The Folk Forecast: 2–15 Aug 2021

Sidmouth Folk Festival Online, Saltburn Folk Festival, Leveret, Ninebarrow and the Official Folk Albums Chart Show.

Hello, and welcome to a double issue of The Folk Forecast! With online gigs looking a bit quieter over the summer, and a busy weekend at a friend’s wedding ahead of me (at last!), I’ve added gigs for the next fortnight into this bumper issue.

From virtual festivals including Sidmouth Folk Festival Online and Saltburn Folk Festival, to gigs from Leveret and Ninebarrow and the latest Official Folk Albums Chart Show, there’s lots to look forward to in the next couple of weeks.

Here’s this week’s playlist too, to get you in the mood!

Listen to the playlist


The Sidmouth Folk Festival Online — Events daily until 6th August

The Sidmouth Folk Festival

Sidmouth Folk Festival are offering gigs online this week, including:

  • Mon 2nd Aug - John Kirkpatrick + Alice Jones

  • Tues 3rd Aug - Westward The Light + Brighde Chaimbeul

  • Wed 4th Aug - Jez Lowe + Ben Paley

  • Thurs 5th Aug - Matthew Bannister of Folk on Foot interviews Steve Knightley, Eliza Carthy, Jo Freya and Jim Causley

  • Fri 6th Aug - Around The Festival with Jack Rutter, Belinda Kempster & Fran Foote, Bird in The Belly and Stone Monkey

There were also gigs over the weekend - sorry for the late spot, but you can still catch up on them now (Fara + Rachel Hair & Ron Jappy and Martin Simpson). In addition, there’s a programme of online workshops.

Free to view, with donations to the festival encouraged.

Find out more


The Official Folk Albums Chart Show* — 7pm BST

Folk on Foot website, YouTube and podcast feed. Commissioned by English Folk Expo and compiled by the Official Charts Company.

See which albums have made the Official Folk Albums Chart this month, with Folk on Foot. Packed with stories, music and exclusive content, this is always a joy to watch. I’ll also be on the show to talk about the latest folk news.

Free to access, but you can support the podcast by becoming a patron.

Find out more

Covid Sings Singaround — 8pm BST


If you’re missing your usual folk club or singaround, join Fay Hield and fellow folkies from near and far to swap songs over Zoom. Covid Sings is held on the first Tuesday of every month.

Free to attend.

Find out more


Leeds City Stompers — 8pm BST

The Globe Newcastle

Leeds City Stompers play a mixture of blues, swing, jazz and folk, with Martyn Roper on guitar and double bass, Ian Blackburn on guitar and double bass and John Arnesen on drums and washboard. Expect the odd original song as well as songs by Robert Johnson, Blind Boy Fuller and Hank Williams. They’ll be travelling up from Leeds to Newcastle for this hybrid gig, available to watch in person or online.

Tickets £7.50, with the option to pay more to support the artists and venue. Stream is available to view for a week.

Find out more


Goderich Celtic Roots Virtual Festival — 12-4am, and 6pm-10pm BST

Goderich Celtic Roots Festival on Facebook

Goderich Celtic Roots Festival will be streaming live on Facebook from Goderich, Ontario. Artists include Seán Keane, The Ennis Sisters, Daoirí Farrell and lots more. Due to the time difference, in the UK it will begin in the early hours, but keep an eye on their Facebook page later on if you’re not a night owl!

Free to view, with donations to the festival encouraged.

Find out more

Monster Ceilidh Band — 8pm BST

The Globe Newcastle

Monster Ceilidh Band are no strangers to experimentation, and they continue to demonstrate a great talent for producing innovative yet accessible music. They are a band that pushes the boundaries of contemporary folk in all the right directions. This hybrid gig will be available to watch in person as well as online.

Tickets £7.50, with the option to pay more to support the artists and venue. Stream is available to view for a week.

Find out more


Tuesday Folk People: Jim Causley & Susan Gibson — 9.30pm BST

Home Stage on YouTube and Facebook

Home Stage have been hosting ‘Tuesday Folk People’ every fortnight, with artists being invited to showcase their music and tell us their story. This week, tune in for music and chat with Jim Causley and Susan Gibson.

Free to view

Find out more


Leveret* — 8pm BST

English Folk Expo / Queen’s Hall Arts Centre

Leveret features three of England’s finest musicians – Andy Cutting (button accordion), Sam Sweeney (fiddle) and Rob Harbron (concertina) – playing together in a unique trio. Leveret’s music is not arranged and instead they rely on mutual trust and musical interaction to create new settings of their repertoire in the moment, drawing audiences in and inviting them to share in music-making that is truly spontaneous and yet deeply timeless. This is a hybrid gig, available to watch at Queen’s Hall Arts Centre in Hexham, Northumberland, as well as via a high-quality livestream.

Tickets £12 plus booking fee.

Find out more

Saltburn Folk Festival* — Events on 12-15 August, full timings TBA

Saltburn Folk Festival

Join Saltburn Folk Festival for their virtual gathering — a small but perfectly formed celebration of all things Saltburn, available to watch from wherever you are! Expect a great mix of concerts, exclusive video content from artists, public events, sessions and singarounds. The line-up includes both festival favourites and new faces, including Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, Granny's Attic, Narthen, The Wilsons, Alistair Anderson, Janice Burns & Jon Doran, Grace Smith and lots more.

Tickets available soon - keep an eye on the website and Facebook page for more info!

Find out more


Katie Doherty & The Navigators* — 8pm BST

English Folk Expo / Queen’s Hall Arts Centre

Katie Doherty is an award-winning songwriter, and alongside fiddler Shona Mooney (former Scottish Young Trad Musician of the Year, founder member of The Shee) and the smiliest man in folk, Dave Gray on melodeon, Katie Doherty and The Navigators were formed. Their album "And Then" was released in early 2019 to high critical acclaim and airplay all over Europe, including live sessions on both BBC Radio 2's Mark Radcliffe show and BBC Radio 3's In Tune. This is a hybrid gig, available to watch at Queen’s Hall Arts Centre in Hexham, Northumberland, as well as via a high-quality livestream.

Tickets £12 plus booking fee.

Find out more


Ninebarrow Live From the Great Outdoors: Volume 2 — 7pm BST


Last August, Ninebarrow decided they wanted to give audiences a live stream with a difference. They called it  ‘Live from the Great Outdoors’ – a never-before attempted, multi-media concert, broadcast live from a field in North Dorset. This year, they’re doing it all again, with a different selection of songs combined seamlessly with stunning new footage of the Dorset landscape. Join them for an incredible journey through the seasons and the landscapes that inspire their music.

Single tickets £12.50, households £25.

Find out more

Tom McConville Band — 8pm BST

The Globe Newcastle

Fronted by the incendiary fiddle playing of BBC Radio 2 Musician of the Year Tom McConville (who Seth Lakeman regards as his biggest influence), this band also features Shona Newey, a BBC Folk Award nominee and one of the finest accordion players in the country. Add to that David Newey’s ‘incredible, unique guitar playing’ (BBC Radio 6), and Phil Murray – the man Mike Harding called ‘the best acoustic bass player in Britain’, and you have a force to be reckoned with. This hybrid gig will be available to watch in person or online.

Tickets £7.50, with the option to pay more to support the artists and venue. Stream is available to view for a week.

Find out more


Songwriting Masterclass: ‘Character & Story Songs’ with M G Boulter — 11am BST

Hudson Records

Hudson Records are running a series of songwriting masterclasses over the next few months, giving you the chance to learn from some of the finest songwriters around! M G Boulter will be sharing his wisdom on character and story songs, and if you’ve heard his recent album Clifftown, then you’ll be sure he knows a thing or two about great storytelling!

Attendance is on a ‘pay what you can’ basis - email to sign up.

Find out more

Regular events

James Riley: The Rooftop Sessions

James Riley, who livestreamed gigs from his roof in London during lockdown, has got Arts Council funding for The Rooftop Sessions, a live streamed concert series with music every weekend in August - keep an eye on his Facebook page for details. 

Find out more

Free online folk films

The British Film Institute and Cambridge Folk Festival have teamed up to make a selection of folk music related films available for free, including documentaries about The Watersons and Kathryn Tickell, performances from Fairport Convention and lots more. Find more details over on Folk Radio UK.

Find out more

This week’s playlist

Head over to this week’s playlist to hear a selection of tracks from artists featured in this issue. Listen to something new, and see which gigs you might fancy going to!

Find out more

Record of the week

Record of the Week is Live from the Glass Isle by Chris Cleverley. Featuring tracks from Cleverley’s previous studio albums which have been stripped back for solo performance in the pandemic era, the result is an album that puts the spotlight on honest and expressive storytelling. The recording of the album also has quite a story — it was recorded a stone’s throw from the foot of Glastonbury Tor in Somerset on the day of the pagan festival of Lughnasadh.

Reflecting on the experience of that dawn, Cleverley says:

“This old pagan rite of passage, commencing the harvest season, is so symbolic of facing a period of doubt and inconstancy with hope and conviction. It carried immense meaning for me as we waded, knee-deep, through the mind-spinning uncertainty of the pandemic. It offered the perfect clarity & headspace to make these recordings.”

The album will be released on Friday 6th August, which also happens to be Bandcamp Friday, so if you order it on release day you can support Chris even more.

Find out more

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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 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!