Folk legend Richard Thompson is set to make an electrifying return to this year’s Shrewsbury Folk Festival after organisers announced a rare appearance by the musician with his Electric Trio.
The former Fairport Convention musician, named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the top 100 guitarists of all time, will headline the festival’s Bellstone stage on Saturday August 25.
More than half of adult weekend tickets have already been sold with over six months to go to the event that attracts around 7,000 people to the West Mid Showground.
Other names added to the programme include the new duo of Peter Knight (ex Steeleye Span) and John Spiers (Bellowhead) and singer songwriters James Riley and Edwina Hayes.
Already announced are American singer songwriter Gretchen Peters, Steeleye Span, Irish super group Usher’s Island, Show of Hands, Jon Boden and The Remnant Kings, Gigspanner, BBC Folk Award winner Daoirí Farrell and Scottish folk rockers Skerryvore.
Chinese flautist Guo Yue and Japanese drummer Joji Hirota will reunite for the festival with the London Taiko Drummers and Canadian band The Fitzgeralds – one of the hit groups of last year’s festival – will also make a welcome return.
Other performers include Welsh indie roots band Rusty Shackle, State of the Union – the duo of Boo Hewerdine and Brooks Williams, O’Hooley & Tidow, Megson, Blowzabella, Banter, Alden, Patterson & Dashwood, The Rogues Shanty Crew, Emma Morton & The Graces, Midnight Skyracer, FOS Brothers, Inlay, and Foreign Affairs.
Dance bands will be Blowzabella, Bedlam, Committee Band, Vertical Expression, Kirkophany and Out of Hand.
The festival, which will run from August 24 to 27, has four main music stages, a dance tent featuring ceilidhs, workshops and dance shows, children and youth festivals, more than 100 workshops, a craft fair, food village, real ale, prosecco and cocktail bars and on-site camping.
There are also fringe events at town pubs with dance displays in the centre of Shrewsbury and a parade through the streets.
Director Sandra Surtees said: “We are delighted to have secured this rare appearance by the Richard Thompson Electric Trio for Shrewsbury. Richard is a folk legend but he doesn’t often perform in this format so it’ll be a real treat for our audience.
“The line up contains a wide variety of traditional and contemporary folk alongside singer songwriters and north American and Canadian acts so there is something to appeal to all tastes.
“That’s echoed in the strong ticket sales we’re experiencing with many of our visitors coming back year after year as they love the festival so much!”
Weekend and day tickets are now on sale and can be booked at www.shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk.