading O.U.T. West Festival announces 2019 line-up

Cropredy Festival bans disposable tents

Cropredy Festival
Photograph by Ben Nich

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, Oxfordshire’s longest-established music festival, today backed a campaign to tackle the problem of single-use plastics.

Together with over 60 other music festivals across the UK, Cropredy organisers today called on big retailers such as Argos and Tesco to stop marketing ‘festival tents’ as single-use items.

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) estimates 250,000 tents are left at music festivals across the UK. Many festival-goers believe the tents are collected and given to charity but, claims AIF, the majority go to landfill. At an average of 3.5kg each tent is the equivalent of 8,750 plastic straws or 250 cups.

Gareth Williams, director of Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, said: “We are fully behind the AIF Take Your Tent Home campaign. We want to see a really significant reduction in the single use of plastic tents.”

Mr Williams said that last year’s Drastic On Plastic initiative had been a great success at Cropredy. “We saw a dramatic reduction of plastic waste at our festival,” he said. By issuing free stainless steel water bottles to crew and artists we cut plastic bottles from over 4,500 to under a hundred. Our real ale bar also replaced 160,000 plastic glasses with a fully compostable alternative and didn’t issue plastic straws. We made similar progress in our backstage catering operation.”

An AIF report, published in 2018, revealed that 9.7% of people attending its member events had ditched a tent during that year’s festival season, equating to an estimated 875 tonnes of plastic waste.

AIF chief Paul Reed said: “We call upon major retailers to stop marketing and selling tents as single-use. AIF launches this campaign to raise awareness of abandoned tents as part of the single-use plastics problem. Festival audiences can reduce their carbon footprint simply by taking their tent home and reusing it.”

Celebrating its fortieth anniversary in 2019, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention presents three days of music in a beautiful rural setting.

The festival will take place on Thursday 8, Friday 9 and Saturday 10 August 2019 at Cropredy in Oxfordshire, three miles from Junction 11 of the M40 motorway.

Billed as Britain’s friendliest music festival, the event attracts up to 20,000 music fans of all ages from all walks of life.

Artists/festival website:

Gate To Southwell Festival update

Gate To Southwell Festival

With the 13th Gate To Southwell Festival on the horizon, over five thousand visitors are expected in the Nottinghamshire town from June 6th to 9th. The family festival kicks off with a special Thursday Americana night starring Los Pacaminos (featuring Paul Young) supported by Louisiana’s Truckstop Honeymoon, young Californians Blue Summit and Joshua Cook, plus a special new Midlands’ artists showcase on the Frontier Stage.

More than 50 artists will be performing on five stages over four days.  Friday June 7th welcomes Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Leicester protest singer Grace Petrie, punk veterans Otway & Barrett and Hotel Palindrone from Austria.  Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys headline Saturday night (8th) with great international support from Canadians Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys, Welsh stars Calan, former BBC Folk Singer of the Year Nancy Kerr and acclaimed ceilidh band Blackbeard’s Tea Party. With top quality artists will appearing across the weekend, the festival will reach a climax on Sunday 9th with a special European concert (led by Korrontzi and BOC from Spain) followed by a Celtic finale with Scottish stars Skipinnish, the excellent Edinburgh singer-songwriter Blue Rose Code and Irish favourites Ranagri.

There will be dance sides from all over the UK – the traditional procession through Southwell takes place on Saturday 8th – plus children’s entertainment, workshops, storytelling, ceilidhs, poetry, comedy, craft fairs and food stalls.  The subsidized Festival Shuttle Bus will link the town to the festival site near Southwell Racecourse.

Ahead of the festival, residents and local businesses will be participating in the annual Decorate The Gates competition in Southwell over the May Bank Holiday weekend (25th to 27th). To enter decorated gates register via the website (under ’Get Involved’) before midnight on Wednesday 22nd May.  The winners will receive a full family weekend ticket to the Gate To Southwell Festival worth £350 and a cup donated by Kirkland & Lane.

Underneath The Stars announces its 2019 line-up

Underneath The Stars

The Proclaimers, Billy Bragg, Kate Rusby, The Unthanks, Hope & Social and TV writer and actor Ruth Jones are just some of the names topping a stellar line-up for the sixth Underneath The Stars festival.

Run by the production team behind folk artist Kate Rusby, Underneath The Stars features performance arts, crafts and more for the whole family plus food, drink and shopping, sourced from independent vendors, brought together in the stunning rural setting of Cinderhill Farm, Barnsley.

Independent family festival Underneath The Stars is set to return for its sixth year on 2-4 August 2019, bringing three days of live music, performance arts and scrumptious food to its cosy corner of rural South Yorkshire. Founded and run by the family production team of award-winning folk singer Kate Rusby, the festival boasts a stellar musical line-up of internationally renowned musicians and emerging talent from Yorkshire and beyond, performing in the idyllic countryside setting of Cinderhill Farm, Barnsley.

Bringing together a wealth of artists spanning folk, pop, acoustic, world, Americana and more, Underneath The Stars proudly announces its full 2019 line-up: The Proclaimers, Billy Bragg, Kate Rusby, The Unthanks, Hope & Social, Ruth Jones, Le Vent du Nord, CoCo and the Butterfields, Baskery, CC Smugglers, Talisk, Sam Kelly Trio, Damien O’Kane with family & friends, Old Man Luedecke, Ruth Notman & Sam Kelly, K.O.G & the Zongo Brigade, Cut Capers, The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican, You Tell Me, The Local Honeys, Shadowlark, Laurel, Biscuithead & the Biscuit Badgers, Bess Atwell, Hannah Read, Alden Paterson and Dashwood, Barnsley Youth Choir, Milly Johnson, Emma McGrath, Katherine Priddy and Toby Burton.

Headlining on Friday, The Proclaimers – aka twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid – have carved out a niche for themselves where pop, folk, new wave and punk collide, promising a formidable live experience. Topping Saturday’s bill, Billy Bragg has been a fearless recording artist, tireless live performer and peerless political campaigner for over 35 years, his songs skilfully straddling popular and political. The festival will be brought to a close by the Barnsley nightingale, Kate Rusby, performing traditional folk and stunning self-penned songs from her newly released album Philosophers, Poets and Kings.

The Unthanks full band will be bringing their North-East flavoured art-folk with a booming socially conscious heart and Hope & Social are returning by popular demand, throwing themselves wholeheartedly into their anthemic songs and infectious melodies. Best known for her award-winning television writing, Ruth Jones makes a special festival appearance. She’ll discuss her famed roles including the incorrigible Nessa in her hit TV series Gavin and Stacey and Sky 1’s Stella, during An Audience with Ruth Jones. Renowned as the foremost ambassadors of Quebec’s traditional folk music revival, Le Vent Du Nord’s driving music has seen then win multiple awards. CoCo and the Butterfields have developed an enviable reputation for their exhilarating live shows. Baskery are three sisters who take roots and Americana and turn it on its head, blending the straightforwardness of punk with the subtlety of singer-songwriting. Fronted by the charismatic Richie Pyrnne, CC Smugglers blend of old-time, world and folk styles. Young Scottish firebrands Talisk have stacked up several major awards for their explosively energetic yet artfully woven sound.

Innovative Irish folk musician Damien O’Kane has appeared at every Underneath the Stars, both with his wife Kate Rusby and his own bands. This year Damien will be joined by his entire immediate family members and other guests, for a special one-off show. Renowned for his storytelling art, song craft and comic timing Canadian roots singer-songwriter Old Man Luedecke appears hot on the heels of his new album Easy Money. Ruth Notman and Sam Kelly are two of the finest young folk singers in the UK, who recently joined forces to record a dynamic duo album, Changeable Heart. Sam will also be appearing with his acclaimed Sam Kelly Trio earlier in the day. K.O.G & the Zongo Brigade sees Ghanaian force of nature Kweku Sackey, aka K.O.G, and the whirlwind of energy that is Jamaican rapper Franz Von Song, together with the rest of the Zongo Brigade deliver infectious, high-energy West African grooves. Cut Capers is a nine-piece band with a style based in live hip-hop and swing, known for their high energy shows. Don your knitwear – as from the not-as-posh-end of Barnsley, The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican are making their festival return. With their talent for Bar-Stewardizing famous songs with comedy lyrics and various folk instruments, they promise to rock you… but gently!

You Tell Me are Peter Brewis, half of Field Music, who has been honing the craft of pop songwriting for almost fifteen years and Sarah Hayes, who has been exploring contemporary folk in her solo work, and the world of indie-pop via her band Admiral Fallow.  From the rolling hills of the Bluegrass and the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, The Local Honeys deliver hard-driving fiddle tunes, singing the high lonesome sound. Shadowlark combine the ethereal and visceral with unnerving aplomb with the trio’s front-woman, Ellen Smith, bleeding her personal experiences into raw and emotive compositions. Laurel is a rising young artist whose debut album, Dogviolet, features raw guitars and stirring melodies. The surreal Biscuithead and the Biscuit Badgers play tuba, piano, drums, ukulele all while tickling and rubbing your senses into a fun stew. Ethereal punk princess Bess Atwell’s dynamic live show with a full-live band will showcase the gifted singer-songwriter’s stunning vocals; From Scotland but now based in Brooklyn, Hannah Read is known for her fiddle playing and songwriting and as member of Songs of Separation, was described as one of “the finest singers of the day.”

In Conversation with Milly Johnson will see the multi-million Barnsley based author, one of the Top 10 female fiction authors in the UK, reading and discussing her work. Norwich based folk trio Alden Patterson and Dashwood weave rich vocal harmonies, fiddle, dobro and guitar around beautifully written melodies, depicting tales of young travellers, sleepy seas and their affection for home. Barnsley Youth Choir consists of over 400 singers and is ranked 5th in the World Rankings in its category, winning first prizes in some of the biggest international competitions in the world. Emma McGrath makes her festival debut. An 18-year-old singer-songwriter heralding from Harpenden, North London whose ascent is firmly on the rise. Birmingham Folk’s starlet Katherine Priddy is a fresh talent whose debut EP, Wolf, has been receiving critical acclaim. Toby Burton is a 21-year-old singer-songwriter from Penistone, who sites his influences as being City and Colour, Paolo Nutini and Passenger.

Alongside the musical line-up are lively street-arts performers, storytellers, art installations and host of workshops to take part in, including everything from ukulele, swingdance and Tai Chi, to singing workshop with a Kentucky US flavour by The Local Honeys and singing, songwriting and instrumentation with Alden Patterson Dashwood.

Underneath the Stars handpicks food traders and prioritises quality ingredients and value for money. In addition to its boutique street food vendors and bar areas, the Makers Market showcasing local independent traders returns for 2019. It is committed to fair and ethical trading and making environmental sustainability a priority, pledging to be plastic-free in 2019.

A non-for-profit community interest company, the festival is born from a genuine passion for music and offers a charming and friendly experience with its welcoming atmosphere, teams of volunteers and circus-style set-up, making it a firm favourite with festival goers of all ages. A great deal of attention has been put into guest comfort, with provisions for a high level of accessibility for those with disabilities. Live music is performed in two striking circus-style big top tents and the main stage offering a seated arena. There are four campsites to choose from, including two boutique luxury options.

Folk artist Kate Rusby, Underneath the Stars festival ambassador, says “It’s thrilling to be announcing these incredible musicians who will be brought together for Underneath the Stars, including the festival’s biggest headliners to date, award-winning artists from all over the world and talents from our very own little pocket of Yorkshire. Underneath the Stars has been built on my family’s passion for music and a desire to feed back into our local community. In its sixth year it’s a real honour to see Underneath the Stars becoming firmly established on the UK festival scene as a highly creative, unique and quality festival for all generations to enjoy and experience together – we can’t wait to welcome them in August.”

Tickets are available from

More names for Maverick Festival

Maverick Festival

Celebrating its 12th anniversary as the UK’s first and finest Americana festival, Maverick Festival returns on July 5th – 7th, and we are pleased to announce new additions to this years line up.

Set amongst the picturesque Victorian farm buildings of Easton Farm Park, the site is nestled deep in the Suffolk countryside, yet only two hours from London. The three day festival presents music performances, film and workshops and features over forty different artists, across six stages indoors and out.

Maverick Festival is renowned for spotting rising stars and getting there first:showcasing the most authentic and talented musicians from both sides of the Atlantic. Over the past decade, organisers have stuck to what they believe in, presenting exciting and inspiring line-ups year after year.

“This year we are pushing the musical boundaries of Americana even further with the addition of some classic Cajun and a Friday night focus on bluegrass.” – Paul Spencer – Curator

This year Maverick Festival will be celebrating bluegrass on the Friday night, with performances from Old Crow Medicine show’s Chance McCoy, Lowly Strung and Philadelphia’s Man About A Horse. Saturday’s programme will include a celebration of the protest song, introduced by the comedian / musician Rich Hall who will also present his celebrated Hoe-down.

Other additions to the festival line-up include London based five-piece Dana Immanuel & The Stolen Band; a banjo-whacking, guitar-shredding, fiddle-sawing, foot-stomping, whiskey-soaked, all-female outfit! Since 2014, they have been delighting crowds spanning the blues, rock, Americana, indie, folk and country scenes with their high-energy live show and utterly unique brand of musical badassery. We also welcome the return of Muscle Shoals native Hannah Aldridge, the queen of southern gothic rock.

The sun always shines and the music is magic. Come talent spotting at Maverick 2019 – we have a lot to live up to!

As well as the musical talent, the festival also features a spacious campsite, bell tent meadow and tipi village, as well as a carefully selected range of delicious foodstands catering to meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike. pizza, paella and pasta, Mexican chilli, duck pancakes & crepes, hog-roast and hand-made burgers, all washed down with freshly squeezed lemonade & freshly ground coffee, local Suffolk cider and a selection of regional ales, wine and craft beers including the Big Drop Brewery‘s award winning non-alcoholic pale ale.

Also new this year, festival organisers have teamed with the One boxed water company to ensure the festival is plastic bottle-free!



Ranger £110.00
Weekend ticket with admission to all stages and includes up to TWO nights camping Friday and Saturday

Juniper £50.00
Weekend ticket with or without camping for 16-18 year olds.

Wrangler £85.00
Weekend ticket with admission to all stages No Camping

Rustler £50.00
Day ticket, Saturday only

Nighthawk £30.00
Friday night only

Holy Roller £25.00
Sunday only
Tenderfoot £25.00

Children 10-15 yrs, under 10’s go free

Festival website: