Festival folk to bring financial boost to Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury is set for a million pound economic boost this month as the annual folk festival floods the town with music, dance and visitors over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Free fringe events will return to the town centre this year after covid enforced absences in 2020 and 2021. Morris and dance teams will perform in the Square, outside St Mary’s Church, on Pride Hill in and town centre pubs on Saturday and Sunday. 

A free shuttle bus transports festivalgoers from the festival site at the West Mid Showground in Berwick Road into the town centre, bringing thousands of additional visitors into shops, hotels, pubs and restaurants.

Shropshire businesses backing the festival include Turtle Doves, the designer and manufacturer of recycled cashmere accessories, which is this year’s main stage sponsor; the Salopian Brewery, that is sponsoring one of the festival’s main bars; media sponsor What’s On; and Coleham’s The Allotment produce market that is providing the on-site festival shop. Other supporters include Bayfield Vehicle Hire; Salop Leisure; furniture store Reviive, Drink Up! and Wenlock Water. Numerous other Shropshire businesses will be part of its catering and craft villages including Planet Doughnut and Whitchurch based The Pie-oneers.

Michelle Gilchrist, who runs Wyle Cop based lifestyle store White Lotus Living and will have a stall in the festival’s craft fair, said the festival was an important event for town traders.

“We undoubtedly see a spike in visitors during the festival weekend, thanks to the free bus encouraging people to come and discover what the town has to offer. We’ve also had people visiting during the year who say they discovered Shrewsbury thanks to the festival and come back for the weekend so it has a knock on effect all year round.

“The festival is a world class event but retains an incredibly welcoming and inclusive atmosphere and that spills over into the town during the weekend, making it a great weekend for traders in and around town.”

Shrewsbury Folk Festival attracts more than 7,000 people an with an international line-up including American folk legend Judy Collins, The Unthanks, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and Skerryvore.

The festival has four music stages, a dance tent, and children and youth festivals. There is also on-site camping and glamping, a food village, craft fair and real ale, wine and cocktail bars. Day and weekend tickets starting from £38 are on sale at www.shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk.