​Shrewsbury Folk Festival to introduce free street ceilidh to festival celebrations

The organisers of Shrewsbury’s annual folk festival have revealed plans for a free street ceilidh as part of this year’s town centre celebrations for the four-day event. 

The ceilidh will take place in The Square on August 29 following the annual colourful parade of morris sides and dance teams that goes from the Castle, through Pride Hill and the High Street. 

The dance, which is suitable for all ages and abilities, will be open to everyone and is free. The festival already lays on dance displays and pub sessions as fringe events of the main festival that will be held at the Greenhous West Mid Showground in Berwick Road from August 28 to 31.

Festival Director Alan Surtees said: “The town centre parade has become an integral part of the festival and is an amazing colourful and musical spectacle that attracts hundreds of onlookers. 

“We wanted them to be able to get involved and enjoy the spirit of the folk festival so after the parade is over, we will be hosting a ceilidh in The Square where people can try their hand at dances and just have fun. 

“A ceilidh can be great fun, whatever your age or dance ability, so we hope as many people as will join in and sample a little bit of what the festival has to offer.” 

Tickets are still available for the four day event including weekend, concession, family and Monday day tickets. Onsite camping can be booked by weekend ticket holders. 

Headliners at this year’s festival are at the Richard Thompson Electric Trio, La Bottine Souriante, Sharon Shannon, Oysterband, Kate Rusby, Los Angeles based folk rockers Dawes, The Spooky Men’s Chorale, world music duo Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, Steve Knightley, False Lights and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

Also on the bill are John Jones & the Reluctant Ramblers, Nancy Kerr and the Sweet Visitor Band, Mawkin, O’Hooley & Tidow, The Wilsons, Ten Strings and a Goatskin, Barra MacNeills, Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys, Jonathan Byrd, The Young'uns, 

New Rope String Band, Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson, The James Brothers, Lucy Ward, Patsy Reid, Jack Harris, The Willows, Gren Bartley, The Roaring Trowmen, Winter Wilson, Teacups, Fran McGillivray and Mike Burke, Granny’s Attic, Mary Humphries & Anahata, The Boundless Brothers and Paula Ryan.

Oyster3 will be a special discussion with songs and stories from the originators of Oysterband Ian Telfer, John Jones and Alan Prosser, and there will be a performance from Folk Nations – a British Council musical collaboration featuring British and South Asian artists.

The festival has four music stages, a dance tent, more than 100 workshops, children’s and youth programmes, onsite camping, a craft fair, real ale and wine bars, and food village. 

Tickets can be booked through www.shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk or direct at www.gigantic.com/shrewsbury-folk-festival-tickets.