Gate To Southwell Festival announces first names

Gate To Southwell Festival

While last September’s event was a great success – named “the best live event of 2021” by the prestigious RnR music magazine – everyone felt the absence of global acts due to pandemic travel restrictions.  But now leading French Canadian band, Le Vent Du Nord (who were a big hit at the festival in both 2012 and 2017) will return to perform again while celebrating 20 years on the road.   Oregon’s finest contemporary folk duo Fellow Pynins will also be appearing, and Southwell warmly welcomes back the much-loved American banjo and doghouse bass marital combo of Truckstop Honeymoon.

Katherine Priddy, one of the rising stars of the thriving British folk music scene, is among the latest names added to this year’s line-up in July, alongside two of the best bands currently on the live circuit – eight-strong folk rockers Merry Hell and Celtic punkers Black Water County.  They’ll join headliners including the celebrated West Coast Scots trio, Peat & Diesel, Irish legends Dervish, top bluesman Ian Siegal and Australian vocal tour-de-force The Spooky Men’s Chorale.

Kicking off the festival on July 14th, Thursday will definitely be Blues Night, headlined by “national treasure” singer, songwriter and star guitarist Ian Siegel. He’s a nine-times British Blues Awards winner, a three-times European Blues Awards winner, and he’s twice won Mojo’s blues album of the year – the magazine branded Siegal “the cleverest writer and most magnetic performer of Blues in the UK”. Alongside Siegel, Southwell welcomes the Daniel Smith Blues Band led by one of the UK’s best boogie woogie and blues pianists.

Leading the list of Celtic stars at GTSF are the much-celebrated, riotously-entertaining, Stornaway band Peat & Diesel, often branded the “Hebridean Pogues” with their comedic stories of island life as showcased on two acclaimed albums ‘Uptown Fank’ and ‘Light My Byre’. They recently sold out the 10000-seater Glasgow Barrowlands and won Live Act of the Year at the Scottish Trad Music Awards.

The July event will also welcome Dervish, BBC Lifetime Achievement Award 2019 winners and one of the best-loved Irish traditional bands over the last 30 years.  Fronted by Cathy Jordan, among Ireland’s most famous singers, Dervish have played everywhere from Glastonbury to Rio De Janeiro (in front of 250,000 people) and become international cultural ambassadors along the way.  The Guardian described them as “simply brilliant…they carry Irish history with them” and many regard them as the natural heirs to The Bothy Band and The Chieftains.

Bringing an extremely vocal international flavour to GTSF 2022, The Spooky Men’s Chorale are cult figures from New South Wales and Western Australia thanks to albums such as ‘Tooled Up’, ‘Urban Sea Shanties’ and ‘Welcome To The Second Half’.  A charismatic, funny and powerful male voice choir they’re famous for renditions of pop classics such as ‘Dancing Queen’, ‘In My Room’ and ‘Ghost Riders In The Sky’.

With more acts still to be announced, from closer to home there’ll be the footstompin’ fiddle-driven rhythms of Noble Jacks, with top singer songwriters such as folk roots veteran Pete Morton and Humberside star Katie Spencer (promoting her poetic new album ‘The Edge Of The Land’).  Plus there’s the folk Americana of Fritillaries (formerly Rainy Day Woman) who made such an impact at GTSF last September, Helian (the new five piece from the Leeds Conservatoire) and also Huson-Whyte, Southwell’s own talented duo, who’ll be among the class acts performing on four live music stages over four days.

Also signed up for the Midlands premier international roots music festival there’s the much loved singer-songwriter partnership of Chris While and Julie Mathews, the new line-up of highly danceable folk rockers Blackbeard’s Tea Party, Birmingham’s youthful folk supergroup Filkin’s Drift Ensemble featuring Ellie Gowers and the Field & Dyke project with BBC Folk Award winners Greg Russell and Danny Pedlar.

Building on last year’s success, there’ll be four live music stages presenting acts from diverse genres such as folk, blues, world, Americana, country, ska, punk, jazz…  Plus on-site camping, glamping, street theatre, poetry, comedy, artisan food, great traders, cask ales, campfire sessions, morris dancing and ceilidhs.

As always, the Gate To Southwell Festival promises to be a fantastic event for the whole family with advanced plans for a fun-packed Kids Area featuring Storytelling, White Post Farm, Forest School, Kids Crafts, Toddle Bops, Baby Bops, Out of the Chicken Shed, Circus Skills, Face Painting, Soul Sensory, Giant Bubbles and much more!

Set in beautiful rural countryside at Kirklington near Southwell (NG22 8NX) – just off the A617 linking the A1 and M1 from Newark to Mansfield – day and weekend tickets for this much acclaimed “little festival with the big heart” are available now from