Roots and Acoustic Music Festival

Wow! Thanks everyone for making 2017 such a great festival.
Save the date for 2018 – 7th to 10th June
See you next year…

2017 Artists: Jon Boden,  Kate Rusby,  Daphne’s Flight,  Blazin’ Fiddles,   Le Vent du Nord,  BOC,   The Changing Room,  Chris Smither,  Megson,  The East Pointers,  Megan Henwood,  Attila the Stockbroker,  The Ooks of Hazzard,  Jim Moray,  Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin,  Ranagri,  Chris Sherburn & Denny Bartley,  Jess Morgan,  Grace Petrie,  Les Barker,  Keith Donnelly,   Alden Patterson & Dashwood,  Sheelanagig,  Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage,    Banter,  Monkey Box,  Vertical Expression,  Cloudstreet,  Reg MeurossThe Rubber Wellies,  James Edwyn & the Borrowed Band,  Jack Harris,  The Vagaband,  Idiot & Friend,   Winter Wilson,  She Shanties,  Dana Immanuel & the Stolen Band,  Wookalily,  Edd Donovan,  Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra,  The BeauBowBelles,  Gnoss,  Tannara,  Katie Spencer,  Wayward Jane,  The Life & Times of the Brothers Hogg,  Maniere des Bohemiens,   Wholesome Fish,  The Leen Valley Band, Robert Nottingham,  Theo Migeon,  Ofelia,  Kadia, Omnivibes

We have announced the first of 50+ artists to play in 2017 including headliners Kate Rusby and Jon Boden. Follow the Artists 2017 link above. We are also planning something very special on Saturday afternoon. You loved the Dylan tribute concert in 2016, and so we have another concert in fruition for 2017 – Summer of Love @ 50.

Here are some excerpts of reviews of 2016:


“Our return visit to Southwell turned out every bit as entertaining as last year, the layout has been tweaked to make the site a little more compact whilst the festival has grown a little bigger with 3 stage marquees plus the bar stage and an outside dance stage, most in operation for 3 full days plus Thursday evening. Headline acts ranged from the Celtic/World fusion of Kila, the song writing and multi-instrumental prowess of Show of Hands, the eclectic, fascinating song choices of Eddi Reader to the out and out good-time rockgrass of Hayseed Dixie. The range of supporting artists was even wider and thoroughly justifies Southwell calling itself a roots and acoustic music festival rather than a folk festival.”


“However good the site and facilities are, it is good programming that makes or breaks a festival, something that the Southwell organisers have got just right. You need your headliners to get the tents bursting at the seams, breaking acts for a buzz, uptempo good time bands to jump about to, earnest singer songwriters to lose yourself in the lyrics, trad folk for the trad fans and something genre defying to keep the festival vibe bouncing along.

In many ways Southwell feels like a smaller version of the Cambridge Folk Festival, and I mean that as a compliment, the range of artists, the way the programming worked, and even the layout of the site all feel thoroughly sorted. It is getting harder and harder for festivals to stand out these days, there is a finite pool of folk and acoustic acts to pick from, most of whom will do multiple festival dates in a year. Putting a programme together that offers something unique is either very hard or very expensive, so respect to the organisers…

The other thing that a festival lives or dies by is the beer tent; good choice of ales and ciders, tick. Tasting notes and knowledgable staff, tick. A big enough bar to get served without waiting too long, tick. Sensible prices, tick. Top marks again Southwell.

Overall the Gate to Southwell Festival is a little gem, great programming, plenty of ways to get involved with workshops, lots to do for kids. All of it set within a good new site that seems set to be the festival’s home for a few years to come.”

See the links below for reviews of past years.

Folk Radio UK

Spiral Earth


Spiral Earth

Nottingham Post

Photos by kind permission of Phil Richards

Southwell Festival