Beverley Folk Festival Area 2 artists announced

Beverley Folk Festival has a great track record of discovering new musicians and giving a platform for emerging artists, and 2016 will be no exception.

Once again there is a fantastic line-up of young artists as part this years Area 2 programme.  

It is a stage for the second generation of singers, musicians, bands just coming onto the folk and wider scene.

Featuring some of the finest young artists in the UK who are passionate about the music they create, audiences of every age can rely on Area 2 to bring them something new, fresh and vibrant.  Over the years Area 2 has gained legendary status amongst performers and audiences and is now one the festival’s most popular elements.

In addition, there are music workshops over the weekend in the main racecourse building – perhaps there will be people new to music in these sessions who will take to the Area 2 stage in the years to come!

Prepare to be blown away by the creativity and talent on show in Area 2 – will you spot tomorrow’s big names amongst the many talented young people involved?

Jim Pybus, Festival Director commented “Beverley Folk Festival remains committed to giving new, young voices a platform on which to perform and that helps to ensuring the tradition has a great future. Area 2 is a real treat for anyone with an interest in new music, be if folk or not, and we invite audiences young and old to join us in supporting these fantastic musicians and artists.”

Area 2 will run from 19:00 to 22:45 in the Wold Top Marquee each night of the festival and is hosted by Sam Pirt & Jim Molyneux, young musicians in their own right.

The line-up of artists is as follows:

AELFEN Founded by duo Sarah Horn & James Cudworth, playing fiery, fiddle-driven compositions & fresh arrangements of folk pieces


ALEX WEDLOCK Quirky & imaginative songs which evoke powerful emotions, scenarios and characters with ease


AMBER WARREN Matured and unique songwriting style Amber gives a captivating vocal performance


BALTER Four-piece all female band playing contemporary and traditional music as well as self-penned tunes and songs


BEN COOK Local singer-songwriter with a powerful voice and a niche for writing catchy tunes about the ups and downs of teenage life


BRIC-A-BRAC Lively young folk band playing original & traditional material. An eclectic mix of instruments; from concertina to 5-string bass


FIONA LEE A compelling voice which belies her years. Her songs tell tales of teen life with both innocent simplicity and impressively mature observations


FOOT DOWN Vibrant duo Foot Down is based in the South of England. The combination of Erin Mansfield on the whistle and James Kerry on the melodeon produce folk music in a traditional style with a modern vibe.


HENRY PARKER  Rooted in the sounds of 70's folk guitar, with a creative and distinctive finger-style approach


IMOGEN HART Described as one of the 'breakthrough artists of 2015 ' by BBC Radio Humberside Introducing… presenter Alan Raw



"A young singer-songwriter from Huddersfield who is clearly destined for great things" – Peter Cowley, Fatea Magazine


LINDELEAHA An exciting young band emerging on the Newcastle folk scene, creating a unique blend of traditional, contemporary and self-penned songs and tunes.


MAX LILLEYMAN Music for 'people who have time to be quiet'. His songs are stories; of characters and their struggles; vignettes that paint a portrait


NATASHA MASKELL From her strong alto voice, you can expect to hear songs of love, loss and death… and maybe a fish or two


SCHOOL OF ROCK A fun-loving group of young musicians from Goole, aged 12-18. Their music is a rich mix of folk, soul, rock and pop covers & compositions


SPELDOSA The trio perform a wide variety of traditional, contemporary & self-penned material from around the world.  (Also running Learning by Ear Tunes workshop)


THE MAGPIES Based in the medieval City of York, they are a synergistic and unique-sounding ensemble with catchy tunes being their specialty


WILL FINN AND ROSIE CALVERT Dynamic up-and-coming duo playing traditional music with a contemporary flare. (Also running Harmony Singing for All workshop)

Volunteers wanted for Beverly Folk Festival

Beverley Folk Festival has launched an appeal for more volunteers to work at this year’s festival on Beverley Racecourse between June 19 and 21.

“We’re looking for music fans who might be willing to help out on the festival site in exchange for free tickets.” explained Festival Administrator and Volunteer Coordinator Laura Whitewood.

The jobs that need filling include:

·         Helping set up the festival site beforehand.

·         Clearing up afterwards

·         Working on the box office and information desk.

·         Stewarding the various performance venues

·         Selling merchandise

·         Campsite and traffic Control

·         Being part of the Green Team

In exchange for 12 hours help over the festival period, volunteers (who must be over 18) receive a free weekend pass, worth £110, allowing access to all the performances and events, including the headline concerts. Camping passes worth £20 are also provided for those wishing to stop on site for the weekend.

“We need dozens of volunteers to help in vital roles to ensure the festival runs smoothly,” explained Laura, “but they also get plenty of time off to enjoy the festival.”

“They also have an opportunity to gain transferable skills, make new friends and see top acts from the UK and overseas.”

“We can also provide a ‘volunteer certificate’ if required, to those who successfully complete their shifts showing they were part of a festival dedicated team. This certificate is very useful for those wanting to work at other festivals in the future.” Laura added.

For more information, prospective volunteers can visit www.beverleyfestival.comemail[email protected]com for a volunteer pack, or call: 01377 217569

Beverley Folk Festival Review 2014

With sunshine predicted, headlining acts such as Billy Bragg, Lau, Chaz & Dave and father/daughter folksters Martin and  Eliza Carthy, there was nothing but a good do in-store for this iconic folk festival in it's 30+ year. Last year the festival had successfully moved to Beverley Racecourse to allow for a burgeoning number of people wanting to attend. 

Friday evening was off to great start when the Nick Rooke Band livened up a fairly sedate crowd with their cheery, energetic tunes. The 1500 capacity tent was full and almost entirely seated. The band did a great job of energising everyone.
Next up was Billy Bragg. He not only entertained with familiar and new songs, but was making the audience guffaw with anecdotes and observations about 'folkies'. Complete with a cup of herbal tea in hand. Whether or not the tea was staged I didn't really care and neither did the audience, we were loving it.  His style was so relaxed and humorous you had to remind yourself you were listening to a progressive icon. Fantastic stuff.
After a few navigation problems, due to no signposts anywhere on site, I made the discovery of extremely talented The Sail Pattern from Halifax. Good fortune as their songs and melodies really livened up another crowd and the mood was good. Something akin to Stornoway, with powerful sea shanties and excellent harmonies. They delivered a diverse set list that really showed off their many talents. 
On to the concert and dance marquee to catch French band La Vent Du Nord.  Surprisingly this marquee was also seated which was  odd given it was a called the dance tent. But not to be perturbed by this the band encouraged festival goers to throw their chairs to one side and dance. Some of them got up as a result and a spontaneous ceilidh style dance emerged at the front of the stage.  Things were looking up. By the end of their jolly set even the seated were jiggling or waving their arms or both, but the chairs remained firmly in place. 
After a promising start to the weekend with some fantastic entertainment I was looking forward to a more lively Saturday. 
However, despite having some excellent bands playing into Saturday afternoon and evening there was a noticeable lack of festival atmosphere around the site itself. This became clear when I made a visit to a crowded Paddock View bar where comedian Shaun Hughes was running through his stand up routine. After lots of laughs and the signing of his poetry books,  (his poetry was actually very good) the crowd simply disappeared. I went on to watch brilliant performances from The Duncan McFarlane Band(main tent), Katie Spencer (emerging talent) and finally MĂ nran (dance tent), who again got everyone on their feet. Yet, somehow, after each event the audience dissolved into silent and empty fields. Strange. 
Despite the perfect weather and spare capacity most entertainment was in three marquees and a handful of scattered about rooms that formed the racecourse buildings. If you wanted to sit and chat, outside, there was very little provision and mostly no entertainment. Enjoying a sunny solstice evening in a typical festival atmosphere between your chosen acts was near on impossible. I thought this was a real shame and for me it cast a gloomy atmosphere over the really good things about the festival. In desperation I even tried to get into an advertised workshop. On finding the room up some stairs and at the end of a corridor there was no one there -not even a workshop facilitator. 
The festival organisers sell day tickets, they also sell single event tickets which may explain the quiet if most people are visiting for succinct events. Beverley Folk Festival undoubtedly has a reputation and an excellent line up, but what about the things that don't go on the timetable? What about other activities and things to do? It is a festival after all and potentially festival goers are around for three days 24/7.  It would be a great shame to not give a more rounded festival experience. Having looked at the website again on my return I see they have fringe events in the centre of Beverley, with a free shuttle bus so perhaps this is where I went wrong. Instead of waiting on site I should have taken a break on a bus and back again. Sadly not for me.   
The rest of the festival line up was, you guessed it, amazing, but  I borrowed a good book for the waiting times in-between. Perhaps something to think about for next year? I hope so, as this was one of the better smaller festivals I've been to for the line up alone.
Enough said, Put t' kettle on, it's time for a cuppa herbal tea.