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Northgate Folk Festival

May 23 @ 12:00 pm - August 26 @ 10:00 pm BST

£14 – £16

The Choir of Outsiders presents the Northgate Folk Festival, an experimental and contemporary folk all-dayer set in the heart of Chester. Nestled within Chester’s ancient Roman City Walls, this new event aims to celebrate the peculiar and wonderful traditional talent of the British Isles.

The headliner for the festival is Brìghde Chaimbeul, a leading purveyor of experimental Celtic music and a Scottish smallpipes player. Brìghde’s mesmerizing piping skills have earned her recognition, including a BBC Young Folk Award and a BBC Horizon Award. She has also been featured on Caroline Polachek’s groundbreaking album, Desire, I Want to Turn Into You.

Brìghde’s sophomore album, Carry Them With Us, is a captivating blend of rich textural drones, trance atmospheres, and instrumental folk traditions. The album features renowned Canadian saxophonist Colin Stetson, known for his work with Arcade Fire and Bon Iver. Her debut album, The Reeling, received widespread acclaim and was named Folk Album of the Month by The Guardian, who described it as, “simultaneously ancient and modern, profound and direct,” garnering five-star reviews across the board.

The Shovel Dance Collective, a progressive folk nine-piece, explores proto-feminist narratives and queer histories in their interpretation of traditional music. They boldly amplify the voices of the working people and are considered a leading force in the new generation of politically conscious traditional folk singers. Their most recent record was hailed as, “one of the best albums of 2022, if not the last five years”, by Tradfolk.

The festival is also thrilled to feature The Gentle Good, one of the foremost songwriters in Wales. This captivating soloist will be joined by the multi-talented Toria Wooff, a breakout act from the North West, as well as the highly idiosyncratic and hypnotic banjo player Jacken Elswyth, the velveteen-voiced singer-songwriter Calum Gilligan, Lancashire broadside ballad singer Jennifer Reid, who is also an actor in Shane Meadows’ new BBC series, The Gallows Pole, and many more talented artists.

In addition to the musical performances, festivalgoers can expect appearances by local Morris dancers and music from Bobby Lee, who will be performing in the afternoon and taking on DJ duties throughout the day.

Full line-up

  • Brìghde Chaimbeul
  • Shovel Dance Collective
  • The Gentle Good
  • Toria Wooff
  • Jacken Elswyth
  • Calum Gilligan
  • Bobby Lee
  • Jennifer Reid
  • Milkweed
  • Robbie Caswell-jones

The Poster for Northgate Folk Festival


May 23 @ 12:00 pm BST
August 26 @ 10:00 pm BST
£14 – £16
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Rufus Court
Chester, CH1 2JW United Kingdom
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