Shrewsbury Folk Festival to welcome BBC Folk Award winners

Shrewsbury Folk Festival has welcomed the news that several acts lined up to perform at the August Bank Holiday festival scooped BBC Folk Awards last night (February 19.)

Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin won Best Duo; Aidan O’Rourke from Lau won Best Musician; and young duo Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, former young folk award winners, won the Horizon award.

The Full English, the collective of artists put together the commemorate the launch of the world’s largest free online database of English songs, tunes, customs and dances, won Best Group and Best Album.

Featuring Martin Simpson, Seth Lakeman, Nancy Kerr, Fay Hield, Sam Sweeney, Rob Harbron and Ben Nicholls, the group will be one of the highlights of the final day of the festival, which runs from August 22 to 25 at the West Mid Showground.

Bella Hardy, who appears on Sunday August 24, won Folk Singer of the Year.

Earlybird tickets prices for the summer event at the West Mid Showground in Berwick Road end on March 31 with an adult weekend ticket rising by £15.

Also on the bill are Shropshire favourites Bellowhead who performed at last year’s Shrewsbury Flower Show, Seth Lakeman, and The Dhol Foundation. Patron Steve Knightley from Show of Hands will bring his Wake the Union show to the festival, that will see the group’s last album performed in its entirety.

Shrewsbury will also host one of only two festival performances of The Full English and other acts include Four Men and a Dog, Karine Polwart, Martin Simpson, Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston, Andy Cutting, Huw Williams & Maartin Allcock, Moulettes, the Steve Tilston trio, Megson, the Duncan McFarlane Band, The Wilsons and The Young’uns.

Coming to the festival for the first time will be Molotov Jukebox, a six piece band headed by actress and musician Natalia Tena, who played Nymphadora Tonks in the Harry Potter film series and has also starred in Game of Thrones.

Other artists include Sunjay Brayne, Steve Turner, The Harvesters, Carole Palmer & Maria Barham, Sue Brown & Lorraine Irwing, Cupola, and Take Two.

Former Wailin’ Jenny, Cara Luft from Canada will lead the foreign artist contingent with fellow countrymen, singer songwriter J P Hoe, and duo Matt Gordon and Leonard Podolak also appearing.

Toronto based duo Madison Violet, which was forced to pull out at the last minute in 2012, will also perform.

The festival has four music stages, a dance tent, dozens of workshops, a popular children's festival, a dedicated youth programme for 11 to 20-year-olds, onsite camping, a craft fair and food village.

Director Alan Surtees said: “We’re really pleased for all the winners and it’s great that a Shropshire audience will get the chance to see such talent.

“Tickets are selling well and they start flying out of the door in the run up to the end of the earlybird prices so our advice is book them while you can!

“We are still tweaking the line up and are in negotiations for another headline act so watch this space.”

Mr Surtees added: “We offer a brilliant festival site in a central location and a unique atmostphere created by our visitors. It’s a place where you can arrive on Friday and completely relax for four days.”

The earlybird offer on tickets lasts until March 31. Adult weekend tickets are £120 until then. Day tickets start at £32.50 for adults.

Children under four go free and family tickets are available. Onsite camping is available to all weekend ticket holders with prices held to the same as this year at £20 per adult.

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Pete White Pete White

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