Folk By The Oak 2023 Review

The picturesque grounds of Hatfield Park welcomed home one of it’s best events of the calendar year.  A festival known as ‘Folk By The Oak’. It which showcases some of the best of of the Folk music genre.

The all day Sunday event was packed full of amazing activities for all the family to enjoy.

The Willow Foundation had a stall selling preloved clothes and items which you could grab a bargain from.  In one area of the park it featured a large children’s activity space with a climbing wall, story telling, games and even a stall about looking after bees, what a great idea to teach little ones about looking after all inhabitants of our world, no matter what their size.

There were tents filled with handmade crafts with demonstrations in how to make certain things like pot painting, leather work etc. Ideal for anyone who loves a hobby in crafting.

The scents of the huge array of food & beverage vendors filled the air which aromas to suit everyone’s tastebuds.

The site itself had two stages, the Main stage and the Acorn stage showcasing the very best in music.

The first act I was able to see was The Wilderness Yet who performed music full of  well written lyrics and showed a very keen interest on wildlife. The band had mentioned they had also worked with a charity to help save the bees who are a vital part of the environment.

On the mainstage were The Longest John’s who sang a lot of folk and sea shanties. They were also very humorous which earned a lot of laughter from audiences.

Back to the Acorn stage which featured Nick Hart, an  award-winning singer and multi-instrumentalist. He is becoming one of the most acclaimed performers of his generation with his music. On stage was the man himself and a guitar. He really knew how to captivate the audience with his songs.

One of the best acts of the day was This Is The Kit. They had performed twice in the day once of the main stage where they had technical difficulties with some of the instruments but carried on through which was entertaining to watch. They then stepped in to headline the Acorn stage with a different set of songs. It was such a delight to witness both of their sets.

Sona Jobarteh graced us with her set bringing her cultural Gambian sounds. She played the Kora which is a 21 stringed instrument that combines the harp and the lute sound. This was definitely fascinating to watch and the audience participated with the language in the songs and danced along.

Unfortunately the artist most well known for his hit “Cucurucu”, Nick Mulvey had to cancel his set on the main stage due to illness (get well soon Nick!), so the Acorn Stage headliners Cut Capers moved onto the mainstage and put on one hell of a show!  The band were displayed so much energy on stage and with a big selection of different instruments. The crowd loved to party to them!  They are now a new favourite of mine.

Headlining the night was Folk rock band The Waterboys who put on a great performance which ended with a glittering firework display.

This year’s Folk By The Oak festival was a lot of fun, but yet just so mellow. Perfect for a Sunday out!I very much look forward to attending Folk By The Oak in 2024!

Photos and Review by Kane Howie

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