More names have been revealed for this year’s 50th anniversary celebrations: double chart topping, multi-platinum selling, Brit Award nominated, acoustic guitar virtuoso and singer-songwriter Newton Faulkner, heading the line-up for Thursday night; Scottish singer songwriter Eddi Reader, who has enjoyed a long and successful career both as a solo artist, including acclaimed project ‘The Songs of Robert Burns’ and with hit pop band Fairground Attraction; Scotland’s traditional fiddle supremo and leading instrumentalist and composer Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham; godfathers of folk rock, the ever-popular Oysterband; pure-voiced Gaelic singer and multi-instrumentalist, Julie Fowlis; Port Isaac shanty singers The Fisherman’s Friends, following their moving, show-stopping return to the stage at this year’s BBC Folk Awards; master of flutes, whistles and Uilleann pipes, uniquely gifted fiddle player and foremost Irish traditional guitarist Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker & John Doyle; experimental Celtic dance band Peatbog Faeries from the Isle of Skye; American, blues-infused rock and roll band North Mississippi Allstars; feel good street music with a social message from New Orleans’ Grammy nominated Hot 8 Brass Band; dynamic, Quebecois folk music pioneers Yves Lambert Trio; Yorkshire folk duo O’Hooley & Tidow, whose music has been described as ‘defiant, robust, political, Northern and poetical’; folk-punk band Skinny Lister, gaining a growing reputation for their rousing, high energy live shows; Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin, recent winners of Best Duo at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards; back by popular demand Jim Moray’s Silent Ceilidh; Brian McNeill, leading the Festival session; critically acclaimed British country band My Darling Clementine, including Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish; award winning English dance band Whapweasel, hosting Friday’s ceilidh; a children’s concert featuring a skillful blend of musical recital and circus from New Rope String Band; new folk rock duo The Rails, featuring Kami Thompson and James Walbourne; long established and influential country dance group Old Swan Band, hosting a kids’ ceilidh; both a regular set and a children’s show from highly original folk duo Megson, mixing heavenly vocals, lush harmonies and driving, rhythmic guitars and mandolas; Teeside trio The Young’uns, beguiling audiences with irrepressible humour, bold vocals, gripping storylines and innate musicality; raw, old-timey blues from Australian-Irish husband and wife duo Hat Fitz & Cara; BBC Young Folk Award winners 2014 The Mischa Macpherson Trio.
As previously announced, the legendary Van Morrison will make his debut at Cambridge Folk Festival this year, as headliner for its 50th anniversary. With one of the most revered catalogues in music history and unparalleled talents as a composer, singer and performer, his Sunday set is sure to be a fitting finale to the celebrations. In another Festival first, internationally renowned singer-songwriter and activist Sinéad O’Connor, famed for her captivating stage presence and stunning vocal range, will be headlining Friday night.
Plus Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Sun), celebrating over fifty years of their uplifting South African gospel influenced a cappella music; folk-rock royalty Richard Thompson (Fri), one of the world’s most critically acclaimed guitarists and songwriters; US singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash (Sat), following the release of career defining album ‘The River & The Thread’; global beat pioneers Afro Celt Sound System (Fri), fusing West African rhythms, Irish traditional music, cutting-edge dance grooves, Indian bhangra, Arabic influences, dub reggae, and more; US singer-songwriter and Festival favourite Loudon Wainwright III (Sat); a rare festival appearance from The Full English (Sat), featuring Fay Hield, Seth Lakeman, Martin Simpson, Nancy Kerr, Sam Sweeney, Rob Harbron and Ben Nicholls performing seminal early 20th century folksong; Multi-award winning Irish folk singer Cara Dillon (Fri); Pokey LaFarge (Thurs/Fri), playing a creative mix of early jazz, string ragtime, country blues and western swing; influential American folk singer Peggy Seeger (Fri), who played the very first Festival; critically acclaimed US singer-songwriter and former member of Drive By Truckers, Jason Isbell (Sun); leading traditional Irish music group Lúnasa (Sat/Sun); Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita (Thurs), a unique collaboration of classical harpist Finch and kora player Keita, exploring the traditions of Wales and Senegal; young American singer-songwriter and instrumental virtuoso Sarah Jarosz (Sat/Sun).
See the Festival website www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk for more information and tickets. More artists to be announced, including Club Tent showcases and The Den line-up.
Held annually in a beautiful tree lined park in Cambridge, the four-day outdoor Festival is considered one of the world’s most prestigious.
Having started life in 1965, the 14,000 capacity Festival showcases both international headline artists and young, emerging talent across four different stages and continues to enjoy sell-out success year on year. Renowned for its unique parkland setting, great facilities and family friendliness, the Festival offers something for everyone with street theatre, music workshops and sessions, raucous ceilidhs, open stages, a youth area, internet café, kids’ ceilidh, storytelling, free creche, paddling pool and playground, real ale bars.
Tickets: Full Festival £138; Thursday £21; Friday £50; Saturday £60; Sunday £60. Camping: (Full Festival tickets only, per 2-3 berth tent) Cherry Hinton £56, Coldham’s Common (second site) £38. Tickets subject to booking fee.
Cambridge Folk Festival is promoted by Cambridge City Council.