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Cupola and Cupola:Ward to perform on Friday

Mar 3, 2014   //   by mikekirrage   //   News  //  No Comments


We are pleased to announce that the Friday ceilidh will be hosted by Derby based Cupola. Later the same evening they will be joined by Southwell favourite Lucy Ward for a concert spot. The Liam Robinson Dance Band have been switched to Sunday and will perform alongside Liam’s friends Kadri Laube and Marju Varblane for a Lincolnshire meets Estonia ceilidh with a difference!

Jim Causley and Shadrack Tye added

Mar 3, 2014   //   by mikekirrage   //   News  //  No Comments


Jim Causley

Jim Causley

Former frontman of festival favourites Mawkin:Causley and one of the finest singers on the English folk scene, Jim Causley has been booked for  Saturday and Sunday. Three piece family outfit Shadrack Tye who describe their music as “indie folk with eclectic influences and a bit of a twist” will perform on Sunday.

More great guitarists booked

Mar 2, 2014   //   by mikekirrage   //   News  //  No Comments

Adding to an impressive list of guitar players which already includes jazz and blues legend Woody Mann and Nancy Grifiths’ sideman Pete Kennedy  we have now confirmed West Midlands guitar maestro Madi Stimpson who plays anything from Charlie Parker to Chet Atkins and Mozart and Dorset based singer songwriter and fine fingerstyle and lap steel guitarist Alex Roberts.

Hicks & Goulbourn and Maniere des Bohemiens added

Mar 2, 2014   //   by mikekirrage   //   News  //  No Comments
Manière des Bohémiens

Manière des Bohémiens

Two of our favourite local acts will be making a welcome return over the weekend, ace guitarist Steve Hicks with partner Lynn Goulbourn and gypsy jazz band Manière des Bohémiens

JC & Angelina, The Dovetail Trio and The Tundra added to bill

Mar 1, 2014   //   by mikekirrage   //   News  //  No Comments
J.C. & Angelina

J.C. & Angelina

Brother and sister duo JC & Angelina from the Isle of Wight, who specialize in old time jazz, country and blues have been added to the line-up for Friday and Saturday. Also performing Friday and Saturday is English trad. threesome The Dovetail Trio, comprising Jamie Roberts, Rosie Hood and Matt Quinn.. Three piece progressive folk trio The Tundra from South Wales have been added to the weekend line-up

BBC Award Winners Play Southwell This Summer

Feb 26, 2014   //   by mikekirrage   //   News  //  No Comments

Three prize-winning acts acclaimed at the recent BBC Folk Awards 2014 are set for the Southwell Folk Festival this summer, confirming its place as one of England’s best annual music events.
Alongside Bella Hardy, who won the coveted Best Folk Singer award, there’s also Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar who collected the Horizon Award, and rising stars the Mischa Macpherson Trio who were named Young Folk Artists Of The Year.

BBC Young Folk Award Winners, The Mischa Macpherson Trio

BBC Young Folk Award Winners, The Mischa Macpherson Trio

The Southwell music event (June 5th to 8th) is clearly going from strength to strength having received a prestigious Festival of the Year award from influential Fatea magazine. It’s even been described as “the biggest little folk festival in Britain”.
Headline acts will include The Bills from Canada’s West Coast and Scotland’s Treacherous Orchestra, an eleven piece roots supergroup who were nominated for Best Act in the BBC awards. Vin Garbutt and Martyn Joseph will be making welcome returns to Southwell and, commemorating the centenary of the Great War, there’s also the premiere of A Day’s Work, Mick Ryan’s folk opera. Plus The Sojourners, a much-acclaimed gospel trio from Vancouver, will bring something soulful and different to Nottinghamshire.
Other top line performers include the Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson Big Band, jazz and blues guitar legend Woody Mann, American duo The Kennedys and Jools Holland favourite, boogie-woogie pianist Ben Waters. The young Huddersfield “sci-fi folk” band Maia have also been added to an already eclectic line-up.
Early Bird tickets are still available until midnight this Friday February 28th from

Maia added to line-up

Feb 18, 2014   //   by mikekirrage   //   News  //  No Comments

Alternative young, acoustic 4 piece band Maia have been added to the weekend bill. Expect gentle melodies, eclectic material and a great stage presence.

Southwell Folk Festival 2014 – “International Feast of Folk and Roots Music”

Jan 10, 2014   //   by mikekirrage   //   News  //  No Comments

The line-up for this year’s Gate to Southwell Folk Festival (June 5-8 2014) is almost complete and, yet again, promises an international feast of folk and roots music.

Headline acts will include The Bills – the award-winning acoustic folk roots quintet from Canada’s West Coast, internationally acclaimed for their panoramic, mischievous, fiercely unpretentious sound – and Scotland’s Treacherous Orchestra, stars of the Shrewsbury Folk Festival last year.  Already one of the most entertaining acts on the festival circuit, this 10 piece roots supergroup (featuring fiddles, flutes, banjos, bagpipes and drums) were nominated for the Best Group in the 2013 BBC Folk Awards.


Plus there’ll be the acclaimed all-female folk band The Poozies and the extraordinary, ever-changing 20-years-young Feast of Fiddles, an outfit starring fiddling legends such as Phil Beer (Show of Hands), Ian Cutler (Fairport collaborator), Peter Knight (Steeleye Span), Chris Leslie (Fairport & Whippersnapper).  As one reviewer quipped, “they look like geography teachers, they play like angels”.


One of the most popular acts on the folk scene, Vin Garbutt will be making an overdue and very welcome return and there’s also the premiere of A Day’s Work, Mick Ryan’s fifth folk opera which will open the festival on the Thursday night.

Since winning the Best Original Song award for ‘The Herring Girl’ at the 2012 Folk Awards, Bella Hardy has become one of the major attractions on the British festival circuit.  Mojo magazine celebrated her debut album ‘Night Visiting’ and R2 described her 2009 LP ‘The Shadow Of The Mountains’ as simply “stunning”.  From Edale in Derbyshire, Bella and her band The Midnight Watch will be making their first appearance at the Southwell Folk Festival 2014, by which time she may well have won the Folk Singer of the Year award!

Confirming the growing international pull of the Southwell festival, the organisers are flying in The Sojourners, a much acclaimed gospel trio originally from Texas, Louisiana and Michigan but now based in Vancouver.  As leader Marcus Moseley explains, “this is real gospel, blessed with a soul that can’t be faked.  It’s music for the sinners or the saved, no matter where you are on your spiritual journey!”  The Sojourners have worked with such eminent artists such as the Dixie Hummingbirds, Dr John and The Blind Boys of Alabama so they’re bound to bring something original and different to Nottinghamshire.

Over the last seven years, the festival has grown to become the premier roots music and dance event in the East Midlands, guaranteeing more than 40 top quality performers over four days.

In addition to returning folk stars such as The Henry Girls and the excellent award-winning Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, the festival will also showcase major performers including Martyn Joseph and Stewart Henderson, acclaimed young Irish band Caladh Nua, American guitar legend Woody Mann, The Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson Big Band, The Ben Waters Band plus the mainstays of Nanci Griffiths’ band, The Kennedys, who will be performing with British songstress Edwina Hayes.


Other acts so far confirmed include  Polly & The Billets Doux, Blackbeard’s Tea Party, Jeff Warner, the Liam Robinson Dance Band, Keith Donnelly, Estonian duo Kadri Laube and Marju Varblane, the BeauBowBelles,  Skippers Alley, Hatful Of Rain, the Maccaferri Club, plus the UK’s latest folk-singing sensation, 15-year-old GraceSarah from Cambridge.

As previous visitors to the folk festival will testify, if you want to enjoy the best of folk and roots music or simply dance the nights away, Southwell is the place to be from June 5 to 8.

Early Bird reduced price tickets are now on sale for the event which, in addition to three days of international quality music and dance, promises a beer and cider festival, workshops, children’s entertainment and pub sessions throughout the town.  Tickets are available online – – or through local outlets including the Cathedral Shop Southwell, the main tourist centre in Nottingham, Woodlanders, of King Street Southwell, and RST Mices, Cartergate, Newark.

Feedback and dates for next year

Jun 13, 2013   //   by mikekirrage   //   News  //  No Comments

Please go to the ‘Get Involved’ tab to send in your online feedback form.The festival will take place over the weekend of the 6th-8th June 2014. We will post here very soon if we decide to include Thursday 5th June

Jun 2, 2013   //   by mikekirrage   //   News  //  No Comments


Gate to Southwell Festival