Thursday, August 30, 2007

Artists' report - part 1

Over the course of the festival, we had Jo (our festival PR advisor) speaking to a huge range of artists and gauging opinion on the festival and the new site – she obviously had a ball speaking to the artists, and the results are a four part piece that will appear on the blog over the next few days………

So, it’s all over for another year – but what did some of the artists think of the Shrewsbury Folk Festival at its new home?

As well as fantastic all-on-one-site facilities for festival goers, performers enjoyed a new approach to hospitality, with a special backstage complex of green rooms and a refreshment area to relax in.

Saturday night headliners Show of Hands had played the festival at its original location in Bridgnorth twice before but it was their first time in Shrewsbury. They raised the roof of the massive marquee to a standing room only crowd of 3,200 who packed the main stage to hear them.

Steve Knightley said it had come as no surprise that Shrewsbury had blossomed into the festival it has become.

“It was always a really well run festival, led by an ambitious organisation - you always had the feeling it would be going places.”

Performing at Shrewsbury saw the pair finishing off a punishing schedule of summer festivals, but Phil Beer said they had loved it.

“We been performing at about two festivals a weekend – anything from 500 paying guests at Dartmoor to this crowd at Shrewsbury - it’s been a mega year but we love it.”

Finishing off with an encore of ‘Roots’, the rallying call to rediscover our heritage through music like folk, Steve Knightley paid tribute to the crowd who responded “as only a folk festival crowd can”.

It was the first time at Shrewsbury for another act which takes folk festivals by storm – Salsa Celtica, the high energy performers who fuse traditional and latin music in an amazing blend.

Lead vocal Lino Rocha, who lead the band of 10 through a fast and furious performance, said Shrewsbury was in a prestigious list of other festivals the band had performed at this summer.

Speaking back stage before their late night session saw festival goers dancing in the aisle of the main marquee, Lino said the band’s schedule this summer had included Cambridge, the world music festival WOMAD and the “one where there is lots of mud” (aka Glastonbury). Salsa Celtica were going on to perform at gigs in Spain and the US in the month after Shrewsbury.

The band, made up of an eclectic mix of nationalities including Venezuelan, Scottish, Australian, Irish and Tanzanian, said they had been treated like “royalty” at the festival and thoroughly approved of the incredible main marquee, again full to capacity. Another happy customer!


There are a good number of photos from the festival already online, the official pictures by Sabine Hutchinson from Virtual Shropshire are here

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday

but there are hundreds of shots on the web from visitors to the festival,

for starters try this
there are more on flickr if you just search for Shrewsbury Folk Festival.

You should easily find pictures of almost all the acts up there - expect there to be lots of Rushad from Crooked Still on your journey for pictures!

If you have a gallery of shots from this years festival please leave a link in the comments, thanks.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's over!

Well, we all hope you had a great festival and travelled home safely.

From an organisers point of view things went pretty smoothly, which is in no small part thanks to the stewards and you, the festival attendees.

We'll post some photos later this week, but we'd love you to leave your comments on the blog letting us know what we did right and what we did wrong - we'll take these all into account as we plan for 2008.

For me Crooked Still were the best act of the weekend, closely followed by Bellowhead and Richard Shindell....let us know what worked for you!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's here!!! (well it will be tomorrow)

The site has really come together today, with traders and caterers setting up for the weekend, the food tents, Panic Circus and other tents have shot up throughout the day.

The stages are complete and the light and sound rigs are all close to completion – we’re just about all set!

Didn’t have much time for photos today – but managed a quick look inside a deserted marquee 2 before the chairs go in.

marquee 2 - in the traditional Shrewsbury colours

Hope you all have a great festival!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Travelling to the site

Our website has full maps and directions to the festival site, but for those of you using satellite navigation the GPS co-ordinates are

N 52 43 020
W 002 45 742

These will get you to within 15 feet of the main entrance, but you will see the top of the main marquee well before this!

The postal address of the site is

Berwick Road

Travel well, and we’ll see you over the weekend.

We’ll post pictures from the festival has it happens, and a full report after the event.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Site set up

We’re well into the swing of things now, and all our main marquees are up - the main marquee is nothing short of spectacular.

If you head into Shrewsbury down the Mount then you can see it peeking up from a sea of trees as you drive into town, it looks like something out of a fairy tale!

Here are a couple of pictures from the site.

Marquee 1 at Shrewsbury

Marquee 2, almost complete

We now have more stewards on site who are setting up the tents that we use for artists reception, merchandise etc., and certainly by tomorrow we should have the majority of the site ready to go.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Initial site preparations

Preparations on the site began in earnest today, and the set up team are working hard at getting things ready for Friday.

We’ve had a really productive day and all three of our big marquees, the SP Holding Main Stage, Marquee 2 and the dance marquee are in various stages of completion.

Watching the preparatory work for the biggest marquee (see picture in “Lighting the Festival”) was interesting – the guy ropes are held in by 6 foot plus pegs that are driven into ground by a modified compact excavator with a pneumatic hammer.

The main poles for the biggest marquee are now up, and we feel all 3 marquees will be close to completion (if not completed) by tomorrow – we’ll post a set of photos of the whole site on Tuesday evening.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Activities in the town

Although we’ve moved from the Quarry to the West Midlands Showground, we’re committed to involving locals and bringing the festival into town.

There is a full programme of dancing in the Square and Quarry on Saturday and Sunday, plus there will be dancing at the Wheatsheaf, the Boathouse and St Alkmunds on these days

For those watching the dancing in the Square on Sat & Sun, we’ve teamed up with Innocent Smoothies who will be in there with their smoothie van to give away drinks to anyone watching!

We have music sessions programmed in at the Bird in Hand and Wheatsheaf over the weekend, but as is usually the case, impromptu session could happen anywhere.

Friday, August 17, 2007


The programmes arrived yesterday morning, all those who ordered one at the time they purchased their tickets (that’s 667 of you) will see a copy dropping through their letterbox over the next day or two.

The programme is full colour and includes bios on every artist appearing at the festival, and the timetable covers every single event from main concerts, to workshops, through to all the events happening in the town over the weekend.

The programme will be available to purchase from the merchandise stand over the festival weekend (NOT at the ticket office as in previous years).

If you live in Shrewsbury or are arriving in town before the festival, then copies are available NOW at the main tourist information office in the Music Hall.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sunshine and Shrewsbury

We've been watching the long term forecasts for months now (they've been all over the place!), but as the festival is now within touching distance the forecasts are beginning to settle down and we have a very good chance of getting an accurate prediction.

Here’s the current forecast, 8 days out from the festival – at this point everything looks set fair for warm days and mild nights…perfect!

Here’s the link for the updated forecast on Metcheck, which you can check anytime.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Lighting the festival

This year we’ve really put some thought and effort into how we light the festival; our aim being that when night falls the festival will have a real atmosphere.

The marquees and tents will all have festoon lighting, in a variety of colours, around the outside, and the main marquee (pictured below) will have rope lights on the guy ropes.

main marquee

The showground has a good number of established trees on site, and we will be adding lights to some of these which will create a beautiful effect as well as providing ambient evening/night lighting.

We’ve also changed the lighting inside the marquees - the stage lights in the main performance areas, as well as in the dance marquee have all changed and improved from previous years.

We've also installed permanent lighting to illuminate camping areas, these are on a timer and will switch off automatically in the early hours.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ticket details

For those of you who’ve already bought tickets, here’s a quick reminder of how you pick up your wristbands on arrival.

Whether you booked online, over the phone or through the post, you will have had a receipt sent to you (either through the post or via email) – you need to bring this receipt with you to the festival where it will be exchanged at the ticket office for your wristbands. The wristbands are your ticket to the venues, and we will fit these to your wrists at the ticket office.

If you book after August 20th, then we’ll hold the receipt for you at the ticket office for collection along with your tickets.

We still have a small number of full 4 day tickets available, although these are selling out quickly – if you don’t have your tickets yet then please order as soon as possible!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Shrewsbury Town Centre

Although we've moved from the Quarry to the West Midlands Showground, we're still very close to the town centre.

The festival site is a very gentle and interesting 10-15 minute stroll along the river loop to the town centre

For those who prefer transport, we have free buses running from the site into the town centre every 15 minutes (Sat & Sun, 9am - 6pm), they will drop off and pick up at the railway station (very close to the castle), and The Square on High Street (next to the Old Market Hall, a beautiful building built in 1596). All you will need is your festival wristband for travel on these buses.

For a map of the town centre, try this town centre map

If your looking for somewhere to eat off the festival site try this food map

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Final Site Layout and Map

We've now finalised the layout for the 2007 festival, and the programme has been sent to be printed - there are a couple of changes from the map we posted a month or two ago.

Hopefully this will give you an idea as to overall layout and for those of you camping on site, will give you an idea as to where you might like to pitch up!

click to view larger map

If you'd like to view a printable, high quality copy of the map you can download a copy here