Derby Folk Festival almost here

2015 TitleThe Derby Folk Festival returns to the city in October with a wide variety of performances in venues across the Cathedral Quarter – including for the first time the Cathedral itself.

On the opening night, Friday October 2, in the City Marquee will be Liberty to Choose, featuring Brian Peters, Jackie Oates, James Findlay and festival patron Lucy Ward.

They will be followed by Flats and Sharps, with their energetic Bluegrass sound.

In the Guildhall Theatre will be Adverse Camber’s production, Fire in the North Sky – Epic Tales from Finland, in which storyteller Nick Hennessey weaves some fabulous tales around three virtuoso Finnish musicians.

In the Old Bell Hotel, the Tudor Bar will host a music session led by The Derbyshire Volunteers, and they will also be playing for the late night ceilidh/bop in the Ballroom.

Closing the concerts in the City Marquee, will be Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman.

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman

On Saturday the City Marquee will be hosting some amazing acts. Kicking things off will be Jackie Oates, a singer and fiddle player, from Staffordshire. Her unique treatment of English ballads and songs, and pure, haunting style has established her at the forefront of the new English Folk Revival.

She will be followed by Moore Moss and Rutter; a set from Steve Tilston, and then the wonderful Leveret with Andy Cutting, Rob Harbron and Sam Sweeney.

The evening concert features stalwarts Winter Wilson, then festival patron John Tams will take the stage with Barry Coope.

Closing the evening will be the absolutely fabulous Eddi Reader. From the traditional to the contemporary, Eddi brings joyous life to all forms of song.

At the Cathedral there will be two concerts. The first features James Findlay, then Artisan. The second concert brings Andy Cutting, who as a musician’s musician is a rarity: a soulful and technically outstanding melodeon practitioner with an ear for a fine tune. He will be followed by 2015 BBC Folk Award nominees Stick in the Wheel.

The Old Bell Hotel will have acts playing all through the day, in a ‘fringe’ setting featuring some fabulous artists. In the evening, the late night gig comes courtesy of the brilliant Seven Little Sisters.

The concerts in the Guildhall Theatre are equally exciting – the first is a full set from Steve Tilston. The next is a fantastic re-telling of The Tale of Ale album with a whole host of wonderful musicians and the third Guildhall Teatime starts in an apt way with The Teacups and Blair Dunlop.

There will also be music sessions in the Old Bell Hotel Tudor Bar, Folk Club events in the Guildhall Clubrooms, Lester Simpson’s singing workshops, and dance displays throughout the city.

On the final day of the festival the City Marquee has some more amazing shows. First up are CALAN, followed by John Spiers and then Bob Fox. The final concert has Melrose Quartet (Nancy Kerr and James Fagan  alongside Jess and Richard Arrowsmith) as well as Faustus.

The Guildhall Theatre has two concerts – the first from The Dovetail Trio, and the second the kora player, Seckou Keita, supported by Gwyneth Glyn.

There will be plenty more Fringe events going on in the city all day including a performance by Derby Cathedral’s Retro Choir, a full programme in the Old Bell Hotel Ballroom put together by Furthest From The Sea, folk clubs, music sessions and, of course, dancing in the streets.

For tickets and more details about all the events at the three-day festival go to