The Folk Forecast: 14–20 June 2021

The Folk Effect songwriting project, the Waterson Carthy family in conversation, a new episode of Folk on Foot with Sam Sweeney and more.

Hello there! Sorry it’s a bit of a late one - I’ve just been to see Rowan Rheingans’ Dispatches on the Red Dress (in person!) so am catching back up. Incidentally, if you fancy seeing Rowan yourself, she’s playing at the Makerspace Sheffield on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and it’s an amazing show if you live anywhere nearby.

There’s a varied mix of events coming up online over the next few days, including lots of opportunities to hear what artists have to say! On Friday, there’s a new episode of Folk on Foot with Sam Sweeney, on Saturday there’s a chance to hear the Waterson Carthy family in conversation, and on Sunday it’s time for a catch-up with Ellie Gowers.

This week, it’s also time for The Folk Effect, and on Wednesday we’ll be revealing six brand-new songs written by artists including Ríoghnach Connolly, Kate Young, Ellie Gowers, Lisa Knapp, Gwilym Bowen Rhys and Jackie Oates. To get you in the mood, this week’s playlist is a Folk Effect special!

Find more details below - have a great week and see you again next time!


Tuesday Folk People: The Shackleton Trio and Kaysh — 9.30pm BST

Home Stage on YouTube and Facebook

Every fortnight, Home Stage are hosting ‘Tuesday Folk People’, where they invite two artists from the folk scene to showcase their music and tell us their story. This week, tune in for music and chat with The Shackleton Trio and Kaysh, as they explore their musical journeys so far and perform live over Facebook and YouTube.

Free to view

Find out more


The Folk Effect* — 7pm BST


The Folk Effect is a songwriting project like no other! Beginning with a traditional folk song, six musicians have each taken turns to write a new song in just 24 hours, with each song being inspired by the one before. The artists taking part include Ríoghnach Connolly, Kate Young, Ellie Gowers, Lisa Knapp, Gwilym Bowen Rhys and Jackie Oates. In addition to the songwriting aspect of the project, visual artist Jo Elizabeth May has been commissioned to create beautiful lino-cut portraits of all six artists.

I’ve been helping to spread the word about the project, so I’ve had a sneaky preview of the songs that have been created, and they’re absolutely stunning! Even in such a short timeframe, each artist has created something unique to their musical style. The artists themselves got a lot out of the creative process too - read the article in Folk Radio to find out more!

A beautiful film showcasing all six songs and Jo’s artwork will be broadcast on Wednesday at 7pm, and you can tune in on Ondervinden’s Facebook page, YouTube channel or website. The project is supported by Arts Council England.

Free to view, with donations encouraged to support Ondervinden to run more great events in the future.

Find out more

Live to Your Living Room Introduces… Pride Month Showcase* — 8pm BST

Live to your Living Room

This is the first of Live to your Living Room’s new acoustic showcase evenings, designed to introduce audiences to some fantastic emerging talent on the folk scene. This time, it’s a Pride Month special, hosted by Katy Rose Bennett who will be sharing her new single, Sleep (which is Record of the Week!). Katy will be joined by four up and coming artists, including Sophie Crawford, Man of the Minch, Rakoczy and Mitch Keely and Josh Newman, so it’s a great chance to discover lots of new music all in one place!

Tickets £10 / £7 pay a bit less / £15 pay a bit more

Find out more


Folk on Foot - Sam Sweeney at Swift’s Hill*

Folk on Foot podcast

A new episode of the Folk on Foot podcast is coming on Friday! Join Matthew Bannister as he goes walking with Sam Sweeney near his home in Gloucestershire and discovers more about his musical inspiration and what makes him tick.

Free to listen, but you can support the podcast and access Folk on Foot on Film by becoming a patron on Patreon.

Find out more

RANT — 8pm BST

Furness Tradition

RANT will be performing for this online gig as a trio (Anna Massie, Bethany Reid and Lauren MacColl), showcasing tunes from all three RANT albums spanning the last decade. The gig will be held on Zoom.

Tickets £14 plus booking fee / £8 pay a bit less / £22 pay a bit more

Find out more

The Isolation Sessions - Song Swap with Piers Cawley and Lawrence Dean — 8pm BST

Piers Cawley on YouTube

Piers Cawley continues his Isolation Sessions, this time swapping songs with singer-songwriter Lawrence Dean.

Free to view for a week, with longer access available by giving a £6 donation.

Find out more

Maddie Morris — 8.50pm BST

Folk at the Grove

Winner of 2019’s BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, Maddie Morris has been described by Jim Moray as “leading the next generation of socially conscious songwriters.” Tune in to watch her play live, over on the Folk at the Grove Facebook page.

Free to view, with donations encouraged to the tip jar.

Find out more


Tradition Now — Various events on Saturday and Sunday

National Concert Hall Dublin

The National Concert Hall in Dublin is holding a number of events this weekend as part of their ‘Tradition Now’ series. The line-up is as follows:


  • 2pm - Michelle and Louise Mulcahy

  • 3.30pm - Nell Ní Chróinín, Maria Ryan, Kate Ellis and Cormac McCarthy

  • 5pm - Mick O’Brien, Emer Mayock and Aoife Ní Bhríain

  • 8pm - John Spillane With Guest Pauline Scanlon


  • 2pm - Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin And Ultan O’Brien

  • 3.30pm - Steve Cooney : Ceol Ársa Cláirsí : Tunes Of The Irish Harpers For Solo Guitar

  • 5pm - Daoirí Farrell

  • 8pm - Varo and special guests

Tickets €5 - €12 (approx £4.50-£10.50) per concert, with afternoon packages also available for both Saturday and Sunday which include 3 gigs for €10 (approx £8.50)

Find out more

Stage4Beverley's Summer Outing: Members of the Waterson / Carthy Family — 7.30pm BST

Stage4Beverley / tickets via Roots Live

The Waterson/Carthy family need little introduction to folk audiences: a much-loved lineage in the English folk song tradition for over 50 years. In this intimate and exclusive event, Martin and Eliza Carthy, and hopefully a very special family guest, will discuss their lives in music, sing a handful of songs from their repertoire and take part in an audience Q&A.

Tickets £15 to livestream, with in-person tickets also available.

Find out more


Stage4Beverley's Summer Outing: Steve Knightley — 8pm BST

Stage4Beverley / tickets via Roots Live

Steve Knightley is not only well known as part of the group Show of Hands, but is also a highly regarded solo performer. Following the success of his intimate one man show in 2019, Steve’s latest outing is intended for anyone fascinated by the art and craft of song writing. Exploring his extensive back catalogue and introducing unheard, new material he explores the themes and stories that inspire him and shows how music and words can become lyrics and chords and notes can meld to create songs that acquire a life of their own!

Tickets £14 to livestream, with in-person tickets also available.

Find out more

An Hour or So with Ellie Gowers* — 8pm BST

Downend Folk Club

Downend Folk Club is continuing the successful ‘Hour or So’ series, by running online events with artists visiting the club for concerts. This week, Ant will be chatting to Ellie Gowers about her musical journey and plans for the future. Alongside the chat, there will be extracts of her gig with Alex Garden and Lukas Drinkwater, which will be compiled together and streamed on Facebook and YouTube for you to enjoy wherever you are!

Free to view, with donations encouraged via a tip jar. A limited number of in-person tickets are also available for the gig at Christ Church Downend if you’re quick.

Find out more


The Longest Johns — 1am BST but available for 48 hours

The Longest Johns / Mandolin

The Longest Johns are doing their first full live streamed set, from the Old Market Assembly in Bristol. It’s being broadcast at 8pm Eastern Time, which is 1am on Monday in the UK, but the stream is available to watch for 48 hours if you don’t fancy watching it in the early hours.

Tickets $15 (approx £11)

Find out more

Regular events

Global Music Match

With artists around the world struggling for work during the pandemic, Global Music Match is designed to help introduce artists to a wider audience around the world. It was first run in 2020, and is back in 2021 with a brand-new set of artists. Each week, one band or musician from each country will introduce another artist from a different country to their audience via social media, enabling all of the artists to benefit from cross-promotion and reach more listeners across the globe. Here’s this year’s line-up from the UK and Ireland - keep an eye on their social channels and let them introduce you to new musical worlds!


Chris Cleverley, Dan Whitehouse, Eliza Marshall, Jack Rutter, Lucy Farrell and Lunatraktors.


Ainsley Hamill, Blue Rose Code, Findlay Napier, Gnoss, Hannah Rarity, Mary Ann Kennedy, The Jellyman’s Daughter, The Paul McKenna Band and Whyte.


Eädyth, Eve Goodman and N’Famady Kouyate.


Clare Sands, Dani Larkin, Megan O’Neill

Find out more

Queen’s Birthday Honours for Cat McGill*

Live to your Living Room founder and Creative Director, Cat McGill, has been recognised in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours, receiving a British Empire Medal for Services to the Arts. Over the last 10 months, Live to your Living Room has sold over 12,000 concert tickets and raised over £100,000 for artists. It couldn’t have happened without Cat’s vision, drive and determination, and I’m delighted to see her get this recognition.

Find out more

This week’s playlist

This week’s playlist is inspired by artists taking part in The Folk Effect, including Ríoghnach Connolly, Kate Young, Ellie Gowers, Lisa Knapp, Gwilym Bowen Rhys and Jackie Oates. Have a listen and get a flavour for the kinds of songs they might have created!

Find out more

Record of the week

Record of the Week is Sleep by Katy Rose Bennett, the first single from her upcoming album Alone On A Hill. Blending hypnotic repetition and body percussion with somewhat ethereal harmonies, Sleep - and the album as a whole - reflects a shift in Bennett’s sound. After receiving a grant from Arts Council England in December 2020, she had the space, time and resources to experiment with her music-making. Though she didn’t intend to create an album out of the process, having the freedom and time to try new things inevitably led to those new ideas being laid down, and it was recorded and produced in her home ‘studio’ (the hallway between the kitchen and the lounge!).

Pre-save the track on Spotify ahead of its release on 2 July, and come along to the Pride Month Showcase on Wednesday to hear it played live!

Have a listen

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The Folk Forecast is created for artists, for audiences and for the UK folk scene. All information is correct to the best of our knowledge. If you have queries about the events listed, please contact the artists or promoters. If you have any suggestions for inclusion in future newsletters, please email We may not be able to include absolutely everything, but we’re interested in UK folk events with a broad appeal, and would particularly welcome suggestions from Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The Folk Forecast is compiled by one person, so please bear with me if I can’t get back to you right away.

* Alongside The Folk Forecast, I’m associated with other organisations on the folk scene, including Folk on Foot, Fancourt Music, Live to Your Living Room, Ondervinden theatre and English Folk Expo. Events where I have some involvement with the promoter or agency are marked with a star. Although I have other affiliations, I strive to be fair and inclusive and tell you about anything I think you’ll enjoy!