Blair Dunlop to play Purbeck Folk Festival

Purbeck Folk festival is extremely proud to announce young British artist Blair Dunlop as a special guest addition to this year’s bill.

The son of former Fairport Convention and Albion Band grandee Ashley Hutchings, 22-year-old Blair has already released two highly acclaimed albums – 2012’s outstanding debut Blight & Blossom and this year’s musically adventurous follow up House of Jacks – and will play Purbeck with his widely praised trio that includes BBC Folk Award nominee Katriona Gilmore on fiddle.

Blair Dunlop
Blair Dunlop

He joins an already stellar line up for the Festival, which runs from 21-24 August. Headliners include chart topping artists Eddi Reader, The South and Nizlopi; songwriting legend Lloyd Cole; the revered Turin Brakes and an acoustic show by reformed Scottish indie outfit Idlewild, as well as uncompromising British folk hero Chris Wood and The Voice finalist Sally Barker, whose career includes being a founding member of all-female folk outfit The Poozies and opening for the likes of Bob Dylan and Robert Plant.

“Everyone’s talking about the Purbeck Folk Festival line-up,” says Festival director Paul Burke. “Everywhere we go, someone mentions one of their favourite acts is on the bill. It’s true.

“This small festival has the best of everything. From folk-inclined chart-toppers to iconic songwriting stars, fabulous instrumentalists and dance workshops, Cajun and bluegrass to global, old folkie to young folkie, the cream of emerging songwriters on stage and in workshops. We pride ourselves on musical quality and there are 80 great acts performing with not a weak link among them. Enjoy!”

Set on a working sheep farm in the heart of the Purbeck countryside, the Festival prides itself on the family-friendly set up, relaxed atmosphere and complete absence of commercial sponsorship. It’s the way festivals used to be when they were gatherings of friends and family to enjoy great music and good times.

With music on four covered stages, quality runs all the way through the bill, which also includes two sets from the boundary-busting Martha Tilston Band; Emily Barker, whose song Nostalgia was used as the theme for BBC1’s Wallander, acclaimed Senegalese griot Amadou Diagne, the extraordinary Paris-based Cajun powerhouse Sarah Savoy, highly rated breakthrough singer songwriter Lizzie Nunnery, gypsy-jazz rabble rousers Caravan of Thieves and Ivor Novello nominee Ian Brown.

Full line up:


Eddi Reader, Nizlopi, Martha Tilston Band, Furrow Collective, ODi, Dan Whitehouse, Moscow Drug Club, Flats & Sharps, Macaferri Club, Winter Mountain, Murphy’s Lore, Drew Allen, Big Tent & the Gypsy Lantern, Kadia, Beth Johnstone, Tim Somerfield, East Creek Union, Djambo, The Jack Ratts, Threadbare Ravens, Tred, Virginia


The South, Idlewild Acoustic, Sarah Savoy, Phil King Band, Gigspanner, Martha Tilston Band, Roving Crows, John Langan Band, Gren Bartley Band, 4Square, ODi, Lizzie Nunnery, Louise Jordan, Threepenny Bit, Sarah Savoy (workshop), Sound of the Sirens, Macaferri Club, Big Tent & the Gypsy Lantern, Kadia, Mother Ukers, Catherine Burke Band, Feral Beryl, Kaia Vieira, Virginia


Turin Brakes, Lloyd Cole, Sally Barker, Blair Dunlop, Emily Barker & the Red Clay Halo, Caravan of Thieves, Coco & the Butterfields, Chris Wood, Amadou Diagne Band, Gren Bartley Band, Alex Roberts, Tinderbox, Polly Paulusma, Fearne, Aimee MacKenzie, Ian Brown, Will McNicol, Flats & Sharps, Gill Sandell, Emily Barker (solo), Tori Read, Kate Lomas, The Jimmy Hillbillies, Ceilidh Band, Quinns Quinney, Krista Green, Inu

As well as marvellous music, Purbeck Folk Festival promises four days of family-friendly magic and mirth a stone’s throw from the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. The additional entertainment includes an on-site cinema programme, local food marquee, art interventions and workshops, a fancy dress parade, a poetry slam and kids’ activity pen with captivating storytelling sessions, singing workshops, balloon modelling, face painting and have-a-go circus skills sessions. The on-site beer festival showcases more than 70 beers and ciders, including the Festival’s own brew, Buzz Lightbeer, made with Purbeck honey.

Weekend tickets (Fri-Sun) include free camping are on sale at just £100 (£50 12-17 years, £20 4-11 years, under 4s free). Day camping is available on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at £10 a night on arrival. Festival day tickets are also available.

Located in the village of Langton Matravers between Corfe Castle and Swanage, the land at Wilkswood Farm is devoted to conservation and environmental protection of a wide range of habitats. There’s a handy bus to Corfe Castle/Wareham and Swanage every hour both ways, while Harmans Cross station is a 15-minute walk away where you can catch the steam train to Swanage or Corfe Castle.

Purbeck Folk Festival, 21-24 August, Wilkswood Farm, Langton Matravers, Swanage, BH19 3DU. Box office: 023 8071 1818


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