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!
New Forest Folk Festival - 7-11 July - incl. Show of Hands, Martyn Joseph, Granny’s Attic and more - IN PERSON
Furness Tradition - 9-11 July - incl. Jon Doran, Mossy Christian, Ryan Young & Chris Amer, Close Quarters and more - ONLINE & IN PERSON
Priddy Folk Festival virtual “Wish You Were Here” concert - 10 July - incl. Baraka, The Drystones and The Dillyboys - ONLINE
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
Rothbury Traditional Music Festival - 10 July - incl. Martin Carthy, Janice Burns & Jon Doran and more - IN PERSON
Tiree Music Festival - 10 July - incl. Skerryvore, We Banjo 3, Trail West, The Eves, Atlantic Reel and more - ONLINE
HebCelt Survival Sessions - 14-17 July - incl. Elephant Sessions, Josie Duncan and more - ONLINE & IN PERSON
Festival at the Edge - 16-18 July - incl. Belinda O’ Hooley, Rowan Rheingans, Daria Kulesh, Mossy Christian and lots of storytelling! - IN PERSON
Sesiwn Fawr Digi-Dol 2021 - 17 July - incl. VRï , Glain Rhys, Huw Dylan, Beca, Oak, I Fight Lions and more - ONLINE
Folk by the Oak - 18 July - incl. Kate Rusby, The Sam Sweeney Band, The Young’Uns, Katherine Priddy, Kitty Macfarlane and more - IN PERSON
Show of Hands Abbotsbury Online - 18 July - incl. Show of Hands, Martyn Joseph, Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage and more - ONLINE
Yn Chruinnaght Celtic Gathering - 19-25 July - Christine Collister, The Mollag Band, Clash Vooar, Mega Manx Ceili 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
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
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
Magpie’s Nest: London - 11 Sep - line-up TBA - 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
Deepdale Festival - 23-26 Sep - incl. Martin Simpson, 3 Daft Monkeys, Bleeding Hearts and more - IN PERSON
Jura Music Festival - 25 Sep - Line-up to be announced - IN PERSON
POSTPONED TO 2022
Folk at the Hall - 1-2 July 2022
Stonehaven Folk Festival - 8-10 July 2022
Priddy Folk Festival - virtual event this year but full festival postponed to 8-10 July 2022
Warwick Folk Festival - 21-24 July 2022
Eilean Dorcha Festival - 22-23 July 2022
Speyfest - 22-24 July 2022
Towersey Festival - 26-29 August 2022
Womad - 28-31 July 2022
Butefest - 29-31 July 2022
Tartan Heart Festival - 28-30 July 2022
Cambridge Folk Festival - 28-31 July 2022
Cropredy - 11-13 August 2022
Whitby Folk Festival - virtual event this year but full festival postponed to 20-26 August 2022
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!
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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!