Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The website for the Darwin Song Project is here, with bios for artists and more details on the project.
The headline details are
Chris Wood, Karine Polwart, Jez Lowe, Stu Hanna, Mark Erelli, Emily Smith, Krista Detor and Rachael McShane will all take part in a songwriting retreat for 7 days to write songs that have a relevance and resonance to Charles Darwin.
There will be a premiere of the songs at the new Theatre Severn on March 19th, and all the artists will get together again at the festival in August for a further performance.
BBC Radio 4 are involved in the project and will broadcast a documentary on the week in the house and look at how the songs developed from their earliest drafts up to the final performance.
Tickets for the Theatre Severn show are on sale now – there’s only a very limited number of seats available, so if you’d like to attend then please order them early (direct from the theatre here)
Friday, December 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The theatre opens in early 2009, and the festival is heavily involved in the folk and acoustic programming for the venue.
Over the course of the year the festival will co-promote shows with the theatre under the banner of “Shrewsbury Folk Events”.
The first three concerts are
March 19th 2009 Darwin Song Project
April 16th Show of Hands (with Megson as support)
May 22nd Seth Lakeman (a very rare show in a seated venue)
We’ll announce more details on each show next week, but tickets are on sale now here where you can check availability of seats.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
As those of you who came to the West Mid showground on Sunday will know, volunteers from the hospice were outside the two marquees after the afternoon concerts collecting with buckets - and boy, did you fill them! Painstaking counting revealed a massive £1,054 was raised via the collection and a further £130 from the collecting tins dotted around the site over the weekend.
When we made our fundraising commitment to Hope House we agreed to donate a proportion of our tickets sales - we are still totalling up, but we already know it will be in excess of £3,000!
Some of us committee members were lucky enough to get the chance to visit Hope House and see the work it does and we have no doubt that every penny you donated will make a real difference.
Many of the children at Hope House have limited speech, learning difficulties or a severe disability and music is a great outlet for them. It costs around £8,000 - all of which has to come from the £3.5 million the charity has to raise each year - and thanks to our wonderful visitors we can now fund over half the cost.
So thank you from everyone at Shrewsbury Folk Festival and at Hope House - we'll fill you in on the final total as soon as we know it!
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
A quick look at flickr reveals hundreds of pictures from this years’ festival, and youtube has performances from almost everybody, you can find almost the entire Bellowhead set on there.
If you have pictures or videos of the festival online, then thank you very much, we (and we imagine people who attended the festival) love searching for them during idle moments…if you do have any online then please post a comment with a link below so we can all take a peek!
Of the official pictures (around 4000) taken by Sabine of Virtual Shropshire, I’ve chosen my favourites from each day - not necessarily the best pictures, but shots that capture the atmosphere of the festival.
In order, from top to bottom
Friday Breabach open the festival in Marquee 2
Saturday bellydancing in the dance tent
Sunday The Duhks finishing their excellent village stage concert
Monday Bellowhead enjoying a mid-song dance
click any image for a larger view
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
We're sorting through photos and videos, it will take a few days but we'll post links up when we have them all arranged.
In the meantime, please leave comments here to let us know what you enjoyed, what the highlights were and where you think we can improve - we take everything on board and this helps us shape the festival for next year
For me, The Duhks village stage set, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan's harmony workshop, and the Demon Barber Roadshows concert with the children from Oxon were my three favourite moments.............over to you.
Friday, August 22, 2008
The site set up is almost complete - the main stage is looking fantastic and has some new stage lights this year (wait 'til you see them!), and the rest of the site has all come together really well.
It rained yesterday, and there's a little mud around the site - some of this will go, but obviously in the high traffic areas there's a chance it might hang around. We're dealing with it with matting and wood chippings, and the forecast is good for the weekend, so hopefully it won't be too much of a problem.
Doors open at 10am - see you sometime over the weekend. Hope you all have a great festival!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
There are a couple of other changes of note, 'The Big Shed' (the youth venue), is now a large tent with a wooden floor and although it's only moved a little, it's in a much nicer spot.
3.6kg Ground Fresh Coffee (to make 96 litres)
400 assorted muffins
400 tea bags
60 herbal tea bags
240 cans of Coke
48 bottles of wine
9kg of sweets (3 x 3kg bags of pink and blue sweets from Liquorice Allsorts, Jelly babies and sugared almonds)
12 litres of orange juice
1000 milk stix
1000 sugar bags
1500 bio-compostable coffee cups
1500 wooden stirring sticks
and that doesn’t include artists’ riders!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Over the next few days we start on the smaller marquees such as the ticket office, merchandise stall etc., with an aim to being finished by Thursday.
There will be lots of interesting photos to show over the next couple of days, this isn’t one of them……
the main marquee as it arrived.
a more exciting picture tomorrow is guaranteed!
N 52° 43.020
W 002° 45.742
(if you copy these into Google Earth, they take you to within a few feet of one of entrances)
and the postal address is
West Mid Showground
Sunday, August 17, 2008
It's no mean feat setting up a small town that can cater for the needs of 7000 people, and the stewards who help us set up the site both work hard and do a fantastic job. We’ll post photos of the set up as the week goes on, and hopefully we’ll capture the guys putting up the huge marquee as it’s a sight to behold!
…and just a quick mention of the weather, the forecast on Metcheck is getting better and better, and it’s now showing warm and dry days with the temperature up to around 22°c (here’s hoping!)
Saturday, August 16, 2008
It’s been all over the place for a few weeks, but is beginning to settle down, so hopefully the prediction over the next few days should be fairly accurate (Metcheck were spot on last year) – for 2008 they're suggesting we'll be dry apart from the odd shower on Saturday.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
The ciders that will be available at the festival are
Riches Traditional (sweet medium and dry)
Burrow Hill Traditional (sweet medium and dry), Cider brandy, Pomona, 3 different types of farm pressed apple juice
West Croft Cider Janet’s Jungle Juice
Hecks Traditional (medium), Kingston black single varietal, Perry
Broadoak Cider Co. traditional (sweet), Kingston black, Moonshine, Perry
Dunkertons Organic Cider Organic (medium sweet, medium ,dry)
Ross on Wye Cider Perry, traditional (medium)
Brook Farm Traditional (medium, sweet, dry), Perry
Westons Old Rosie, Stowford Press
Bulmers Traditional (medium and dry)
Inches Traditional (dry)
Cider House Special
Plus two other unknown varieties that will be sourced when these are all collected from Somerset & Herefordshire!
Quite frankly, that’s a scary list – good luck if you try and get through them all!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
If you live in Shrewsbury (or are visiting the town before the festival), we’ve just delivered some programmes to the tourist information centre in the Music Hall, and these are available for you to drop by and buy one right now!
For everyone else, the programmes will be available from the ticket office or merchandise stall during the festival.
Monday, August 11, 2008
This blog is a great way for us to keep you up to date with things that are happening over the course of the year, but there are two other internet groups that are dedicated to the Shrewsbury Folk Festival – they’re both open for all to join, and offer different ways for you to be involved with the festival.Facebook – a group where those interested in the festival can come and join in discussions, post pictures of the festival etc. There are lots of pictures from last year, as well as members leaving comments…at the moment we have members offering lifts, someone needing a lift, and discussions about last years’ acts to highlight just three. It’s a friendly group so come on and join in here
MySpace – a site that has much in common with the blog, but with the addition of streaming audio, we currently have 4 full tracks from The Duhks, Oysterband, Eilen Jewell and John Wesley Harding for people to listen to. Have look the MySpace site here
We read and respond to all comments we receive either here on the blog or on the Facebook and MySpace sites; the more you let us know, the better we’ll be - so feel free to join in!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
We’ve improved the access to the dance tent, so this year all you’ll need to do is follow the flags up the hill to the second field to find the dance tent bursting with a fantastic variety of music and dance styles.
We have some of the countries top bands, including Trinculo, Glorystrokes and the Oyster Ceilidh Band going back to their roots to play a rare ceilidh for Shrewsbury.
We also have the global groves of Boka Halat and European visitors from Germany the Brassberries plus the highly acclaimed Boldwood, and local band Ceilidhography
We have top callers, Dave Hunt, Baz Parkes, Pete Reece to name a few, who will lead you through the dances, so even if you’ve never been to a ceilidh before you will be guided through the moves with ease.
Most dances will also feature a display from some impressive Morris and dance display sides. There is also a full programme of dance workshops which include an opportunity to try out different Morris styles, have a go at Belly dancing and write a dance for the Boka Halat ceilidh on Sunday evening.
We have changed the programme to get more dancing opportunities in and on Sunday you can dance to two bands in one evening.
The lighting and ambiance has been improved this year, which together with its own bar makes the dance tent a great place to be even if you just want to listen, but I doubt your feet will let you!
Thursday, August 07, 2008
The festival’s school’s project report and photos are now available as part of the main festival website – there are around a hundred photos of the school workshops and final concert performance available here
The 30 children who performed with the Demon Barber Roadshow have all being invited to the festival, and the Demon Barber Roadshow are playing on both Sunday and Monday of the festival – Sunday is their ‘normal’ roadshow, and Monday afternoon sees them incorporating some of the work in school into their performance.
Full details of the performance times/venues are listed in the programme, and the school project continues in 2009 with Scottish Traditions.
Monday, August 04, 2008
We have these shirts in two colours, ‘Olive’ and ‘Denim’ and they both feature the same two colour screen print on front and back. These are standard unisex fit shirts (no ladies fit on this design)
.....to save anyone looking, the festival site is just about where the Orchestra (of Ukulele Orchestra of GB) is written on the shirt!
click on each image for a more detailed view
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The bars and beers are (obviously) an important part of the festival, and this year the quality of the bars and the range available is going to be even better than ever…..we have a confirmed list of the beers that are going to be available (listed below), PLUS we will have a unrivalled range of ciders too!
Timothy Taylors Landlord, Best bitter
Enville Breweries Simpkiss Bitter, Enville Ale, Ginger Beer, Enville LPA
Ma Pardoes (Old swan brewery) Entire bitter, Dark Swan, Original
Hobsons Brewery Best bitter, Town Crier, Mild Ale, Pale Ale
3 Tunns Brewery XXX, Solstice, Best Bitter
Woods Quaff, Shropshire Lad, Shropshire Lass
Bridgnorth Brewing Company Apley Ale, Northgate Gold, Old Mo
Holdens Special, Golden Glow
We are determined to be as local as we can at the festival and where possible we use Shropshire companies - from our web masters to our loo provider!
We want to support as many local businesses as possible to pay back into the county and community that supports us - and it helps reduce our carbon footprint.
For the first time this year we have Shropshire's BoxFresh Organics on board as sponsors of our village stage. BoxFresh - whose staff are all keen folkies too - will be providing a onsite shop where people can buy organic fruit, veg, eggs, bacon, sausages, bread, cheese, butter, milk, tea, coffee and sugar and support a local business. They are also kindly giving our artists organic fruit to munch on.
BoxFresh are also planning festival boxes which campers can order in advance and pick up onsite through
Other local businesses involved in the festival include - The Cider House from Wootton near Bridgnorth which run the bars; Space Mobiles (toilets) from Much Wenlock; SP Holding from Telford (a sponsor and drainage services); BPD Print Solutions from Sutton Maddock (printing); Modern Fire Extinguisher Services from Atcham (hazard a guess what they do!); Pink Skips from Telford; Purple Hotel in Shrewsbury which puts up artists; Paul and Sabine at Virtual Shropshire (Much Wenlock) who do our website, filming and photography and Face Interactive from Ironbridge which designs our newsletters, adverts and flyers.
Our local paper the Shropshire Star has also sponsored the wristbands everyone will be wearing this year. The paper is always hugely supportive with its positive coverage throughout the year, as is BBC Radio Shropshire, which will be driving its Big Red Bus to the showground and offering free workshops on board!
We also run a free shuttle bus into Shrewsbury town centre on Saturday and Sunday as well have having music sessions and dancers perform in the town centre and local pubs.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
For this years' festival we have a range of styles and colours across a range of sizes including standard t-shirts, ladies fitted shirts, ladies strappy vests and childrens.
We’ll post details of all the shirts over the coming weeks (once we get through all the boxes they’ve arrived in!)
Here’s the first shirt.....
Shrewsbury Folk Festival Varsity Tee
Classic grey marl shirt, available in mens sizes and as a ladies fitted t-shirts.
A 2 colour print on both front and back that has been ‘aged’ to give the shirts a vintage look.
(click on images for an enlarged view)
Friday, July 18, 2008
Amongst the workshop highlights are harmonies with Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, dancing workshops from belly dancing to rapper to clog, there will be team of Sound Engineering lecturers from Birmingham Uni recording free demos, the Musicians' Union will be hosting sessions with advice for new artists.
There's a huge amount going on, and certainly something for everyone!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
There'll be sessions in everything from music, dance, singing, songwriting and we've even got some great workshops planned for our younger visitors in the Refolkus youth programme for people aged 12 to 25.
We're really excited about our workshops this year as it's the most we've ever put on. One advantage of the great venue that we have is that everything is on one site so you don't have to miss out on all the other fun at the festival.
And there are also going to be seven ceilidhs going on in our dance marquee over the Bank Holiday weekend including one by the Oysterband. They rarely perform as a ceilidh band these days so that will be a real treat!
If you still haven't got your tickets there are some full weekend tickets still available at http://www.shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk/ or through 01746 768813.
We've sold out of day tickets for Sunday, but you can still get Friday evening, Saturday and Monday tickets.
See you there!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The programming for all the venues, workshops etc. is all complete, and we now have the final festival layout complete
There are a couple of changes from last year, but nothing too drastic – here’s the map……pick your camping spot!
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Those of you who witnessed or heard about the sessions last year will be itching to brush up your tunes for 2008.
Whether you've been tin whistling since Tuesday or playing for a few years, you will find a great set of tunes to learn and play.
This year we have both Beginners and Improvers sessions so musicians can hop on board at any level, our in-house session crew will keep the tunes going! This year's book sees donations of favourite tunes by some famous names from the traditional music circuit - see if you can spot (and learn) them.
Hope to see you there - Izzy
Monday, June 30, 2008
The week in school saw the trio work with every child in school, with 30 children chosen to be involved on stage in rapper, clogging, morris and song.
Here’s a review from the Shropshire Star (21 June 2008)
"If anybody in the audience at the Music Hall last night (FRI) came to see the Demon Barber Roadshow with a preconceived stereotype of what folk music was, just minutes in the company of this dynamic and high energy band must have dispelled those myths forever.
Add to the mix two talented clog dancers (Tiny Taylor and Fiona Bradshaw) and rapper and morris dancers and you've got a show that held the audience spellbound.
But last night Roadshow leader Damien Barber - who along with Lee Sykes, Andy Stephenson, David Hall and Will Hampson turned rapper dancing into a sight to behold with florescent swords - and singer and violinist Bryony Griffiths were only too delighted to be upstaged by the 30 children from Oxon School that they have been working with all week as part of Shrewsbury Folk Festival's schools project.
The children, varying from year two to six, took starring roles showing off the traditional folk music and dance skills they have learnt in just several days. As head teacher Mark Rogers said it will be an experience the children will never forget.
The project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will continue in 2009 and 2010 with traditions from the rest of Great Britain – more details to follow next year.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
As is normal, we kept some tickets for the show available for guests of the band, and they’ve kindly made these available as giveaways......
We have 5 pairs of tickets on offer for the concert – it’s Friday 20th June, The Music Hall, Shrewsbury (show starts 7:30pm)
To enter the draw, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (please replace the sff.co.uk with shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk, thanks).
We’ll draw 5 pairs out early next week and will email the lucky winners – demand for these will be high, so please only enter if you can attend. Good luck!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Each year there will be a week-long project which sees folk artists go into local schools and work with children to pass on traditional folk music, dance and drama skills; this year the project will concentrate on traditional folk arts from England, and then look in turn at the folk heritage of Wales and Scotland.
We have Damien Barber, Bryony Griffith and Fiona Bradshaw from the Demon Barber Roadshow working at Oxon Primary School for a full week starting Monday 16th June, and this is followed by a full Demon Barber Roadshow evening performance on Friday 20th June at the Music Hall, Shrewsbury.
Each year the musicians and bands working in school will also be booked to perform at the festival, where the all festival attendees (including the school children and their families) will have chance to work with the musicians again.
We proud to have the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund for this innovative project, and believe this is an important part of the festival, as well as being vital for the continuation of folk arts in Great Britain.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Those wanting a peek as to what to expect on Friday and Saturday this year, Eilen played a couple of songs with her full band on Bob Harris’ show this Thursday.
The listen again feature is available for the next 7 days (until 5th June), the songs and interview are about 33 minutes in.
The live session is here http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/ (look for the ‘more shows’ link, on the LISTEN box).
The festival page with an MP3 excerpt and video is here
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
We know you're guaranteed a great four days of music, dance and entertainment at Shrewsbury Folk Festival but what better way to enjoy it than by staying in your own tipi - for free! With only 20-30 tipis available the odds of winning are very high
The festival has teamed up with The Tipi Company which will be renting out luxury tipis on the site for the first time. And they are offering you the chance to win a completely free stay in a tipi if you book your accommodation before June 30.
So forget about the hassle of finding and packing all that camping gear and instead live like a king with a genuine tipi which contains everything you need for a fabulous four day festival!
Each tipi has a carpet and 6 comfortable faux fur covered mattresses which are spread out around the central fire bowl. So whether you're enjoying a few days with the family or mixing with friends old or new, your tipi will be the place to be!
All you have to do is go to www.tipihire.com/sff.htm - and book your tipi or a luxury bell tent.
But to be entered in the draw you must book before June 30. If you are juggling finances a deposit option is available. If your name is pulled out of the hat in the winning draw you'll get your money back and enjoy your stay at the Shrewsbury Folk Festival for free.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Jim Molyneux has played at the festival for the past two years, and his appearance in 2008 will make it three in a row.
Jim won our open mic competition in 2006, and as is tradition, was invited to the 2007 festival as a performer…he came and performed with a young quartet called 4Square, made up himself, Nicola Lyons, James Meadows and Dan Day.
All four of 4Square are excellent musicians; they worked hard and were a real hit at the festival…so much so that we invited them back for 2008.
What makes Jim’s achievement all the more impressive is that his appearance in the BBC competition was as an accomplished percussionist, and his work on the folk scene is as an equally exceptional accordionist.
We send our congratulations to Jim, we are sure that your talent and your personality will take to the top in whatever musical endeavor you wish to take!
Be sure to catch 4Square at the festival, they play a great set!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
We're thrilled with the way they've turned out, and expect these to be even more popular than the 2007 posters - we're proud to be a small part of Hatch Show Print's rich history, and we see them producing a new piece of poster art for our festival in the upcoming years.
Here's a little history on Hatch Show Print and our 2008 poster......
Formed in 1879, Hatch Show Print is one of the oldest letter press printers in America, based in Nashville they have a uniquely identifiable art style, and an unrivalled history in producing posters for country music's biggest names as well as many multi-national and local companies.
The posters are all hand produced using letters and imagery from their own library - many of the letters, logos and images have been used repeatedly over many decades.
Using the same printing techniques over many years has kept an authentic turn of the century feel to their work - every machine is hand operated and every single poster hand made. No corners are cut and the results are stunning pieces of poster art.
Our posters are printed on uncoated 80lb cover, cream coloured with flecks in it that look like recycled paper - they're heavy, solid posters that are perfect for framing.
We opted for a three colour design, which is the maximum Hatch will allow, it means each poster has been individually passed through a press three times (once for each colour); it's a precise and time consuming process but the results are stunning and distinct from any other printing process.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Forget the hassle of finding and packing all that camping gear and instead live like a king with a genuine Tipi or a luxury Bell Tents. They contain everything you need for a fabulous four day festival!
Each Tipi has a carpet and 6 comfortable faux fur covered mattresses which are spread out around the central fire bowl.
Even though it's August and warm enough during the day, one of he joys of a Tipi is being able to have a real fire for extra warmth and comfort in the evening. Perfect for you and your friends to relax and unwind after an exciting day.
For full details, please visit the Tipi Company
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Our early-bird ticket price comes to an end at the end of this month, and 31st March is the last day we will sell tickets at the lowest price.
Ticket prices are currently £75 for an adult 4 day ticket, and £37.50 for youths (aged 11-17), but ticket prices will rise on April 1st, there are full details of all ticket breakdowns here
Last year the festival sold out, and ticket sales are much stronger this year and we will definitely sell out again – it’s difficult to gauge exactly when this will happen, but please don't leave it too late!
SETH LAKEMAN COMPETITION
Seth and his superb band are playing at the Buttermarket in Shrewsbury on 27th April, and we have two tickets to give away to this concert.
Everyone who buys (or has already bought) an early bird ticket will be entered into the draw to win free tickets to Seth's Shrewsbury gig in April.
We'll contact the winner in the first week in April. Good Luck!
Those wishing to purchase tickets for Seth's show can do so on 0871 230 1083 or direct from the venue.
Monday, March 10, 2008
It will centre round the "Big Shed" by the entrance to the festival site - now called The Reef.
12-25 year olds will be able to attend a wide range of song, dance and instrumental workshops. A programme of inspirational workshop tutors should help to ensure everyone has a good time and learns lots of new stuff, whatever their level.
Each evening around teatime the Reef will host a session and a chance to socialize and plan the evening's entertainment.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
The conference, from February 20th-24th, is one of the largest gatherings of folk musicians, record labels, agents and festival organisers in the world, and is an important event in the folk music calendar.
We’ll both be involved speaking on panels over the weekend; Alan will be discussing ‘what is required to stage a successful grass roots event’, and I'll be a panel member on ‘what is going on outside North America in the World of folk’.
We’re proud to be involved in the conference, and the chance to represent the Shrewsbury Folk Festival at such a high profile event is a real honour and recognition of just how much the festival has grown.
We’re obviously looking forward to the trip, as well as a working conference it is full of music with hundreds of artists holding official showcases – we will post some photos on our return!
Monday, February 04, 2008
They will play on both our main concert stages as Kerr Fagan Harbron.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The full details of these events all come together a little later in the year, but we’ve already finalised our Irish Session.
We have Lúnasa at the festival this year, and are pleased to confirm that Kevin Crawford, the band’s World Class Irish flute player will lead our Irish Session.
This is a rare opportunity for festival attendees to come and join in a session and share a tune with one of the World’s finest Irish musicians – everyone’s invited, and it’s guaranteed to be a memorable session for all!
We’ll post more details closer to the event, as well as information on the other sessions and workshops.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
We're proud to announce the details of our 2008 festival, and tickets are on sale from 9am, 1st January 2008.
Below you'll find details of some of the acts who will headline the festival, and information on our early bird ticket prices.
Our 2008 line-up includes
Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
The Tim Van Eyken Band
New Rope String Band
Máire Ní Chathasaigh & Chris Newman
The Demon Barber Roadshow
Bella Hardy Trio
Eilen Jewell Band
John Wesley Harding
Pete Lockett & Joji Hirota
.....and many more!
Tickets are on sale from 9am, 1st January 2008, and until April 1st they are available at a special early bird rate.
Full ticket details are available here, but the main 4 days ticket breakdowns are:
Youth (11-17) £44.50
Family (2 adults, 2 youths) £202.50
Children under 11 FREE
To coincide with the 2008 announcement we have an updated and totally re-designed website – amongst other things it has more complete details of artists booked and who is on when, there’s information about stewarding, and a comprehensive festival FAQ.
Our website can be found here