Shrewsbury Folk Festival plans celebration of British based folk

Shrewsbury Folk Festival has revealed its plans for a covid-safe festival including a refreshed line up to celebrate the best of British based folk artists. 

Organisers have elected for outside stages and more outdoor activities to ensure it can meet any possible covid related regulations that might be in place by August Bank Holiday when the four-day festival takes place.

The new line up released today includes Kate Rusby, Oysterband, Show of Hands, Afro Celt Sound System, Seth Lakeman, The Christians, Dervish, Lindisfarne and The Young’uns. 

Shrewsbury will host the only festival appearance of The Lost Words: Spell Songs with Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis, Seckou Keita, Kris Drever, Rachel Newton, Beth Porter, Jim Molyneux and illustrator Jackie Morris and shanty sensations The Longest Johns are also on the bill. 

Other acts include leading kora musician Sona Jobarteh, Joji Hirota and the London Taiko Drummers, Band of Burns, Seckou Keita Quartet, The Trials of Cato, Calan, Edwina Hayes, FOS Brothers, Sheelanagig, Kabantu, Pendevig, Benji Kirkpatrick & The Excess, The Carrivick Sisters, Sherburn Bartley Sanders, Sheema Mukherjee, The Boxwood Chessmen, Sisters of Elva Hill folk ballet, The John Martyn Project, Will Pound’s A Day Will Come, The Jellyman’s Daughter, Truckstop Honeymoon and James Yorkston. 

Planned appearances from international stars like Judy Collins and Galician piper Carlos Núñez have been rolled over to 2022 due to uncertainties surrounding international travel. More artists will be announced ahead of the festival that runs from August 27 to 30 at the West Mid Showground in Shrewsbury. 

Director Sandra Surtees said the festival’s revised format would ensure the usual brand of festival fun that would meet any covid related guidelines if required. 

“It has been very hard trying to plan the festival when we don't know exactly what the situation will be in August but we’re confident that we have the best solution to bring the usual brand of festival magic back to Shrewsbury after our year off.

“Whilst the hope is that life will be back to normal after June 21, we have to book our extensive infrastructure and line up and plan our programme far in advance so being more of an open-air event was the safest way forward this year,” she explained. 

Sandra added: “Although there may be some international travel allowed by August, we just don’t know so, as much as we will miss our international performers, we’ve still got a diverse line up from British based musicians. 

“There have been tough decisions to make and we know that there will be differences this year but we hope festivalgoers appreciate why we’ve had to revise our format for 2021. We have done everything we possibly can to make the festival an environment where people can enjoy the unique magic of Shrewsbury safely.” 

For more information about this year’s festival, go to shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk/about/guide-to-shrewsbury-2021/. Weekend and day tickets can be booked at shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk/booktickets/ with onsite camping and glamping available for weekend ticket holders. 

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