Photographs from Cropredy 2017 courtesy of ViceVersaFotografia

A selection of photograph from Fairport’s Cropredy Convention Festival 2017. All photos were taken by and are copyright Robbi ViceversaFotografia

Cambridge and Newport announce historic twinning of two legendary Folk Festivals

Cambridge and Newport announce historic twinning of two legendary Folk Festivals.

Two of the oldest and most prestigious Folk Festivals in the world will form a partnership that will herald the start of a unique new transatlantic artistic relationship.

Continue reading “Cambridge and Newport announce historic twinning of two legendary Folk Festivals”

Blazing Beverley Folk Festival 2017

This year’s Beverley Folk Festival was blessed with blazing sunshine that was matched by the blistering talent on display. The temperature really soared over the weekend offering the perfect environment for relaxing with a cold beer and listening to some superb music.

Headline Act Eddi Reader (Photo by viceversarobbifotografia)

It’s been a few years since I last visited the Beverley Folk Festival. This year, with the event’s website proclaiming 2016’s event had 30% more music and events than ever before and this year’s press releases saying 2017 is going to be bigger and better than ever – I though now’s the time to pay the festival another visit.

Beverley is called a folk festival but with the very wide range of live music that was being performed and the variety of entertainment taking place, it’s now transcending the boundaries of folk music. While at the 2017 festival’s heart there was still a solid core of excellent folk music, singer/songwriters and memorable performances by some of the great ambassadors of the genre, the addition of an Americana afternoon, a steel band, poetry, choirs, brass bands and much more added refreshing diversity and expanded appeal.

One of the highlights, for me, was the incredible Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman on-stage in the Big Top. They finished their set with ‘Rusalka’ a truly ethereal song about a Russian mermaid. I first heard them perform the song at the Great British Folk Festival in Skegness. I loved it then and I found it just as haunting this time around.

Someone else that I was pleased to see on the festival bill was Dan Walsh. Nominated for best musician at the BBC Folk Awards, he just has to be the best banjo player in the UK. If you haven’t seen him play – put him on your ‘must see’ list.

Dan Walsh at Beverley Folk Festival 2017
Dan Walsh (Photo by viceversarobbifotografia)

The Beverly Folk Festival has a whole mess of live music stages including not just one but two big-tops plus the Atom marquee (the venue for the Moonbeam sessions), the 1690 bar, the Attraction Room, the Westwood Room, an outdoor stage and a further music stage in the food marquee. On top of this there were open mic sessions in the Touch Above Bar which also played host to number of folk clubs from the north of England. And, as if this wasn’t enough, there was even more live music, entertainment and dance popping up all over the site such as brass bands, jugglers, buskers and Morris dancers.

Atom Marquee
The Atom Marquee Stage (Photo by viceversarobbifotografia)

For the second year, Beverly Folk Festival was offering what they called the ‘Festival Village Taster Ticket’. This gave access to the craft marquee, the traders area, food court, some of the smaller venues plus a wealth of open air entertainment and pop-up concerts. At just three pounds, this is ridiculously good value. You can pay that for a cup of coffee in some places.

Early Bird tickets for Beverley 2018 are already on sale and can be had for just £80.

Fairport Convention on-stage reunion of the current line-up and virtually all the ex-members still living.

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, the annual three-day festival staged by folkrock legends Fairport Convention, will celebrate the band’s golden anniversary with an on-stage reunion of the current line-up and virtually all the ex-members still living.

The band’s extended evening performance on Saturday 12 August will close the festival and feature a host of musical guests playing a repertoire selected from Fairport’s huge back catalogue – the best from half a century of music-making.

There will be two chances at Cropredy to see singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso Richard Thompson. A co-founder of Fairport Convention, Richard will play a full set in his own right on Friday evening and will also join Fairport as a guest during their set.

Saturday will start with three performances from ‘early years’ former members of Fairport – Ashley Hutchings, Judy Dyble and Iain Matthews.

Ashley Hutchings, who founded Fairport Convention, will present Morris On, a spectacular interpretation of traditional music and dance. Judy Dyble, Fairport’s original female vocalist, will be performing with Band of Perfect Strangers, her regular musical collaborators. Iain Matthews, Fairport’s first male lead singer, will be joined by Andy Roberts and Mark Griffiths as Plainsong, a harmonic blend of English folk-rock and American alt-country.

Former drummer Dave Mattacks will play during Richard Thompson’s set on Friday as well as guesting with Fairport on Saturday. Maartin Allcock, a member of Fairport from 1985 until 1996, will also join Fairport on keyboards and guitar for several numbers.

Other former members who may put in an appearance include Tom Farnell, Bob Brady, and Roger Burridge.

Bass player Dave Pegg says: “Our Saturday night set this year will undoubtedly present the most Fairport members ever performing in the same show.”

Now in its thirty-seventh year, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention will take place on Thursday 10, Friday 11 and Saturday 12 August.

Fairport’s Current line-up is Simon Nicol (lead vocal, guitars), Dave Pegg (backing vocals, bass guitar), Ric Sanders (violin), Chris Leslie (lead vocal, fiddle, bouzouki, mandolin) and Gerry Conway (percussion and drums).

Southburgh World Music Festival is bringing artists, music & food from all over the world to Norfolk.

The Zong Zing All Stars who will be headlining this year’s Southburgh Festival
The Zong Zing All Stars who will be headlining this year’s Southburgh Festival

This summer’s Southburgh World music festival is set to bring a wide range of music, artists, dance and food from all over the world to Norfolk, including an Opera singer from China, a ‘Cavacha’ dance music band from Central Africa, music from Eastern Europe, and South America, as well as food from Africa, India, Europe and Asia.

This vibrant, colourful, and lively festival is taking place over the weekend of the 28th to 30th July, and is being held at the Burton Manor Barns, Southburgh, Norfolk, IP25 7SU.

The weekend begins on the Friday evening with storytelling in the barn from Tilly the Talespinner who weaves a web of story magic to fire the imagination and warm the heart, while there will be a documentary film charting the life and music of former Osibisa and Kete Warriors man Mac Tontoh including unseen interviews before an open mic session in the bar.

The festival is very proud to have been able to book the 9 piece band  Zong Zing All Stars from Central Africa to headline on the Saturday night.  The band play Cavacha dance music and with their irrepressible rhythms and driving percussion, intricate guitars, sweet harmonies, and acrobatic dancers a joyful, uplifting and engaging performance is guaranteed. Add to this hints of the Soukous sound from the Democratic Republic of Congo and early Jamaican Reggae they are bound to have the audience up and dancing. Lovers of classical and opera singing are in for a treat as charismatic Chinese singer Duan Zhen Zhen will also be gracing the main stage shortly before Samia Malik brings her new work Azaadi : Freedom charting a narrative towards liberation to the festival before heading off on tour promoting her songs mostly sung in Urdu. Kilamonjambo will be propelling the audience to their feet with their infectious mix of Ska, funk and reggae while Soprano singer Emma Nuule will open the main stage at 5 pm, original British rock band The Hemingways will keep younger members of the crowd entertained , and Flaming June, aka award winning songwriter Louise Eatock complete Saturdays line up.

The fringe festival stage during the day on the Saturday includes a wide cross section of music from around the world. Headlining will be Zaramo who will be bringing their Balkan songs and rhythms to the festival, while The Old Stuff band will add a touch of bossa nova and Latin American tunes, The Mahatmas bring some psychedelia to the festival and the Doohickies are playing an unplugged set.

Latin music DJ John Soloman, who will also be running a salsa dance workshop will headline the stage and there will be a debut DJ set from Jay Hrtn.

Workshops will include Bodhran, African, and Samba drumming, Urdu, Hip Hop, Rap and Mbira  singing, and Balkan and Zimbabwean dance workshops. There will also be a circus workshop during the day as well.

An incredible range of food from around the world will be available including Caribbean, Indian, African, French, English and Italian food, The Chai Palace for specialist coffees, cake and chai  and there will also be delicious breakfasts served on Saturday and  Sunday mornings. A licensed bar will be operating over the weekend with proceeds going to the Mudeka foundation who will be donating the money to schools and feeding projects in Zimbabwe.

Norwich global village will also be managing craft stalls in the small barn at the festival which will also include work by residents of Southburgh and beyond.

It is guaranteed once again to be a festival of fun for the whole family.

As festival organiser Anna Mudeka states ‘Our aim is to bring a slice of the world to the heart of Norfolk. It’s a wonderful space where people of all ages and nationalities can come and share experiences through music, theatre, food and crafts’. She added that ‘It is an ideal setting for children to run around in, and to make new friends, while parents can either chill out or take part in the activities available, and maybe even discover your inner child again’.

A ticket and camping for the whole weekend costs £38, while a day ticket for the Saturday costs £18 for adults, £9 for children aged 6-13, and it is free for children  under 6 years of age. Camping is available from 4 pm Friday to mid day Sunday, with gates opening from 9.30 am on the Saturday and events starting on the day from 11 am.

To find out more about the festival and to buy tickets for the weekend go to  or call 01362 822194 or 07879 493843

Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls to Headline Saturday Night at Cambridge

Acclaimed English indie-folk singer songwriter, Frank Turner joins the bill to headline Saturday night with his band The Sleeping Souls. He made his Cambridge debut in 2008, with a completely new take on English folk, fuelled by the intense energy that marked him out as frontman of his post-punk band Million Dead. The creative force of his ever-evolving material has made Frank Turner a hugely popular name at Cambridge, as he makes a timely return following his last appearance in 2015 where he performed a solo set.Jake Bugg and twin sisters, Ward Thomas were only 18 and 21 respectively when they first played Cambridge’s now famed emerging talent stage, The Den. Still only 23, both acts subsequently enjoyed meteoric career success as they return this summer to perform as Festival headliners on the Main Stage; two artists proving once again how Cambridge leads the way, divining new talent and ensuring the right exposure to audiences and industry figures needed to help artists stand out and make it.

As a development stage specifically for emerging artists under 30, Cambridge has now been investing in The Den for several years. Set within a beautiful Indian marquee and decorated to create a quirky, welcoming and intimate space, 15-minute slots are also set aside each day for younger artists attending the Festival to perform alongside those booked. To help cement further Cambridge’s reputation as a hot bed for new and developing talent the Festival has launched The 1965 Club which enables Festival attendees to actively contribute to artist development projects like The Den and directly help create the next generation of headliners.

Steve Bagnall, Managing Director of Cambridge Live comments: ‘Cambridge Folk Festival aims to lead the way with artist development, an ambition perfectly illustrated by Jake Bugg and Ward Thomas moving from The Den to the Main Stage within a couple of years. One of the most exciting parts of the Festival really is seeing who playing The Den this year will be a headliner of the future.’

Festival artist booker, Bev Burton shares her ‘one to watch’ playing The Den this year: ‘The Wandering Hearts, a fantastic Americana band hot on the heels of the pack, getting great reviews and I keep getting recommended to check them out, but I’m already a big fan!’

This year’s programme of exciting new talent for The Den is:

Wooden Arms – Sleepy Folk – Noble Jacks – Old Sea Brigade – Honey and the Bear – Lucy Farrel – The Lake Poets – Hattie Whitehead – Kerrie Devine –  Ailbhe Reddy – Phil King The Buffalo Skinners – Laucan – Ceilidh Liberation Front – Laura Oakes – Emma McGrath  Sam Gleaves – Nina Harries – Young Waters – Kizzi Crawford – Thom Ashworth – Danni Nicolls – The Wandering Hearts – Samana

Full main stage line-up below, including other new additions: Daphne’s Flight, recently reunited and returning to the Festival after forming in the Club Tent in 1995, double BBC Folk Award winner Daoiri Farrell, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Josie & Pablo, Charlie Grey & Joseph Peach, Darren Eedens & The Slim Pickin’s, Kate in the Kettle, Jon Cleary and Threepenny Bit.

(*new names)









For further artist information, please see

Beverley’s big weekend of music and fun for all the family

Beverley Folk Festival is going to be bigger and better than ever!

The 34th annual event will be held on the 16th, 17th and 18th of June when the Beverley Racecourse will once again be transformed into a fantastic family friendly festival site.

The musicians are tuning up, the Big Tops are being erected and the volunteers are rolling up their sleeves to ensure a fabulous weekend of music, dance, comedy and surprises.

The line up on stages in the ‘Little Big Top’ and the ‘Big Top’ includes internationally and nationally acclaimed artists, check out the website for full details

Young performers will be featured in the ‘Area 2’ and ‘Westwood Sessions’ giving audiences the chance to spot tomorrows stars today.

The festival has a strong reputation for innovation and always has some surprises in store. Including late night open mic sessions, Folk Clubs, and a late night Ceilidh

This year there will be Americana afternoons on both Saturday and Sunday highlighting the increasingly popularity of this genre of music.

There will also be workshops, comedy and literature including a chance to see veteran politician Alan Johnson talking about his award winning autobiographies and his latest book.

The ‘Festival Village’ is at the heart of the festival with food stalls, real ale bars, craft marquee, children’s den and outside performances to entertain and amuse. Entrance to the ‘festival village’ including community performances and much more will be just £3 a ‘Festival Taster’ giving everyone the chance to share the fun.

Tickets to see the concerts are available via the website –

Full Weekend tickets, day, half day and the three main evening concerts are all available.

For more info please visit

More Acts Announced by FolkEast as day tickets go on sale.

Slovenian cult folk band Terrafolk, not seen in the UK for a decade, are to appear at FolkEast this summer.

Currently their only UK music festival date, the maverick music ensemble will appear on the opening night of the event.

Formed by Danijel Cerne (aka Mystica) in 1999 their uniqueness saw their quick rise to fame, performing at numerous European festivals including Edinburgh Fringe and Glastonbury and clinching a BBC Radio 3 World Music Award in 2003. Offering virtuoso musicianship and offbeat humour the ‘impossible-to-pigeonhole’ line-up draw on Balkan, Gypsy, Russian and Jewish music, captivating audiences with their mix of classical, folk, prog rock, heavy metal and jazz styles.

Once described as “folk rebels with punk attitude” the quartet comprises Danijel Cerne on guitar, An Cerne on flute, Irish whistles and violin, Barja Drbovsek on violin, double bass and ukulele and Botan Cvetreznik on violin.

The three-day festival at the glorious 300-acre Suffolk estate of 16th century Glemham Hall will also feature only the third performance of ‘She Moved Through the Fair: The Legend of Margaret Barry’ after its successful debut at Celtic Connections earlier this year.

Celebrating the centenary of the birth of the feisty Irish street singer it tells Barry’s extraordinary story in music, words and theatre – from leaving home at 16 with nothing but a banjo and bicycle to her discovery by American song collector Alan Lomax.

* Hear Margaret Barry singing The Galway Shawl and The Flowers of Street Strabane.

Written by top music journalist Colin Irwin (also the narrator) and Irish singer Mary McPartlan it tells how she went on to appear at top concert halls in Britain and America, befriending boxers and folk stars at the same time as outraging polite society with her drinking and storytelling but ultimately gaining an indelible reputation as one of folk music’s most unique and enduring voices.

It features the music and singing of McPartlan, award-winning music producer Gerry Diver and fascinating folk artist Lisa Knapp with actors taking the roles of Margaret Barry, Alan Lomax, David Attenborough and others.

Elsewhere the quirkiness that sets FolkEast aside from other music festivals continues. The 2017 festival will see the return of Gardeners’ Cornered – FolkEast’s answer to Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time where festivalgoers can bring their poorly plants and horticulture queries to a panel including ‘Britain’s best known exponent of melodeon and concertina’ and keen allotment holder John Spiers (ex Bellowhead). Spiers will also reprise the outstanding collaboration formed at FolkEast last year with legendary fiddler Peter Knight of Steeleye Span fame as well as performing a solo spot.

Spiers’ erstwhile Bellowhead colleague, percussionist Pete Flood, meanwhile will also be joining the Gardeners’ Cornered panel. And he will be swapping his drum sticks for binoculars as he leads festivalgoers on a nature ramble around the Glemham estate. Post Bellowhead, Pete headed to Manchester Metropolitan University to enrol on a University Certificate in Biological Recording and Species Identification course with a view to fulfilling an ambition of working in conservation. He says: “I’ve had a long term dream of working in conservation and now have thousands of hours of obsessive botanising, moss-gathering and fungus-bothering behind me!”

Continuing the green-fingered theme, a new venture this year will be Eastfolk in Bloom. FolkEast’s Becky Marshall-Potter, who runs the festival with husband John says: “We are asking stall holders to take up the floral baton. There will be an offical judging of the best dressed stall and area on the Friday afternoon. We can’t wait to see what people will come up with – this could be the most colourful FolkEast yet!”

In its sixth year, FolkEast will be packing a punch with an eclectic line up of folk and world music acts including BBC award-winning headliners Jon Boden (ex Bellowhead frontman) and Sam Kelly and The Lost Boys and recently announced Sunday headliner, the dynamic Dhol Foundation. 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards nominees Nancy Kerr, Kris Drever and Dorset duo Ninebarrow are all on the programme and of course FolkEast’s irrepressible patrons The Young ‘uns.

The brilliant line-up also includes Martin Simpson, Michael Chapman, Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick, Lau, Simpson, Cutting and Kerr, Damien O’Kane Band , Fay Hield, The Willows, Basque band Korrontzi, Three Cane Whale, Norfolk Broads, Moirai , Irish trad folk band Beoga and top duos Will Pound & Eddy Jay,  India Electric Co and Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage.

Full line-up details here

Musicport Festival announces two headline acts

This year’s 18th Musicport Festival held in the beautiful Yorkshire port of Whitby promises its usual high quality and eclectic line-up.

Confirmed to headline are two acts that have long been on the wish list of the festival organisers, the award winning collective Afro Celt Sound System & poet Benjamin Zephaniah with his dub reggae band The Revolutionary Minds.

Afro Celt Sound System. 

Formed by Grammy-nominated musician and record producer Simon Emmerson, Afro Celt Sound System are a European and African based collective who’ve been a ground-breaking force in music ever since they started.

With sales now topping one and a half million albums and two Grammy nominations to date, Afro Celt Sound System celebrated their 20th Anniversary with a stunning new album, ‘The Source’ released in April 2016 on ECC Records described as a “colossus of an album” by fRoots.

‘The Source’ is undoubtedly their most ambitious album yet and one that takes their cross-cultural collaboration and acclaimed live performances to another level. Afro Celt Sound System is a live music spectacle featuring a host of outstanding musicians, every bit as energetic and captivating as the album. They have announced a huge tour for November 2017 with special guests label mates and friends The Dhol Foundation who will themselves release a brand new studio album ‘Basant’ later in the year.

Dr Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah, born and raised in Handsworth Birmingham, was one of the pioneers of the performance poetry scene in Britain, part of the ‘school’ known as the ‘Dub Poets’; who worked alongside reggae music to bring awareness of issues to the wider community.

He has written poetry books for children, adults, and novels for teenagers.

He is also an actor and television presenter, but whatever he does, wherever he goes, his message is one of unity, peace, and expression through creativity.

Much travelled (Over a 22-day period in 1991 he performed on every continent on this planet) he is the only living poet to have performed in North Korea, and he holds 16 honorary doctorates. As well as being a passionate activist he is a visiting professor at De Montfort University, and Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Brunel University.

As well as writing plays for stage, radio, and television, he has managed to keep up a music career that has lasted three decades.

He will be performing at Musicport with his new dub reggae band The Revolutionary Minds.

Most of his own musical recordings fall into the Reggae or Dub Poetry category and he was the first person to record with the Wailers after the death of Bob Marley in a musical tribute to Nelson Mandela. Free South Africa.

With so many political issues to the fore he is bound to have a lot of new material to present in October.

Musicport Festival, held in one indoor venue overlooking the North Sea with 6 stages (and a comedy bus), is widely regarded as a great way to end the festival season and coincides with the October half term for many. With indoor camping as an option, a festival bazaar in the main hall and international food vans it has the outdoor festival vibe but protected from the elements and with lots of activities to participate in as well as acts to see.

Other acts confirmed to perform at Musicport 2017 include :

Kefaya , Maia Barouh (Japan/France)  Tcha Limberger’s Kalotaszeg Trio (Hungary)  Hardeep  Singh Kohli, Andy Kershaw,  Hope & Social , Rory McLeod & Familiar Strangers,  “Orchestra Of Samples” with Addictive TV,  Omar Puente’s Cuban Sextet ,  Kathakali Theatre Co. (India) Maya Youssef Trio (Syria) , Amaraterra (Italy /UK), Himmerland (Denmark) . Fistful Of Spookies , Jamie Smith’s Mabon (Wales}, O’Hooley & Tidow,  Ribbon Road,  Bollywood Jazz Project (UK/India). Grace Petrie,  Joanne Harris  & the Storytime Band , The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican, Lightgarden with more still TBC.

In addition to the main festival the festival goes on tour to the surrounding villages on the Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday following the main event. This was a successful innovation in 2016 and makes staying around for a few days even more of an option for visitors as well as extending opportunities for local audiences and for the performers.

Full weekend tickets are currently discounted and priced at £100.

(Day/session tickets will not be available until August)

Tel: 01947 603475 to book or visit;

Folk Stars Heading to Jinney Ring Festival

Some of the UK’s best folk acts will be heading to Hanbury for the Jinney Ring Craft Centre’s annual festival.

Headlining the festival programme on Saturday, June 24 will be celebrated songwriters Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman – twice winners of the BBC Radio 2 folk award for best duo and acclaimed for their wide-ranging acoustic repertoire.

The event will also feature powerful Celtic-inspired folk provided by Roving Crows, a quartet well-known for their energetic live performances and a strong connection with their audiences.

The eight acts on the Marquee Stage also include quirky singer-songwriter Ruth Theodore, eclectic bluesy trio Mumbo Jumbo and The Haunted Souls, a foot-stomping folk and country foursome.

“This will be our fourth folk festival and once again, we’ve put together a great line up. It’s a fantastic opportunity for people to see these acts on their doorstep and away from the bigger festivals,” said Jinney Ring owner, Amanda Sunter.

The festival also includes an intimate gig on Friday, June 23 by traditional folk singer and multi-instrumentalist Steve Turner which will be followed by an open mic session. The performances the following day run from midday until 11pm.

Tickets are priced from £22 in advance from with camping packages also available.