Earlier this year Cambridge Folk Festival announced a partnership with Newport Folk Festival. The move, which you can read more about here, was aimed at sharing ideas, experiences and some artists from the two festivals – “to bring a little bit of Newport to Cambridge and vice versa.” Newport Folk Festival is held just a few days earlier than Cambridge and have already sold out their tickets – a common yearly occurrence for the festival that holds a few thousand less in numbers than Cambridge.
While Newport’s lineup is yet to be revealed, Cambridge Folk Festival has just announced their first line-up which, on the face of it, hints at some possible Newport influence. There are some exclusive UK Festival appearances including the Saturday night headliner Patti Smith, who put on a great show at Newport in 2016, and the Sunday night headliner John Prine who also did a cracking finale at Newport this year. Further UK festival exclusives include Janis Ian and Rosanne Cash.
There are also plenty of festival favourites including Kate Rusby & Friends, currently our Artist of the Month. Beth Nielsen Chapman, Eliza Carthy & the Wayward Band, Rhiannon Giddens plus blues legend Eric Bibb. For this year’s festival, you may recall that Jon Boden was the guest curator. For 2018 that role falls to Rhiannon Giddens who said ‘I am honoured to be the next guest curator for Cambridge Folk Festival following on from the amazing Jon Boden who has done a wonderful job this year. Having played the Festival before I know how special Cambridge is and I am really excited to be contributing to the line-up next year as well as performing.’
If this wasn’t enough, they’ve also managed to secure desert blues bands Tamikrest and Songhoy Blues – if anyone heard their performance and crowd reaction at The 6 Music Festival you’ll know you’re in for a treat.
This year, Cambridge Folk Festival takes place later, from 2nd-5th August, which is after WOMAD (26 – 29 July) – surely this is good news? Back in 2006, The Independent ran an article titled ‘Music Festivals: When Two Cultures Clash“. The piece was aimed at contrasting WOMAD and Cambridge Folk Festival who clashed on the same date. This news may well please a lot of folk and roots fans although both festivals are very different. For an idea, read our review of this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival and then read this year’s review of WOMAD. They are completely different entities but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a share a common ground. I’d personally love to attend both.
Back to the lineup, other floor-fillers for Cambridge Folk Festival 2018 include the southern soul sound of St. Paul & the Broken Bones, acid crofters the Peatbog Faeries who have just released Live @ 25 which is also a Featured Album of the Month (reviewed here), Gordie Mackeeman and His Rhythm Boys and The East Pointers. Other artists and bands who are confirmed to appear are John Smith, Pierce Brothers, Irish Mythen, Darlingside, The Shee, John Moreland, Damien O’Kane and Ron Block, Darren Eedens & The Slim Pickin’s and The National Youth Folk Ensemble.
More line up announcements will follow in the coming months.
Tickets and more details can be found here: https://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk