FolkEast – the countdown has begun


The countdown to one of the country’s most quirky, friendly and popular music festivals has begun! In just a month’s time England’s most easterly folk festival, FolkEast, will return for the seventh year running to the glorious grounds of Suffolk’s 16th century Glemham Hall – with undoubtedly its starriest line-up to date.

Headliners – Richard Thompson, Karine Polwart & Cara Dillon

Between August 16-18 festivalgoers will be treated to performances across seven stages from an outstanding line-up of musicians from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, spearheaded by the legendary singer songwriter/guitarist Richard Thompson and including Cara Dillon & friends, the Karine Polwart Trio, John Smith, Calan, Sharon Shannon Band, Ross Ainslie, Jarlath Henderson and Ali Hutton, Daphne’s Flight, Blair Dunlop and Siobhan Miller.

The eclectic collective ranges from national treasures to some of the most exciting new kids on the block; numerous BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards winners and notable overseas acts from Canada (Good Lovelies) and Poland (Brasy). Stages include the ‘Sanctuary’ stage at St Andrew’s Church, the open air Sunset Stage and the hidden woodland solar-powered Soapbox Stage.

Two of the defining emblems of FolkEast are back this year – the infamous mythical Jackalope (half antelope; half jack rabbit) and an arboreal art installation that traditionally marks the start of the countdown to the festival.

The annual dressing of the 65 foot dead oak tree on the Glemham Hall Estate began in 2013. Wrapped in hundreds of metres of vibrant red and yellow cloth it has become a recognised totem visible from the nearby A12 and heralding the imminent start of three days of festival fun.

This year’s Jackalope, again constructed by Juan Romero, will be a high-tech one featuring water, lights and fire.

Rekindling the ancient Eastfolk moots on the Glemham Hall estate where for three days a year the folk from the East would meet kith and kin at harvest time for “a bit of a do”, this gathering has Suffolk running through it like letters in a stick of rock.

Becky Marshall-Potter who co -founded the festival with husband John says:

“The tree is dressed, the programme set, tickets are selling briskly and we are almost at the start line again! Our hugely popular patrons The Young’uns unfortunately won’t be with us this year as they are busy making waves in America but the festival will still bear their stamp, the main stages having been programmed by The Young’uns Michael Hughes.”

And this year there will be a special on-site guest – the amazing Pakefield Man, created by Suffolk sculptor Tobias Ford, and last seen stuffed with straw and set alight at sunset on the beach at Lowestoft’s First Light Festival in June.

The steel sculpture was created after worked flints from 700,000 years ago were found on Pakefield Beach.

The Marshall-Potters are committed to creating a sustainable festival for Suffolk and to that end are aiming to make this a single use plastic-free event.

Says Becky: “From the outset we have strived to be as environmentally sound as we can be.” (They have been awarded gold level status by the Suffolk Carbon Charter.)

“This year we are making a concerted effort to do our bit for the planet which means we are asking every one – crew, artists, public and volunteers – to bring reusable drinking bottles and refill them from the on-site water supply. We have asked the traders not to bring drinks for sale in single use plastic and we are not intending to supply any on site. So please bring your own drinking bottles, tankards and flagons.”

Special Events:

The Pitmen Poets and Peter Bellamy’s Maritime England Suite of Sea Songs

Two special events are in the FolkEast 2019 mix. On the Saturday head for the Moot Hall for a concert with a true Suffolk flavour. Aldeburgh Young Musicians will be joined by folk musicians Greg Russell, Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne, and Laura-Beth Salter to perform a new interpretation of Peter Bellamy’s ‘Maritime England Suite of Sea Songs’, described as “songs of the sea from the Saxons to the 19th century”.

Former Suffolk resident Bellamy, who lived at Leiston, was a unique singer, musician and composer who tragically took his own life in 1991 at the age of just 47, but left behind a treasure trove of work.

A landmark event on Sunday will see four of the North-East’s giants of folk music championing the musical and industrial heritage of their stamping ground. The Pitmen Poets features County Durham’s prolific and celebrated singer songwriter Jez Lowe, ex Lindisfarne member Billy Mitchell, renowned singer/instrumentalist Bob Fox and Benny Graham, leading exponent of Tyneside song.

A show that digs deep into the heart of Britain’s coalmining tradition, it has been described as “an epic journey through the life and times of people who made a living in Northumberland and Durham’s coalfields.”

Illustrated by atmospheric archive photography, it mixes storytelling and song, humour and pathos, triumph and tragedy.

When it comes to refreshment, two authentic ‘village’ pubs will be serving competitively-priced ales (including Suffolk-based Green Jack Brewery’s festival ale Green Jackalope) or you can squeeze into possibly the smallest pub in the UK, the 6 x 4’ Halfway Inn.

Then there’s the FolkEast Art Arcade, Instrumental, bringing together some of the country’s top instruments makers, a packed dance programme, poetry, archery, donkey rides, children’s activities (including den building, storybook making and a mud kitchen linked together in a special new children’s trail) yoga, poetry, storytelling, the Eastfolk Chronicle Kinedrome (showing folk and local interest films) and tours of Glemham Hall by estate owner Major Philip Cobbold.

On board again this year as a media partner will be BBC Radio Suffolk.

Advance weekend tickets are available price £120 (adult), £108 (full time students, 65+) and £80 for Youth tickets (12-17 year old) which must be purchased with an adult ticket. Family weekend tickets for two adults and two 12-17 year olds are £365. A great offer sees free admission for children aged 11 and under; camping under canvas is £20 and camping on wheels £30.

Tickets at More information:

For daily line up information:

Located close to the A12, the festival will also be running shuttle buses to the site from Wickham Market station – a collaboration with Suffolk Community Rail Partnership.

Festival website:


Over The Hill in Oxfordshire

Over The Hlll

The beautiful Oxfordshire countryside is destined to become immersed in the world of Amerciana this Summer, at the first-ever Over the Hill festival. Proudly presented by local promoters, Glovebox Live, Over the Hill festival will take place on Bank Holiday Monday 26th August at the picturesque Cogges Manor Farm. With plenty of opportunities to delve into the Americana experience with authentic American food and bars, Over the Hill festival will also be featuring intimate performances from some of the finest live Americana acts in the UK today, on two stages housed in beautiful tithe barns: Line up includes; Danny & The Champions of the World, William the Conqueror, Naomi Bedford & Paul Simmonds (The Men They Couldn’t Hang) with The Ramshackle Band, Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou, The Black Feathers, Paul McClure, Ags Connolly and The Niall Kelly Band.

The festival will be proudly sponsored by local, award-winning brewer Wychwood Brewery, who will be providing thirst-quenching beverages such as the refreshing Shipyard IPA. In addition, Over the Hill festival will feature authentic American food from vendors such as The Burn Out BBQ and Fat Lil’s who will be providing a selection of Mexican and vegetarian cuisine. There will also be the chance to discover the whole of the Cogges Museum site. The site is easy to access, family friendly and has lots of free parking.

About The Headliners 

Danny & the Champions of the World

Over The Hill

Winners of UK Artists of the Year, UK Album of the Year and UK song of the Year at the 2016 UK Americana Awards, Danny & The Champions of the World are one of the UK’s favourite Americana acts. They are fronted by Danny Wilson (formerly of Grand Drive) and have drawn comparisons to The Band and George Harrison from their distinct alt-country folk style.

William the Conqueror

Over The Hill

Having shared the stage with the likes of Van Morrison and Ethan Johns, thumping Southern rock, Americana band William the Conqueror are a band of extraordinary musical diversity. Praised for their grit and authenticity by the likes of The Guardian and NPR’s Ann Powers, they made their mark by reaching #14 in the Independent Album Chart with their latest album, Bleeding on the Soundtrack. The trio and amplify their sonic power through their stunning performances.

The Black Feathers

Over The Hill

With their debut EP being listed as one of the best Folk albums of 2014 by The Telegraph, husband and wife duo, The Black Feathers, are another fantastic roots music act. Perfectly conjuring a fresh blend of folk and Americana, The Black Feathers have been able to perform alongside artists such as Ray Davies and Eddi Reader.

Read Darren Beech’s interview feature with Paul Simmonds and Naomi Bedford here.

About the Promoter

Glovebox Live are a West Oxfordshire-based music promotions company who have promoted many magical events that have featured the likes of Hunter & The Bear, Stone Foundation and Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze. Moreover, they have also curated the Hobgoblin Stage at Wychwood Festival, the Truck Store / Rapture stage at The Riverside Festival and started their own record label.

Over the Hill festival will take place on Bank Holiday Monday 26th August.

Tickets are available online via We Got Tickets and SEE Tickets as well as locally from Rapture in Witney and Truck Strore in Oxford for £30



The Local Honeys announce UK festival gigs and November tour

The Local Honeys
Photograph by Erica Chambers

The Local Honeys are from the rolling hills of the Bluegrass and the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Montana Hobbs and Linda Jean Stokley are two exceptionally talented young women who will be bringing the Folk music of Kentucky to UK shores for a string of UK festivals, including Latitude and Summertyne. The talented duo also announce a headline tour in November – full details below.

Having been the first women to graduate their state university’s degree programme in traditional “Hillbilly” music, The Local Honeys have gone on to win numerous songwriting accolades, including the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Award at MerleFest – also awarded to Gillian Welch at the beginning of her career.

The duo have dedicated themselves to the preservation of old music and the creation of new music. Their song writing often reflects subject matter that little girls ought not talk about. This element played a strong impact in the production and creation of their acclaimed debut album, Little Girls Actin’ Like Men released in 2016.

If you’re looking for an antidote to the surplus of young beardy middle-class men singing winsomely about love, then The Local Honeys will bring you something more vital, more socially and environmentally aware…. and they’ll deliver it so beautifully you’ll be hooked in seconds.

Artists’ website:

‘Cigarette Trees’ – live:


Friday 19th July – Latitude Festival

Saturday 20th July – SummerTyne\

Sunday 21st July – Doune The Rabbit Hole

Tuesday 23rd July – An Tobar, Mull

Wednesday 24 July – Bunessan Town Hall, Mull

Saturday 27th July – Beer & Bluegrass, Bournemouth

Sunday 28th July – Square and Compass, North Devon

Friday 2nd August – Underneath The Stars

Saturday 3rd August – Belladrum, Tartan Heart festival
(both main stage and headlining the Americana tent).


Monday 4th November – Manchester – Midway Folk Club

Tuesday 5th November – Birmingham – Kitchen Garden Café

Wednesday 6th November – Liverpool Philharmonic, The Music Room

Thursday 7th November – The HUBS -Sheffield

Monday 11th November – Brighton The Greys

Wednesday 13th November – London Cecil Sharp House

Thursday 14th November – Cambridge Junction 2

Friday 15th November – Thames Ditton RAM Club

Sunday 17th November – Portsmouth The Square Tower

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:

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