Stratford-upon-Avon is known throughout the world as being the birthplace of English playwright and poet William Shakespeare. With its timbered buildings, a beautiful river, a rich literary history and fabulous places to eat and drink, it’s the ideal location for a folk festival. Stratford Arts House in partnership with Riverside Campsite is about to celebrate their first Stratford Folk Festival which will be headlined by Folk legends Show of Hands and Cara Dillon.
With award-winners Sam Kelly with Jamie Francis and top duo Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman also among the attractions at June’s inaugural event, the organisers have drawn up a heady list of some of folk’s finest names.
Stratford ArtsHouse will play host to two days of music on Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4 while the festival fun gets underway on Friday evening with a ceilidh featuring talented locals Green Man Rising.
Jenna Harvey, General Manager at Stratford ArtsHouse, said: “We are delighted to be hosting Stratford’s first Folk Festival and hope that it will become a regular fixture in the town’s calendar.”
Show of Hands will arrive in the town having performed at the Royal Albert Hall as part of their 25th-anniversary celebrations (read the Folk Radio UK review here). Singer songwriter Steve Knightley and multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer have a worldwide following and will be joined at Stratford ArtsHouse by Miranda Sykes on double bass.
They will draw Saturday’s performances to a close, a day that will also bring FRUK favourites Edd Donovan and The Wandering Moles as well as a duo that will need no introduction to our readers: Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman. Twice winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Duo – in 2013 and again last year – Kathryn and Sean have established themselves as one of the ‘must see’ acts in the UK at the moment.
Sunday’s headliner is Cara Dillon, one of the world’s top performers of traditional Irish song whose unique voice is sure to captivate an enthralled Stratford audience.
Earlier in the day Cornwall’s finest, Sam Kelly along with Jamie Francis, will be on the ArtsHouse stage showing just why he took the Horizon Award at last year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Award.
Music coordinator Tori Rushton said “What an absolutely truly brilliant line up we have for the festival. Not only the best folk artists in the country headlining but also top BBC folk award winners mixed in with our very own incredibly talented local musicians”.
Among the leading local talent performing over the weekend are Leon Gormley, Carrick and the ever popular Fleetwood Cave. Workshops, storytelling and face-painting will help keep revellers in the festival mood and there will also be various stalls offering arts, crafts and food.
Prices range from £7.50 up to £70 for a weekend pass with camping and transport.
Stratford Folk Festival Line Up
Friday 2nd June 2017
19.00 – Ceilidh featuring Greenman Rising
Line Up Saturday 3rd June 2017
12.00 – Leon Gormley
12.45 – The Zeb Project
13.30 – Jack of All
14.30 – Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman
16.00 – Edd Donovan and The Wandering Moles
17.00 – Merrymaker
18.00 – Sunnysiders – Ukulele (Foyer)
20.00 – Show of Hands with support from Fleetwood Cave
Line Up Sunday 4th June 2017
12.00 – Tom Prickett
12.45 – Carrick
13.30 – The Occasional Orchestra
14.30 – Sam Kelly and Jamie Francis
16.00 – The Redhills
17.00 – All Strings and Things (Foyer)
19.00 – Cara Dillon with support from Magik River
For more information head to www.stratfordartshouse.co.uk or call the box office on 01789 207100