A festival for the finest of folk

Billy Bragg is headlining the festival
Billy Bragg is headlining the festival

Warwick Folk Festival returns for its 36th year from July 23 to 26 with a host of big-name acts and entertainment for all.

Based at Warwick School, the festival is yet again expected to attract record numbers. This year’s packed programme offers a huge choice of concerts, ceilidhs, workshops, a craft and music fair and a Food, Real Ale & Cider Festival. There is also a vast array of colourful dance displays, pub music sessions and open air concerts in the historic town centre.

As well as the headline acts including Billy Bragg, Demon Barbers XL, Nancy Kerr & the Sweet Visitor Band, A Moving Sound and The Young Uns, other artists to perform include The Will Pound Band, The Wilsons, Elbow Jane, Roy Bailey, Les Barker and Mairi Campbell.

The Will Pound Band features award-winning harmonica player Will Pound and Nizlopi’s John Parker who are both from Warwickshire. It will be one of the last chances to see the band before they go their separate ways in the autumn. The Wilsons, a family group who have perfected their group harmony singing for over 35 years, have been described by Sting as having “a family sound and a natural, bone-deep understanding of music and harmony”.

Acoustic act Elbow Jane bring energy, excitement and enthusiasm to their music.

For over 50 years Roy Bailey has been one of the UK’s Folk & Acoustic scene’s most loved and admired performers. In 2000 he was awarded an MBE for Services to Folk Music – an award he later returned in protest at the government’s foreign policy and in 2003 he won Best Duo for his collaboration with the late Tony Benn.

Les Barker, an award winning poet and performer, has published 77 books to date, while Mairi Campbell is an award-winning Scottish musician and performer who has just launched her new show. Pulse weaves together movement, storytelling, animation and music to chart her journey as a ‘soundkeeper’ tracking Scotland’s pulse.

Throughout the festival will be a Dance Academy, a series of events where festival goers can get their feet tapping and bodies moving learning new skills in a huge variety of dance styles.

Visitors can learn the rhythms of the world with workshops on Irish, French and Cajun dance, among other styles.

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traditional British clog stepping, beginners Appalachian: a form of step dance from the American mountains, and Rapper sword dance from the North of England.

For the third year running the festival is proud to be twinned with the Cork Folk Festival in Ireland. Musicians and storytellers from Cork including Barry Tierney, John Leo Carter and the cork singers club, will once again bring a flavour of their festival to Warwick.

Dick Dixon, Festival Director stated “Ticket sales are going exceptionally well and I would strongly urge anyone interested in attending to book their tickets now. We have some great headline acts this year plus some fabulous offers for local residents. With something for everyone, the festival promises to be yet again a fantastic four day weekend of first-class entertainment for all tastes and ages”.

Locals can get a 20 per cent discount on Friday, Saturday Sunday day and evening tickets. Residents must have a CV34 postcode and will need proof of their address when collecting their tickets. To book online, use the code CV342015. A maximum of four tickets per household are allowed. And Warwick Castle will admit those with a festival wristband into the castle for £12 instead of the normal £25.

Visitors to the festival can choose from Friday – Sunday tickets, Thursday – Sunday tickets or just visit for the day, plus under 10s go free! Tickets can be booked online and over the phone at the Bridge House Theatre Box Office. For more information please visit www.warwickfolkfestival.co.uk