The Folk Forecast Festival Guide 2021

Find out which festivals are going ahead this year, in person and online.

Hello, and welcome to a special issue of The Folk Forecast, which is all about festivals!

As the UK tentatively opens up from lockdown, festivals up and down the country are on tenterhooks as they wait to see if they can go ahead this year. With many of them already postponed from 2020, organisers and artists need our support more than ever.

If you’re hoping to get to a festival but aren’t sure which ones are going ahead, you can find a round-up of what’s in store below. This has been compiled to the best of my knowledge, and I’ll do my best to update it if I hear of any changes.

To get you in the mood for the summer, I’ve also put together a festival-inspired playlist so you can get that festival feeling wherever you are!

I’ll be back with the usual listings for the coming week tomorrow - bye for now!

Listen to the playlist



JULY


  • Ely Folk Festival - 9-11 July - incl. The Trials of Cato, Midnight Skyracer, Show of Hands, The Young’Uns, Daoiri Farrell and more - IN PERSON

  • Chickenstock Music Festival - 22-25 July - incl. Show of Hands, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, 3 Daft Monkeys and more - IN PERSON

  • Costa Del Folk As You Like It Festival - 26-30 July - incl. Gigspanner Big Band, Show of Hands, Edward II, Knight & Spiers, Chris While & Julie Matthews and more - IN PERSON

  • Underneath the Stars - 30 July - 1 August - incl. Kate Rusby, Martyn Joseph, Midnight Skyracer, Eddi Reader, Breabach and more - IN PERSON

  • Sidmouth Folk Festival - 30 July - 6 Aug - incl. Show of Hands, The Eliza Carthy Trio, Miranda Sykes and Hannah Martin, Jackie Oates & John Spiers, Seth Lakeman, Talisk and more - IN PERSON


AUGUST


  • FleadhFest Sligo - 1-9 August - incl. Dervish, Moxie and more - ONLINE

  • Wickham Festival - 5-8 August - incl. Capercaillie, Eddi Reader, Lindisfarne, Seth Lakeman, Show of Hands, Eliza Carthy & The Restitute Band, Talisk, The Dhol Foundation and more - IN PERSON

  • Broadstairs Folk Week - 6-13 Aug - incl. Breabach, The Young’Uns, Gigspanner Big Band, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, Tim Edey, Knight and Spiers, Edward II, Belshazzar’s Feast, The Trials of Cato, Granny’s Attic, Will Pound and more - IN PERSON

  • Saltburn Folk Festival - 12-15 Aug - incl. Narthen, Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, Granny’s Attic, Jez Lowe, Janice Burns & Jon Doran and more - ONLINE

  • White Horse Folk Festival - 13-15 Aug - incl. Jess & Richard Arrowsmith, Moira Craig and Carolyn Robson, JIB and Phoebe Rees - IN PERSON

  • The Magpies Festival - 14 Aug - incl. Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, Blair Dunlop, Katherine Priddy and more - IN PERSON

  • Purbeck Valley Folk Festival - 19-22 Aug - incl. Elephant Sessions, Kathryn Tickell and the Darkening, The Breath, Edgelarks, Ninebarrow, Jackie Oates and John Spiers and more - IN PERSON

  • Green Man Festival - 19-22 Aug - Line-up to be announced, tickets sold out - IN PERSON

  • FolkEast - 20-22 Aug - incl. Elephant Sessions, Afro Celt Sound System, Gigspanner Big Band, Kris Drever, Daoiri Farrell, The Young’Uns, The Trials of Cato and more - IN PERSON

  • Moira Furnace Folk Festival - 20-22 Aug - incl. The Shackleton Trio, Winter Wilson, Bram Taylor, Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer and more - IN PERSON

  • Whitby Folk Week virtual festival - 21-27 Aug - in-person festival postponed, but virtual festival planned, including concerts from Melrose Quartet, John Kirkpatrick, Eliza Carthy and more, plus ceilidhs, workshops, sessions and even a virtual ‘Zooming Heather’ send-off in the traditional Whitby way - ONLINE

  • Magpie’s Nest: Bristol - 21 Aug - incl. Emily Portman & Rob Harbron, Greg Russell, Marie Bashiru, Iona Lane, The Drystones and more - IN PERSON

  • Cottingham Folk Festival - 26-29 Aug - incl. This is the Kit, The Wandering Hearts, Emily Barker, Kathryn Williams and more - IN PERSON

  • Between the Trees Festival - 27-29 Aug - incl. Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys, Martyn Joseph, Wildwood Kin, The Trials of Cato, Kitty Macfarlane and more - IN PERSON

  • Cornwall Folk Festival - 27-30 Aug - incl. O’Hooley & Tidow, Granny’s Attic, Merry Hell and more - IN PERSON

  • Lyme Folk Weekend - 27-30 Aug - incl. Gigspanner Big Band, Fay Hield Band, Ninebarrow, Merry Hell, Alden & Patterson and more - IN PERSON

  • Shrewsbury Folk Festival - 27-30 Aug - incl. Kate Rusby, Oysterband, Show of Hands, Afro Celt Sound System, Seth Lakeman, The Young’Uns, Dervish, Lindisfarne, The Longest Johns, The Lost Words: Spell Songs, The Trials of Cato, Benji Kirkpatrick and the Excess and more - IN PERSON

  • Home-made Towersey: Part 2 - 28 Aug - in-person festival postponed, but a one-day virtual festival is planned. Twelve of Scotland’s best known folk groups and musicians have teamed up to present Postcards from Scotland, plus there will be messages and music from Towersey artists past and present, the Towersey Quiz, a ceilidh, yoga, craft workshops and more - ONLINE


SEPTEMBER


  • Gate to Southwell - 2-5 Sep - incl. The Young’Uns, Gigspanner Big Band, Spiers and Boden, The Breath, Chris Wood, Edgelarks, Knight and Spiers, Talisk, Harbottle and Jonas and more - IN PERSON

  • Settle Folk Gathering - 2-5 Sep - incl. The Brothers Gillespie, Fay Hield, Will Pound and Eddie Jay, Track Dogs, Daria Kulesh and more - IN PERSON

  • Moseley Folk Festival - 3-5 Sep - incl. The Waterboys, Frank Turner, Peat & Diesel, Katherine Priddy, Emily Barker, Maz O’Connor, Stick in the Wheel and more - IN PERSON

  • Kelso Folk Festival - 3-5 Sep - incl. Siobhan Miller, Maggie MacInnes, Martin and Eliza Carthy and more - IN PERSON

  • Claremorris Folk Festival - 4-5 Sep - incl. Daoirí Farrell, Moxie, Hothouse Flowers and more - IN PERSON

  • Bromyard Folk Festival - 9-12 Sep - incl. Edward II, Breabach, Kinnaris Quintet, The Breath, Calan, Granny’s Attic and more - IN PERSON

  • Swanage Folk Festival - 10-12 Sep - incl. Jon Boden, Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, Granny’s Attic, Ninebarrow, The Longest Johns and more - IN PERSON

  • Walton Folk Festival - 11 Sep - incl. The Trials of Cato, Jacob and Drinkwater, Gilmore & Roberts, Jenn Butterworth & Laura-Beth Salter and more - IN PERSON

  • Southdowns Folk Festival - 16-19 Sep - incl. Steve Harley Acoustic Band, Jez Lowe & Steve Tilston, Steve Knightley, Merry Hell and more - IN PERSON

  • Knockengorroch Festival - 16-19 Sep - incl. Afro Celt Sound System, Shooglenifty, The Poozies and more - IN PERSON

  • Ceol Cholasa Music Festival - 16-19 Sep - incl. Tim Edey, Lau, Siobhan Miller and more, currently fully booked - IN PERSON


POSTPONED TO 2022



Festival playlist

To get you in the mood, I’ve put together a festival-inspired playlist to dance to in your kitchen, or perhaps on that long car journey to your favourite festival!

Listen to the playlist


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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 TheFolkForecast@gmail.com. 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!