This year’s Fanø Free Folk festival (21-23 July 2017) is looking greater than ever. Some of you may recall that Laura Cannell played the festival in 2015 and wrote a live review of the festival for FRUK here. One of the main things we love about their lineup is that it is like no other. Folk traditions mingle with new musical experiments to create a unique and intimate musical experience on the beautiful Danish island Fanø. As Laura said:
This is not a conventional festival, and it really is all about the music. There are no frills, stalls, nothing extra, but it is family friendly, intimate and inspiring. And based in one of the most picturesque villages I’ve ever seen, pretty much every building is thatched, the lanes are small and the people are friendly. And everyone speaks English, which I am in awe of.
It reminds me a little of Woolf Music, a festival I’d love to see make a comeback, but I digress…onto this year’s line-up.
New York singer and songwriter Ed Askew is the latest name to be announced. Ed’s most famous release has to be the ‘weird-folk’ 1968 classic Ask the Unicorn. Also a poet and painter he released it on the ‘staunchly underground and subversive New York indie label ESP-Disk’. The cover features a photo negative of the Stamford riots following the assassination of Martin Luthe King, Jr., which Askew acquired from a local photographer. Here he is from a 1986 public access channel show (playing his Martin tiple).
With all the technology we have today you’d expect underground music to be at our very fingertips…but it’s not. The streaming platforms are dominated by a few labels and the music press (and many music websites) are becoming more homogenous. So it does mean you need to do some digging (although we’re happy to do the digging for you). Thankfully there are still festivals like Fanø Free Folk who are championing underground music and they do it so well. The lineup spans folk, Ethio Jazz and Avant-garde as well as poetry and storytelling. Amongst this year’s names are Brigid Mae Power whose latest EP we reviewed yesterday (The Ones You Keep Close), Stanley Brinks and Freschard, Dead Rat Orchestra, Sharron Kraus and the wonderful Polish folk trio Sutari.
Fanø Free Folk have put together this great mix which is wonderfully inspiring.
Fanø Free Folk Lineup (more to be annouced)
Ed Askew (US)
Stanley Brinks (FR)
Sharron Kraus (UK)
La maison d’amour (FR/IR)
Brigid Mae Power (IRL)
Ghedalia Tazartes (FR)
DEAD RAT ORCHESTRA (UK)
Marie-Louise Munck (DK)
Debre Damo Dining Orchestra (DK)
NILS GRÖNDAHL/Bjørn Friis Thomsen (DK)
Vester Land (DK)
Find out more here: