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The sun sets over the food stalls and beer tents at FolkEast Festival, 2022

Combining Tradition with Innovation: FolkEast 2024’s first lineup announcement

As ever, this year's FolkEast looks truly special. If you've not experienced the delights of East England's finest folk festival, get involved immediately. You won't regret it.

Nestled in the heart of Suffolk, amidst the historical charm of Glemham Hall Estate, FolkEast festival prepares to unveil its magic from August 15-18, 2024. Celebrated for its unique blend of tradition and innovation, FolkEast has become a cornerstone of the British folk scene, drawing audiences and artists alike to its eclectic stages. This year, as the festival marks its 12th anniversary, it promises an even more vibrant tapestry of music and culture, featuring a mix of vintage legends and the brightest new talents from across the folk landscape.

With the months quickly counting down, the FolkEast team have revealed a portion of the lineup for 2024. More artists will be announced in due course, but for now… get a load of this.

The multinational Track Dogs open the festival on the Thursday night

Opening the festival with a burst of energy will be Track Dogs, a dynamic quartet comprising two Irishmen, an Englishman, and an American. Their infectious fusion of folk, Latino, Americana, and roots music promises to set the tone for a memorable weekend. The festival’s commitment to showcasing diverse musical genres is further highlighted by the inclusion of the Kris Drever Band, Granny’s Attic, and the much-anticipated FolkEast premiere of a new suite of songs and spoken word commemorating the Peterloo Massacre by Sean Cooney and Sam Carter.

FolkEast’s reputation as one of the UK’s favorite folk festivals is not unfounded. Critics and attendees alike praise its unique atmosphere, rooted in a passionate salute to Suffolk and its surroundings. The festival’s ability to blend friendliness with quirkiness, all while hosting an array of talent across its five stages, sets it apart from the myriad of festivals dotting the summer calendar. “Always one of the best and most interesting line-ups of the year and such a unique place to hang out,” says Bellowheaded fiddler, Sam Sweeney. “Brilliant food, wonderful beer, gorgeous site, and some amazing artists.”

Jim Moray sits on the steps of Abbey Road Studios wearing a red Harrington jacket, blue jeans and playing an Atkin acoustic guitar.
Jim Moray, performing with his band on Saturday

The lineup for FolkEast 2024 spans the spectrum of folk music, from the traditional sounds of Martin Carthy in his new partnership with Jon Wilks, to the innovative stylings of Jim Moray and Fay Hield, who are set to enchant audiences with their respective bands. Saturday’s lineup also introduces Windjammer, a trio known for their original, genre-bending arrangements, and cellist-singer Sarah Smout, whose music speaks to the soul with its deep roots in nature and place.

Fay Hield stares into the camera. She is holding the neck of a five-string banjo.
Fay Hield will be performing on the Saturday with her band

As the festival progresses into Sunday, attendees can look forward to performances by the Angeline Morrison Band, whose work delves into wyrd folk and the supernatural, and the Melrose Quartet, known for their exquisite harmonies. The day will also feature Rag Mama Rag, bringing a taste of country blues to Suffolk, alongside returning favorites such as the Gigspanner Big Band, Honey and The Bear, and King Driscolls.

A still from the Angeline Morrison of the Brown Girl, in which she sits in the grass alongside a Cornish road, wearing her hair in a bun on top of her head.
Angeline Morrison takes the stage on the Sunday with her band

FolkEast not only celebrates music but also community and tradition. Its dance tent will offer a European flair with performances by BOF!, Topette!!, and Blowzabella, showcasing French, Breton, and English folk music. And, of course, the Tradfolk team will be back, programming the Tradfolk Stage that features some of our favourite artists, all of whom you read about regularly on these pages. More on that in the weeks to come.

The folk singer Nick Hart performing in a purple light on a stage in a tent at FolkEast festival, 2023.
Nick Hart performing on the Tradfolk Stage at FolkEast, 2023

The festival’s atmosphere is amplified by its picturesque setting, family-friendly ethos, and the warmth of its community, making it a must-visit destination for anyone passionate about folk music and culture. With early bird tickets already sold out, the festival has opened advance weekend ticket sales, offering a range of options to accommodate everyone from solo adventurers to families. As always, FolkEast continues its tradition of free admission for children under 11, ensuring that the festival remains accessible to all ages.

As FolkEast 2024 approaches, the excitement builds for what promises to be an unforgettable celebration of folk music and community. Whether you’re a long-time folk enthusiast or new to the scene, FolkEast offers a welcoming space to explore, enjoy, and connect with the rich tapestry of music and culture that defines the folk tradition. Join the gang at Glemham Hall Estate this August for a festival experience that promises to uplift the soul and celebrate the enduring spirit of folk music.

Tickets are on sale now via the FolkEast website: folkeast.co.uk