Bristol Folk Festival returns with a stellar line-up of UK and world artists taking to stages across the city at the end of April for the Bank Holiday weekend (Fri 28 April – Sun 30 April).
Critically acclaimed trio Lady Maisery open the festival with a special concert in the majestic surrounds of Bristol Cathedral.
Natural successors to The Unthanks, hailed for ‘the most exquisite vocal harmony work on the English folk scene’ (Guardian), and exceptional musicians in their own right, Hazel Askew (harp), Rowan Rheingans (viola, banjo) and Hannah James (accordion, percussion) are the future of folk. Searingly political, environmentally conscious, and yet beautifully tender, Lady Maisery’s music is both timeless and effortlessly contemporary ‘A beguiling blend of ancient & modern’ (The Times).
Eliza Carthy (MBE) headlines the festival on Saturday 29 April at Trinity, Bristol. Part of a renowned musical dynasty, Eliza has two nominations for the Mercury Music Prize, and innumerable accolades and awards under her belt across a 25-year career. Hugely respected by fellow musicians, her stellar list of collaborators includes Paul Weller, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Kae Tempest and Nick Cave.
Elsewhere, Bristol’s most energetic band, Opa Rosa, get the party started with pulsing rhythms and soaring melodies. Their Klezmer, Roma and Balkan-infused tunes have intoxicated audiences everywhere from London’s Green Note to Secret Garden Party. Angeline Morrison takes us on an award-winning tour of Sorrow Songs: Folk Songs of Black British Experience at Trinity (The Guardian Folk Album of the Year 2022). And accomplished guitarist and singer Nick Hart completes the Saturday night line-up.
The festival comes to a storming close with The Longest Johns, on Sunday 30 April at Trinity, as Bristol’s favourite sons and global sea-shanty superstars come home for a night of full-throated song and fiery welsh dragons. Joining the ‘Johns as special guests are the exceptional Calan. Voted Wale’s best band, this folk supergroup is known for infectious rhythms, soaring fiddles and high voltage routines. “A storming juggernaut of cool-Cymru-with-attitude power-folk with a jaw-dropping repertoire” (Folk Wales).
Dr Anna Rutherford Creative Director of Bristol Folk Festival said “Folk music is having a resurgence. This year’s festival brims with everything from soaring fiddles and gorgeous harmonies to urgent new voices, electronic beats and foot-stomping tunes. What binds the Festival together is the incredible musicianship on display and the warmth of our audiences. Join our opening concert at the city’s most beautiful stage or immerse yourself in the rich programme across the city over the Bank Holiday weekend.”
“We are thrilled to be welcoming Bristol Folk Festival to Bristol Cathedral and can’t wait to hear the gorgeous sounds of contemporary folk in our ancient and beautiful setting.” says the Very Rev’d Mandy Ford, Dean of Bristol
Day and Night passes are available for each day of the Festival. Weekend Passes allow audiences full access to three days of music and are already close to selling out.
News of the full line-up, sessions and dance across the city will be released shortly.
Festival website: www.bristolfolkfestival.org