Line Up 2017

Artists booked so far are set out below. See here for who plays when.

Kate Rusby

Needing very little introduction and widely regarded as “the first lady of English folk music”, Kate Rusby is famous for her Mercury-nominated debut ‘Sleepless’, her acclaimed collection ‘The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly’ and her Xmas album ‘Sweet Bells’. From Penistone, near Barnsley, Kate’s latest album ‘Life In A Paper Boat’ has just been released. She’s playing on Friday. >more


Jon Boden

Jon Boden is one of the outstanding performers of traditional music of his generation. He has clocked-up eleven BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and although he is widely respected as an interpreter of traditional song, he has a musical repertoire which extends far beyond the boundaries of just one genre. Most recognisable as one of the leading lights of big band Bellowhead, he is now forging forward as a solo performer again. and headlining on Saturday. >more

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BOC wowed Southwell in 2015 when they stormed the Big Top on Saturday afternoon, in their first performance outside Spain,  and since then we get asked all the time “when are they coming back?”. From Mallorca, BOC are a whirlwind fusion of the folk sounds and traditional instruments of their island with the wider influences of hardcore, new age, metal, ska as well as traditional music from around the world. Not to be missed. >more

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Daphne’s Flight

Daphne’s Flight are the legendary harmony super-group formed at Cambridge Folk Festival in 1995, and reforming in 2017 to release a new album. They are Helen Watson, Melanie Harrold, Julie Matthews, Chris While and Christine Collister and you really shouldn’t miss them. >more

Le Vent Du Nord

Canadians Le Vent Du Nord played here in 2012 and took the people’s vote for the festival’s best performance. They have won critical acclaim and audience adoration across Europe and much of the world having performed well over 1,400 concerts since 2002, racking up several prestigious awards. They deliver distinctively catchy tracks;  some their own compositions, and some taken from the Québec traditional folk repertoire. >more

Blazin’ Fiddles

Acclaimed, Scottish collective, Blazin’ Fiddles have a few dates in 2017 and one is here on Thursday 8th June: they are sure to set our Big Top alight. Their remarkable playing, showcasing styles from across the Highlands and Islands, is accomplished with tight interplay, often frenzied, and is mixed through with their easy wit and good humour. >more


The Changing Room

The Changing Room is a joint project between singer/songwriter Tanya Brittain and musician/vocalist Sam Kelly. Tanya manages to weave deeply evocative lyrics around enchanting and addictive melodies, and Sam simply has one of the best young male voices in British roots music. Together they conjure up magic. >more


Chris Smither

Honing a synthesis of folk and blues for 50 years, Chris Smither is truly an American original. As Acoustic Guitar magazine wrote, Smither sings about “the big things – life, love, loss – in a penetrating and poetic yet unpretentious way.” His songbook is overflowing with rollicking, clever blues-based folk tunes, and he has is a consistently engaging live performer you shouldn’t miss. >more

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“The most original duo on the folk scene” according to The Guardian, Megson are Stu and Debbie Hanna who last played Southwell in 2010. Now four-times nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and double winners of the Spiral Earth Awards Megson draw heavily on their Teesside heritage to create a truly unique brand of folk music. The husband & wife duo bring an infectious mix of heavenly vocals, lush harmonies and driving rhythmic guitars. >more

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The East Pointers

The East Pointers are one of Canada’s hottest bands, and were spotted when festival organisers visited them on Prince Edward Island, their home (along with a couple of artists who played here in 2016).  ‘Furiously energetic yet organic, celebratory yet cool, this [their debut album] is an impressive calling card for a band who are soon likely to be making waves around the world.’ ~ Songlines. >more


Megan Henwood

“As folk music splinters into countless variations of Nu-Folk it’s refreshing to hear someone doing it in a traditional way” Q Magazine. Megan Henwood picked up the 2009 BBC Young Folk Award with her brother Joe, and released her second album in 2015 which received rave reviews. >more


Jim Moray

Jim Moray is one of the most consistently inventive musicians working in traditional folk music today. After three ground-breaking and award-winning albums – 2003’s BBC Radio2 Folk Album of Year ‘Sweet England’, ‘Jim Moray’ in 2006 and fRoots Critics Poll and Mojo Folk Album of the Year ‘Low Culture’ in 2008 – he now finds himself at the forefront of a new folk revival in the UK, and with a new album “Upcetera” and a Summer of Love concert to host, he will be busy this weekend! >more

 Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin

Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin started out as buskers and are now an established award-wining duo, thanks to their multi-instrumental work, vocals and songwriting. Now they have moved on, with double bass and drums bringing a more robust edge to the atmospheric swirl of Henry’s dobro, harmonica and guitar, and Martin’s fiddle and banjo! >more


Ranagri played here in in 2015 and have been busy since, touring, and releasing albums, including collaborating with Tony Christie. They are a modern Irish group with traditional influences, virtuoso playing and have great stories to tell.  . >more

Chris Sherburn & Denny Bartley

Chris Sherburn & Denny Bartley are two very funny guys as well as great folk musicians – Chris a deft concertina player and Denny a punchy guitar player and a fine singer.  Expect Irish influenced songs and ballads played with real verve. >more

Jess Morgan

Jess Morgan, a songwriter’s songwriter from Norwich. Her songs tell acutely observed tales with heart, passion and gusto. She has made her name as a sytylish solo act and released her fourth album in late 2016.  >more


Grace Petrie

Grace Petrie is a DIY folk singer-songwriter and guitarist from Leicester. She has been hailed in The Guardian as “a powerful new songwriting voice”and one of the great new voices of protest on the scene right now. You can hear her incisive lyrics and no-frills vocals on Saturday.>more

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The Ooks of Hazzard

Flying in again for the ukulele festival of Britain, Southwell welcomes the bizarre Californian nine-piece act Ooks Of Hazzard whose covers of rock classics by Led Zeppelin, Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd have brought the uke players “worldwide attention” (according to the LA Times). >more


Bristol based five-piece Sheelanagig deliver intricate, rhythmically complex arrangements which put groove and stomp into a selection of traditional and original European folk music dating from the medieval times to present day. In short, Sheelanagig will get you dancing . >more


Attila the Stockbroker

Attila the Stockbroker is a punk poet, and a folk punk musician and songwriter who describes himself as a “sharp tongued, high energy social surrealist poet and songwriter.” He has been gigging for over 35 years and if you want to get a picture of someone who enjoys life on the road, you should read his autobiography, “Arguments Yard” published in 2015. >more


Les Barker

Les Barker is a comedy veteran of the folk circuit with a huge following for his quicky, off-the-wall, and laugh-out-loud poems and monologues. He’s sure to pack out the Folk Stage on Saturday night so get your seats early! >more


Alden Patterson & Dashwood

Norfolk’s Alden, Patterson & Dashwood play honest-to-goodness, homespun, folky Americana-tinged music and their sound is a gently woven yet refreshingly uncluttered tapestry of dobro, fiddle/mandolin and guitar with simple, well-judged vocal harmonies. >more


The Vagaband

Noel Dashwood will also be joining The Vagaband on Saturday for a jazzy late night slot playing ragtime/blues/americana – “Exceptional” says FRUK; “Proof the Devil doesn’t always have the best tunes …Stunning” Q Magazine. >more

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Keith Donnelly

We are really pleased to have all round entertainer Keith Donnelly back to warm the cockles of both young and old, with his surreal humour and musical fun. Keith has been described as “a superbly original Stand-Up,” “a great singer-songwriter,” “a fine guitarist,” “a kids entertainer par excellence,” “a stunning storyteller,” and “the cleanest comic I’ve ever seen.” >more



Australia’s Cloudstreet are a fabulous three-piece acoustic harmony group with exceptional fiddle playing who have been here before, lastly in 2015. They give a mighty lift to Australian and UK rooted folk music, with sublime interpretations and lively and powerful performances.   >more


Reg Meuross

Reg Meuross is an English singer and songwriter based in Somerset, England. He has been described as “a warm, engaging live entertainer whose same easy-going feel informs his songs of love, longing and true life stories”.   >more


James Edwyn & the Borrowed Band

We welcome back Glasgow’s James Edwyn & the Borrowed Band in 2017 after a couple of great performances on Thursday and Friday in 2016. This time they’ll be playing on Saturday and Sunday. James writes great songs and the band make a great americana sound, and we think they’ll be playing far bigger stages than Southwell in the future. >more


Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage

Hannah Sanders (formerly of The Dunns), and Ben Savage (formerly of The Willows) have come together to perform traditional tunes, covers and self-penned material with influences from both sides of the pond and accompanied, in the main, by Hannah’s guitar and Ben’s Dobro. This is a duo who we expect to see a lot more of in future. >more


The Rubber Wellies

Travelling folksters The Rubber Wellies present their intimate cabaret of joyful sing-a-long choruses and general participatory fun. Pirates, lizards, cracks in the wall and Basque cyclists all inhabit the songscape. And let’s not forget that Beard Snood….  You may remember them as Harry Bird and The Rubber Wellies, who have played twice before at  The Gate to Southwell.


Jack Harris

Jack Harris is a Welsh-born folk singer-songwriter, musician, and poet. He is multi-award winning, most notably winning the 2005 New Folk Songwriting Competition at Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, the first non-American to do so. >more

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Winter Wilson

Winter Wilson are regulars at Southwell: Kip Winter (vocals, accordion, guitar, flute) and Dave Wilson (vocals, guitar, banjo) built a reputation for fine songs, stunning harmonies and spontaneous, (occasionally outrageous!) off-the-wall humour. >more


She Shanties

She Shanties launched in December 2011, stranded on St Mary’s Island, Whitley Bay. Since then, they have performed at Bromyard Folk Festival, Shepley Spring Festival, Ellesmere Port Shanty Festival, Holmfirth Folk Festival, Whitby Folk Week, and many more. >more



Simon Care is back with Banter in 2017. A great ceilidh band, featuring melodeon, keyboard, brass, percussion and huge amounts of boundary-pushing fun! >more


 Dana Immanuel & the Stolen Band

Dana Immanuel and the all female Stolen Band produce a unique blend of folk, blues, old-fashioned jazz and Americana overlaid with lyrics featuring a surfeit of wit and a lack of punches pulled.  Foot stomping music guaranteed to get you moving. >more


Freak-folk, Americana, pop-grass band from Belfast, Wookalily are “one of the most exciting new arrivals on the bluegrass scene – Ireland’s answer to The Be Good Tanyas”  >more


Edd Donovan

Edd Donovan is a highly distinctive singer and songwriter. He’s released a new album since he played here in 2015 “a remarkable piece of originality; a collection of thought provoking, (sometimes) challenging, yet beautiful songs” He will be back playing across the weekend in 2017. >more


Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra

“Newcastle’s finest swing-honkytonk-rockabilly band” (fRoots) Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra don’t mess about, they know the music they’re playing and they want you to get into it too – a band with real energy and the love of a good time. >more

The BeauBowBelles

The BeauBowBelles are a four-piece band of foot stomping, harmony singing swing folkers. They dragged themselves from their classical roots through the earth of folk, the dusts of country and the fires of gypsy swing- gathering them all to their breasts before entwining and weaving them into a new blaze of sound.. >more


Four talented young Scottish musicians who met at the Scotland’s Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow – expect some tight tune playing, bursting with energy. >more


Another talented young Scottish band, who look to be going places. “One of Scotland’s brightest up and coming bands” Stonehaven Folk Festival. >more

Katie Spencer

Katie Spencer from Hull performs exquisite songs with confident, gentle assurance. Katie’s eclectic musical tastes and influences have helped shape an original and refreshingly credible performer. >more

Wayward Jane

Wayward Jane are a multi-instrumental band that plays Scottish/American folk music with double bass, fiddles, viola, banjo, guitar, flute and vocals.>more

The Life & Times of the Brothers Hogg

The Life and Times of the Brothers Hogg are an acoustic/roots band from Grimsby/Cleethorpes who draw on traditional and modern folk, new country and americana.  They have two great albums under their belts which we recommend checking out! >more

Maniere Des Bohemiens

Returning to Southwell again, Manière des Bohémiens play improvised Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli influenced Gypsy Jazz and Eastern European swing. They are the most debauched, ecstatic and downright amazing live band you will have seen for a long while >more

Wholesome Fish

Wholesome Fish are a Nottingham punk-edged Balkan gypsy influenced dance band who have been playing their own compositions for over thirty years. >more


Robert Nottingham

Robert Nottingham, 24, is an imaginative and innovative writer and performer, Nottingham has developed a attractive folk style and sound that incorporates influence from several artists and genres. >more

 Theo Migeon

Théo Migeon is a French classical guitarist trained at the the prestigious Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland. He will be sure to introduce you to some avant-garde pieces played with true virtuosity. >more




A four-piece from South Wales, Ofelia are a close harmony group with lovely rhythmic guitars, brought to life with intricate mandolin. They play Friday, Saturday and Sunday. >more



Kadia are a folk trio from Dorset performing traditional repertoire alongside original folk-inspired music. Chris, David and Lee blend together three-part harmony with arrangements for Guitar, Mandolin, and Cello and driving percussion. They play Friday and Saturday. >more


Southwell Festival