Artists announced for Dartmoor Folk Festival

Mary Youlden's picture
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Monday, March 18, 2019 - 6:55am

FUN for all the family is assured at the 42nd Dartmoor Folk Festival, all at modest prices or free-of-charge.

The festival, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 9, 10 and 11, will take place in the foothills of Dartmoor at South Zeal, near Okehampton.

It will include a packed programme of events and activities suitable for all ages, including a hugely-successful dedicated children's festival which will run alongside the main event.

There will be concerts, a ceilidh, craft displays, dances, a Dartmoor Fayre, music hall, pub sessions and music, song and dance workshops and competitions.

Free events include Starter's Song Sessions, Shanty Group singing, Festival Folk Club sessions, a ramble on Dartmoor, Folk church service and Youth Music Session.

The Grand Dart-i-moor Fayre, from 2.15pm to 5pm on Saturday, August 10, will include an afternoon of family entertainment.  It is free for children and £5 for adults.

The Sunday afternoon programme of events, from 2pm to 4.30pm, is similarly priced and will also include a programme of entertainment.

HEADLINE ACTS

Top local and national artists will headline at the festival.

They include Sam Kelly and The Lost Boys (Friday), Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, Sara Grey and Kieron Means, Moirai, The Jellyman’s Daughter, Kirkophany (Saturday) and The Postman Poet Show.

Also appearing will be The Stowes (Sunday), The Dartmoor Pixie Band, the Ramsley Minors, Entertainingly Different and The Pocketwatch Theatre Company, plus more to be confirmed.

The Lost Boys are 2016 Horizon Award winner Sam Kelly, Jamie Francis, Evan Carson, Ciaran Algar, Toby Shaer, Graham Coe, and Archie Moss.

Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar joined forces in 2011. Combining Russell’s powerful vocals and driving guitar style with Algar’s All-Ireland winning fiddle playing, the duo have become one of the most sought after acts on the British folk scene.

In 2013 the pair won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award before going on to win the Horizon Award for best breakthrough act from the same source in 2014. In 2015, they were nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Best Duo category.

Having toured extensively in the UK for five years, as well as in Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands, Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar have released three studio albums.

Scottish duo The Jellyman's Daughter lands squarely in the middle of a strange crossroads between bluegrass, post-rock, folk and soul.

Mixing their unique vocal harmonies with wild and visceral cello, driving guitar and sweet mandolin, Emily and Graham write their songs together with a focus on doing something new.

Various morris and dance teams will also be performing at the festival.

COMPETITIONS

Hotly-contested competitions are the Dartmoor Broom Dance championships and Dartmoor Stepdance Championships.

Dartmoor Broom dancing involves dancing with a broom, or rather over a broom, and is for primary school-aged children.

The Dartmoor Step dance sees dancers step on a 15-inch square board showing the different steps to try and out step the previous dancer, until a final champion is decided upon.  Adult and junior champions will be selected.

Classes to teach both broom dancing and step dancing are held during the festival and anyone is eligible to take part.

ACTION-PACKED PROGRAMME

Alan Quick, press officer for the Dartmoor Folk Festival Association, explained: "It was 42 years ago that the festival was founded by the late Bob Cann, who lived in the parish of South Zeal.  He had the dream of a folk event on his doorstep that would help to revive and preserve the traditions of Dartmoor.

“Mr Cann was awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to folk music, which included founding the festival.

"It was the traditional music, dance, song and crafts of the area that formed the basis for the first festival and they still remain for the association which runs the festival today.

"Since it was founded it has grown and we are able to invite some of the best folk artists around, whilst maintaining the festival's reputation for being a relaxed, friendly and traditional festival.

“An action-packed programme has been arranged and we are looking forward to a great festival.  There will be three days of music, song, dance and crafts.

“Entertainment is arranged for the whole family to enjoy, whether to take part or simply sit and watch.  Most events are very modestly priced and some are totally free, so there is something for everyone.

"The festival is deeply rooted in the heart of the Dartmoor community and is keeping customs and traditions alive."

It will also include a duck race, craft marquee and stalls and refreshments will be available.

A campsite operates (more than 200 pitches last year) and many people attend from across the UK.

For further details, or to buy tickets, visit the website: www.dartmoorfolkfestival.org.uk 

Enquiries can be made by telephoning 01837 840102 or email: enquiries.dartmoorfolk@gmail.com