The Cambridge Folk Festival at Home 2020 will be a celebration of all things Cambridge that you can enjoy from your garden or living room.
It’s the next best thing to the popular annual Folk Festival event, which was sadly cancelled because of the pandemic.
Taking place over the festival weekend, 30 July-2 August, it will feature exclusive video content from artists, talks and workshops, Cambridge-curated playlists, and plenty of ways to join in on social media.
BBC Folk Singer of the Year Bella Hardywill lead a virtual choir workshop on Saturday 11 July, teaching you to sing The Parting Glass in three-part harmony. You’ll then have the opportunity to make a video of yourself singing and be included in the Virtual Choir, which will debut over the Festival weekend! Find more details about how you can participate HERE.
A highlight of the weekend will be the Songlines Interview, featuring Songlines Magazine editor Jo Frost in conversation with Fatoumata Diawara, which will be available to watch on Facebook.
Further talks and workshops will include a talk about environmentalism from folk singer Sam Lee, a storytelling workshop with Alex Ultradish, a movement workshop created by The Sisters of Elva Hill choreographer Debbie Norris, yoga sessions for you to join, and more.
Three of the Folk Radio UK that are heading to Cherry Hinton Hall for Cambridge Folk Festival this year tell us their top must-see acts.
Three of the Folk Radio UK team will soon be heading to Cherry Hinton Hall for this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival (1-4 August 2019). Below, you can read about the top five acts that they are each most looking forward to seeing. Between them, they came up with a great selection of acts – no easy task considering the vast lineup.
Two of my eagerly anticipated appearances at this year’s festival were responsible for my favourite albums in 2018. Lisa O’Neill’s ‘Heard A Long Gone Song’ was a revelation, a record on the Rough Trade imprint River Lea mixing up traditional and original material. Her voice just sounds so lived in; an instrument that was tailor-made to interpret hardcore folk songs. She’s as serious a proposition as I’d imagine Anne Briggs was when making a name for herself in the sixties clubs and whilst Lisa may not possess Anne’s high-ranging purity of tone, her strength of character alone more than makes up for this and to misquote Dylan she “hits all those notes”. This artist is the real deal without a doubt. At ten years and four albums in I’m arriving a little late to the Lisa O’Neill party, still in the world of traditional leaning folk she is my must-see artist of the year and I absolutely cannot wait for this one.
By contrast, it seems to be rather stating the obvious to recommend a legend like Richard Thompson, but nevertheless, that’s exactly what I’m doing. And I continue to, telling anyone I know attending this year that whatever they do, they must not miss this man. Personally, I have seen him more times than I can recall, but he never lets an audience down. I’m entertaining the thought that it’s high time an appreciation is written for the last twenty years of his career alone, there’s a strong argument they’ve seen Thompson’s strongest writing and greatest performances. There aren’t too many 70-year-old music artists you can legitimately make that claim for.
Nick Mulvey is this year’s guest curator, an inspiring choice given the wide-ranging, multi-genre sounds he weaves into his music. Nick’s is an acoustic pop style that avoids the box-ticking pitfalls that hit-seeking mainstream troubadours fall down. Instead, he has the happy knack of whipping up the feel-good vibes that should find a warm reception amongst a chilled festival crowd. I also find Tunng to be a mouth-watering prospect having last caught them at a folk festival thirteen years ago when their folktronica wizardry was still in its embryonic stage. Theirs has been a musical evolution that continues to fascinate, for me a band who reward returning investigations. And on that subject, it’s vital to try out a bit of the unknown at any festival and open yourself up to exciting discoveries. If I were to choose an act on the curiosity of name alone it has to be The Bar-Steward Sons Of Val Doonican. Of course, that one could go badly wrong, but half the fun is in the finding out! [ . . . ]
Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around / I’m gonna keep on walking, talking, singing, hoping, praying, saying, voting, voting, voting / marching to the freedom land”, sang Rhiannon Giddens in the closing minutes of the 54th Cambridge Folk Festival, accompanied by a stage filled with her curated acts and an audience which heaved at the seams of the Club Tent. This chorale was not only conclusive testament to the sparkling success of Giddens’ role as Guest Curator for this year’s Festival, but also to the sure-footed stride forward this weekend was; for the Festival and for the future of folk music. Setting the pace for other festivals to follow suit, the line-up offered a 60:40 split of female:male acts, the Festival already excelling their pledge alongside the PRS Foundation’s goal of a 50:50 ratio in festival line-ups by 2022. Giddens’ own main stage set on the Saturday night, and the acts she curated – the legendary Peggy Seeger, Amythyst Kiah, Bristol’s own Yola Carter, Kaia Kater and Birds of Chicago – raised up to a whole new level the values of diversity and commonality between audience and artist; values which have been beating steadily at the heart of the Festival for years.
On stage 2, home of the up-and-comers and a safe bet for stumbling across your new favourite band, Norwich-based Morganway delivered an energetic and promising alt-country opener with stunning vocals. Over on the main stage New Zealander Marlon Williams, a contemporary hybrid of Roy Orbison and Jeff Buckley, crooned through a set of songs from his latest album Make Way For Love with such ease and distinction that even the moody layers of electric guitar couldn’t stop the audience from swooning[ . . . ]
In exactly three weeks time, Cambridge Folk Festival returns for what will be its 54th consecutive year to the very familiar and most picturesque surroundings of Cherry Hinton Hall which lies just to the south-east of Cambridge city centre. It is one of the longest-running and most highly regarded folk festivals in the world and one look at this year’s tremendous line-up tells you all you need to know about its continuing success.Over the course of its three full days and four glorious nights, more than 100 acts will perform across Cambridge Folk’s five main stages and performance areas in what surely has to be one of the festival’s strongest bills in many a year. Looking forward to the event, God Is In The TV has chosen 10 acts that we are incredibly excited about seeing at this year’s festival [ . . . ]