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A weekend of fabulous folk music returns to Derby this October

Published on Friday 19 May 2023

A series of concerts, all held in the Old Bell Hotel over the weekend of Friday 29th September to Sunday 1st October, will bring well known artists from across the folk scene into the heart of the city.


The first release of weekend tickets (for those who booked before artists were announced!) quickly sold out.  Individual concert tickets, and limited numbers of weekend passes are now available, and will be in high demand. Each of the seven concerts throughout the weekend has two acts performing full sets in the intimate setting of The Old Bell’s Grand Regency Ballroom.  In order of appearance will be: Blair Dunlop, Leveret, Frankie Archer, Jim Moray, Maddie Morris, Winter Wilson, Threaded, The Magpies (Duo), Old Spot, Kieran Towers & Charlotte Carrivick, Trish & Mark Kerrison with Fi Fraser, Doug Eunson & Sarah Matthews and Tarren.

Friday night’s concert brings two performances from acts with strong roots in the Derbyshire folk music scene, who have developed into musicians of international renown.  Opening the weekend of music on Friday evening with a welcome return to the city, is Blair Dunlop - an award-winning singer songwriter who has toured the world. Leveret is a unique collaboration between three of England's finest folk musicians.  Andy Cutting, Sam Sweeney and Rob Harbron are each regarded as exceptional performers and masters of their instruments.

The three concerts on Saturday cover an incredible range of talent and styles from the broad folk genres, mixing established artists with upcoming names from the incredibly rich seam of current, and traditional folk music.

Frankie Archer’s first visit to Derby, on her first tour, was wonderfully received in Déda earlier this year, so it is great to see her return on a bigger stage. Jim Moray “shook the folk world” 20 years ago with a digitally-driven approach to traditional music and the release of his debut album Sweet England. He’s continued on a career that is filled with imagination, invention and wonderful music.

Maddie Morris is a bold, insightful and refreshingly unique performer, shining a light on contemporary issues, offering new perspectives about the world we live in today. Following her are “Derby Folk Festival family” Winter Wilson; an amazingly hard-working duo on the folk scene who never fail to win over audiences with their music and personalities. 

Whether performing in touring theatre shows, or wowing audiences at festivals, Threaded always deliver exceptional music. Comprising fiddle, guitar and clarinet, their sound is distinctive and compelling. The Magpies (duo) aren’t just incredibly talented musicians, they even host their very own festival each year! Performance wise, they mix Anglo and American roots to give a fresh blend of transatlantic folk with a fervent thread of feminism running through their music. 

Sunday’s three concerts keep the energy and music flowing throughout the day, with the opening concert celebrating “old time” music through two fantastic acts.  Old Spot create contemporary Appalachian music with modern audiences in mind, playing fiddle and banjo tunes to get you dancing. Kieran Towers and Charlotte Carrivick continue the fiddle and banjo celebration, adding in some fantastic mandolin guitar and vocals on different numbers to showcase their amazing talents in a set that will be “infused with groove and distilled with intricacies”.

Continuing Derby Folk Festival’s tradition of bringing shows and stories to the stage, we’re delighted to have Mark and Trish Kerrison, along with Fi Fraser performing their brand-new show Como Boy to Coram Girl telling the story of the life and times of a family; refugees, lacemakers, iron founders – from Italy to Nottingham. They are followed by the incredible vocals and guitar of Katie Spencer, who first appeared at the festival as a young teenager, filling in a spot at the folk club stage. Her career and talent have developed and she’s now in high demand around the country.

The final concert opens with Doug Eunson and Sarah Matthews – a duo who draw on some of the finest English folk song repertoire to sing in breath-taking harmony, as well as playing English and European dance music in beautifully flowing tune sets. Known for their for high quality, English Folk music, Tarren bring the weekend to a close with style. Their music draws you in, weaving intricate themes throughout tunes and songs that have the pulse of traditional dance at its heart.

Alongside these ticketed concerts will be free music and dance on the streets of the Cathedral Quarter, bringing a great atmosphere not just to those who are in the city for the festival, but people who might otherwise miss all of the fun we'll be having!

Derby Folk Weekend brings great music and a great atmosphere to the heart of the city every year. This year’s event is being put together by a group of passionate volunteers, (including Bob On Arts, Folk3D and Furthest From The Sea) working together to make another fantastic event. The event is sponsored by Cathedral Quarter Derby, and supported by Derby LIVE, with RnR Magazine on board as media sponsor. As with the last few years, there's a huge debt of gratitude to all of the team at The Old Bell Hotel who throw the doors open for the festival.  The Old Bell Hotel is a Grade II listed coaching inn dating back to the 17th century; constructed in 1650 it was considered to be one of the most prestigious coaching inns outside of London.

Tickets for the full weekend of concerts are available from £70, and the individual concert prices begin at just £10, extra 5% off at scontocodici.

Information and links to tickets (available through Derby LIVE) can all be found at www.derbyfolkfestival.co.uk 




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