Mark Radcliffe hosts Radio 2’s 20th annual celebration of folk and acoustic music, live from the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. Dervish, O’Hooley & Tidow, Edward II, Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, Wizz Jones and Kate Rusby are among the performers. |Listen online
Prizes included Folk Singer of the Year, Best Duo, Best Album, Musician of the Year, and the Young Folk Award.
Belfast music legend Van Morrison presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to musician and producer Dónal Lunny for his contribution to folk music.
The Good Tradition Award went to the Armagh Pipers Club to recognise their contribution to the preservation, dissemination and progression of traditional music over more than 50 years.
Folk Singer of the Year was awarded to Scottish singer-songwriter and musician, Karine Polwart, a talented artist who is also a theatre maker, storyteller, spoken-word performer and essayist.
Dónal Lunny took to the stage to perform with acclaimed musician Zoë Conway on the fiddle, and earlier in the evening Cara Dillon performed accompanied by Sam Lakeman on piano and John Smith on guitar.
Opening the show with a rousing performance of Devil In The Woman was Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band.
The gala evening featured performances from Lankum, with their song “What Will We Do When We Have No Money?”, County Tyrone’s Paul Brady with a solo acoustic rendition of the ballad “Lord Thomas And Fair Ellender”.
A nine-piece from the Armagh Pipers Club brought the evening to a close with a performance of three specially-composed new songs.
The evening included the presentation of the 20th annual BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, an educational contest that exists to discover the next generation of folk acts.
Mera Royle, a young harpist from the Isle of Man, was the recipient.
Lewis Carnie, Head of Radio 2 said: ‘I’d like to congratulate all of tonight’s winners – the calibre of nominees was extremely high and the wealth of talent that was seen on stage across the evening in Belfast was spectacular.
“The Radio 2 Folk Awards is an annual celebration of the thriving folk music scene – supporting both established and burgeoning folk musicians – and part of our specialist music content that Radio 2 is proud to broadcast across the year.”
Influential singer-songwriter Nick Drake was inducted into the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame to celebrate the lasting impression he has had on folk music, despite passing away at the age of just 26 in 1974. Had he lived, he would have turned 70 this year.
Olivia Chaney performed a special tribute with a sublime piano-based interpretation of Drake’s essential song, River Man.
Olivia is a great fan of Nick Drake and a multi-talented singer, musician and songwriter.
Her collaboration with The Decemberists, Offa Rex, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2017.
Although Nick Drake’s music didn’t garner commercial success during his lifetime, decades after his early death, his music would find a wide and reverent audience.
Actor Gabrielle Drake, Nick’s elder sister, was present at the Radio 2 Folk Awards to tell the audience how her famously shy brother might have felt about the occasion.
A Radio 2 documentary – “Lost Boy: In Search Of Nick Drake” was re-broadcast after the award ceremony.
In this 2004 programme Hollywood film star Brad Pitt shines a light on the life and work of the cult singer-songwriter.
Featured in the programme are contributions from producer Joe Boyd, engineer John Wood, Fairport Convention’s Ashley Hutchings, Gabrielle Drake and Nick’s late mother, Molly Drake.
The Folk Awards will be televised on Sunday 8 April on BBC Four at 21:00 and on BBC Two Northern Ireland at 17:30.
Selected highlights will be available to watch at bbc.co.uk/radio2 after the show.
Unrivalled coverage of the biggest night in the folk music calendar.
The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards are here and we can’t wait to celebrate the very best of folk, roots and acoustic music. Now in its 19th year, this jewel of the musical calendar will have live performances, guest presenters and of course – awards.
The Folk Awards exists to celebrate a year of outstanding achievement and shine a light on the world of folk music. Previous award recipients in its 19-year history include Joan Baez, Yusuf Cat Stevens, Billy Bragg, Shirley Collins, Ry Cooder, Norma Waterson, Nic Jones, John Martyn and Rhiannon Giddens. The event has taken place in London, Glasgow, Salford and Cardiff.
This year, the Radio 2 Folk Awards will see performances from the likes of Paul Brady, Cara Dillon, Lankum, and Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band