There’s just over a fortnight to go before the gates to Cherry Hinton Hall open to fans for Cambridge Folk Festival 2019! Established by Cambridge City Council and held each year since 1965, Cambridge Folk Festival is one of the longest running and most prestigious folk festivals in the world. Renowned for its unique atmosphere and eclectic mix of music, the Festival attracts legendary traditional folk artists along with cutting edge contemporary acts, the finest American country, blues and roots artists and acclaimed singer songwriters.
This year’s line-up is a belter with a raft of highly regarded UK, Irish and international acts performing on Cherry Hinton’s two main stages. Headline acts include Ralph McTell on Thursday; Calexico and Iron & Wine, and Robert Finley on Friday; Lucinda Williams and Tunng on Saturday, and From Bamako to Birmingham featuring Amadou and Mariam and Blind Boys of Alabama on Sunday.
In addition to those artists appearing on the main stages, the festival will also showcase the cream of local talent with folk clubs in and around Cambridge joining in the fun. From the established Cambridge Folk Club, Black Fen Folk Club, Acoustic Routes and St Neots to the new clubs The Bridge and New Roots, members will be taking to the Club Stage across the weekend.
Not to be missed is the selection of traditional Irish music sessions and ceilidhs that are guaranteed to get everyone dancing into the early hours. Continuing the movement and a first for Cambridge Folk Festival, The Sisters of Elva Hill will perform an hour-long, narrative folk ballet, sure to wow the Cherry Hinton crowds.
Away from the music, you’ll find workshops on subjects ranging from instruments, songwriting, singing and even knitting to talks and panel discussions, with particular emphasis this year being focused on Mental Health in the Music Industry. The ever-popular ‘Wellbeing Area’ area also returns. Head for the duck pond at Cherry Hinton and you’ll find everything from Tai Chi and willow workshops to yoga sessions and drawing workshops standing by to help encourage festivalgoers channel their zen.
Cambridge Folk Festival’s reputation as one of the nation’s most family-friendly festivals is well deserved. As with previous years, there will be plenty of children’s concerts and fun distractions to keep younger visitors amused over the weekend, regardless of whether the sun shines or not. The Hub tent plays host to Children’s / Youth’s dance and music workshops and the fun continues in the playground, paddling pool and music making at the Coldham Common campsite. Magicians, circus acts, entertainers and face-painters will also be on hand to keep the kids happy in between the bands.
Tickets for Cambridge Folk Festival 2019 start at just £29.50 and are available from both the festival website and Cambridge Live Box Office on 01223 357851.