Acts lining up for Southwell

WITH this year’s Gate to Southwell Folk Festival just a matter of weeks away, more acts have been booked to perform at the event.

The line-up for the musical extravaganza now includes more than 30 acts following the recent addition of Pennine dance side, Mr Fox, and the Nottingham Tribal Belly Dance.

The four-day festival begins on 1st June and coincides with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend.

The top-billed performers include this year’s BBC Horizon Award winner, Lucy Ward, Scottish singer songwriter Dougie MacLean, Isla St Clair, the Karine Polwart Trio, and Jon Boden and the Remnant Kings.

The festival promises to be a global affair with acts booked from around the world.

They include Martyn Joseph and Calan, from Wales, Le Vent du Nord, from Canada, Beoga and Tri, from Ireland, The Go Set, from Australia, Groanbox, from America, gypsy jazz band Maniere des Bohemiens, from Romania, Breabach from Scotland, and Grupo de Cordas Seccao do Fado, from Portugal.

From England, Blair Dunlop, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, The Toy Hearts, the new Morris On ensemble, and Seven Little Sisters represent the younger set.

But while there is an international flavour, local artists will be given their own chance, including from Southwell itself, performances by Anna Elias and the Forlorn Hope, and last year’s open mic competition winner, Fay Brotherhood.

New features this year include an 800-seat big top with flat screens – to ensure everyone is guaranteed a good view – and yurts in woodland next to the main festival site for workshops and other activities.

These will include much of the children’s entertainment, which is led by a return visit from Granny Turismo, a wacky daredevil troupe who ‘maximise the sporting possibilities of the shopping trolley’.

The youthful trend continues into the ceilidh bands, with appearances by GloryStrokes, Steamchicken with Becky Wolff, The QP, and Sciorr:Staged.

And the festival maintains its reputation for featuring at least one leading guitar player with an appearance by Anglo-New Zealand slide wizard, Lil’ Ian Goodsman.

England adds Martin Carthy, plus his ensemble Brass Monkey, Jon Boden and the Remnant Kings, the Fay Hield Trio,z Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, Richard and Jess Arrowsmith, The Melrose Quartet, The Wilson Family, and Keith Donnelly.

Tickets are available through the festival website, by post at PO Box 9149, Newark NG24 9DZ, through the Minster Shop and Woodlanders, in Southwell, RST Music, of Cartergate, Newark, and Dave Mann Music, Mansfield Road, Nottingham, or by ringing Newark 812933.

Meanwhile, tickets are also still available for the opening night show by the Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, with support from the Australian/Irish blues duo Hat Fitz and Cara Robinson.