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Edgelarks at FolkEast Festival, 2022, playing on a stage in front of a large crowd.
Edgelarks at FolkEast, 2022

FolkEast Schedule 2023: Selected Highlights

A selection of highlights from the FolkEast Schedule for 2023, picked by the team at Tradfolk. Scroll through when you're at the festival and keep yourself updated.

FolkEast Festival Logo
Tradfolk is delighted to be heading to FolkEast this year as official media partners. This article is part of a series of articles that we'll be producing in the run-up to, and during, the 2023 events.

FolkEast 2023 is fast approaching, and the anticipation is building for what promises to be an unforgettable celebration of folk culture in the picturesque Suffolk countryside. This year’s event is brimming with a diverse lineup of artists, workshops, and activities that honor the rich heritage of folk while embracing contemporary interpretations.

From renowned international musicians to local artisans, engaging talks to hands-on workshops, FolkEast 2023 is set to be a feast for the senses. Whether you’re a seasoned folk aficionado or exploring this vibrant world for the first time, our guide will help you navigate the festival’s myriad delights, ensuring you don’t miss a beat. Join us as we delve into the heart of FolkEast and uncover the gems that await you this year!

What you’ll find in this article…

What we’re looking forward to

There’s a lot to choose from, but how about these highlights for starters? Note that we’ve not included ceilidhs and dance events… yet. Watch this space.

Friday

Bannister & Boss, together at last

Boss Morris dancing Matthew Bannister onto the site, following his Big Walk for charity, ready to kickstart the festival proper. (Friday, 12:30pm, Sunset Stage).

Filkin’s Ensemble

It has been a while since we’ve seen a mahoosive folk ensemble on festival stages. Filkin’s Ensemble are keen to fill that gap, and their ‘Arthur McBride’ video last year was exquisite. (Friday, 4:50pm-5pm, Sunset Stage)

Ímar

If it’s upbeat, late-night craziness you’re after, this year’s version of last year’s Talisk gig is Ímar, featuring big beats and the frenzy-fingered virtuosity of Mohsen Amini. (Friday, 7:10pm, Sunset Stage)

Magpie Arc

Martin Simpson goes full Jimmy Page in this huge-sounding folk-rock band fronted by the brilliant Nancy Kerr on vocals. Devil horns at the ready 🤘 (Friday, 9:40pm, Sunset Stage)

Jackie Oates & Jon Wilks

This relatively new duo features songs from Jackie’s storied career, arranged for fiddle, acoustic guitar and occasional close harmonies. (Friday, 3:40pm, Moot Hall Stage)

Sam Sweeney Band

Sam’s latest album, Escape That, was one of the biggest sellers on the folk scene last year. Featuring the genius of Louis Campbell on guitar, it’s a show to be reckoned with. (Friday, 8:20pm, Moot Hall Stage)

Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith

We don’t get to see these two folkies playing together all that much these days, but doing so is like getting a warm hug from old friends. (Friday, 5:20pm, The Stage on the Far Side of the Woods)

Bonfire Radicals

BonRads rock! Birmingham’s finest folk fusion band are an explosion of glitter and sound. The perfect Friday night fun-time band to get you in the mood for the weekend. (Friday, 11:10pm, The Stage on the Far Side of the Woods)

Saturday

John Smith & Katherine Priddy

John Smith and Katherine Priddy have united for a musical collaboration after a chance meeting. Smith’s renowned guitar skills complement Priddy’s rising fame, offering a blend of rich harmonies and melodies. (Saturday, 4:50pm, Sunset Stage)

Ellie Gowers

A great singer-songwriter, skilled fingerpicker and fantastic singer, Ellie Gowers seems to be going places. Catch her mix of original and traditional songs in this delightful afternoon set. (Saturday, 1:35pm, Moot Hall Stage)

The Young’uns Podcast

A veritable FolkEast tradition, the Young’uns Podcast is a bit of light relief to mark the midway point in the weekend. Rarely anything less than side-splittingly funny. (Saturday, 3:40pm, Moot Hall Stage)

Martin Simpson

The fleet-fingered guitar whizz swaps his electric for his trusty acoustic as he steps down from the Magpie Arc stage and back into more familiar territory. (Saturday, 6pm, Moot Hall Stage)

Kathryn Tickell & the Darkening

Exploring the connecting threads of music, landscape and people, the Darkening’s songs range from themes of freedom, nature and venturing out into the world after times of darkness, to a Roman inscription with links to Libya and Syria magnetically pulled into the 21st century by Amen-inspired breakbeats, ominous vocals and the wildest of piping… (Saturday, 8:20pm, Moot Hall Stage)

The Sartin Singaround

Paul Sartin leading a singaround at FolkEast, 2022
The late, great Paul Sartin leading a singaround at FolkEast, 2022. Photo credit: Jon Nice

Organised by Tradfolk editor, Jon Wilks, along with Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith, this singaround/session began last year and instantly became a favourite event of the late, great Paul Sartin. We’ll be raising a glass to him and celebrating his love of traditional tunes and songs until the early hours. (Saturday, 9:30pm, The Hopp Inn)

Cohen Braithwaite Kilcoyne

One of the country’s finest squeezebox players and a great singer to boot. Stepping away from his Granny’s Attic setup, this is a great chance to see Cohen solo. (Saturday, 4pm, Stage on the Far Side of the Woods)

Norfolk Broads

One of the best a cappella groups on the scene at the moment, the Norfolk Broads use old songs to fuel new takes on the lives of women both past and present. (Saturday, 5:20pm, Stage on the Far Side of the Woods)

Burd Ellen

Burd Ellen, the innovative musical project featuring Debbie Armour and Gayle Brogan, invites you into a world where dark landscapes and deep stories are brought to life through traditional song. (Saturday, 6:50pm, Stage on the Far Side of the Woods)

Sunday

Hack-Poets Guild

Lisa Knapp, Marry Waterson and Nathaniel Mann bring their hit album and tour to the FolkEast stage. One of the highlights of the folk scene in 2023. (Sunday, 2:30pm, Sunset Stage)

Lady Maisery

Frequent festival headliners, Hazel Askew, Hannah James and Rowan Rheingans bring their incredible blend of harmony and invention. A must-see. (Sunday, 4:50pm, Sunset Stage)

The Young’Uns

Festival patrons, Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes, kickstart the last night of the festival, just as the sun goes down behind the Sunset Stage. (Sunday, 7:10pm, Sunset Stage)

Peter Knight , John Spiers & Raynor Winn

The Saltlines tour and album has been a huge highlight of the folk scene over the last year or so. Catch this paired-down version at Moot Hall on Sunday. (Sunday, 3:40pm, Moot Hall Stage)

Tamsin Elliott & Tarek Elazhary

One of the best performances at this year’s Sidmouth Folk Festival, Tamsin and Tarek explore the traditional sounds of their native countries, England and Egypt. Absolutely mesmerizing. An absolute must-see. (Sunday, 6pm, Moot Hall Stage)

The Tradfolk Takeover

Yes, we’re taking over the Stage on the Far Side of the Woods for most of Sunday afternoon and evening! Featuring performances from some of our favourite musicians on the traditional folk scene at the moment: Patakas, Sam Baxter, Frankie Archer, Cynefin, Jennifer Reid, Angeline Morrison and Nick Hart. Join us for an afternoon of brilliant traditional music from some of the best artists performing it. (Sunday, 1:45pm to 10:45pm, Stage on the Far Side of the Woods)

Selected programme listings

Simply scroll through the events list below. Clicking on each one will take you to a new page with further information on that particular performance. Please note that this version of the FolkEast schedule and timetable is current at the time of writing. Changes may take place. It is also only a selection of events. Look out for the festival’s own Pocket Guidebook, on sale at the gate, for the full programme.

Fairport Convention At Drill Hall, Lincoln

The Drill Free School Ln, Lincoln, United Kingdom

Fairport Convention have been entertaining music lovers for over half a century, having formed in 1967. During that time the band that launched British folk-rock has seen many changes, but one thing has remained the same - Fairport’s passion for performance.

£27

Fairport Convention At Stockton ARC

Stockton Arc Dovecot St,, Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom

Fairport Convention have been entertaining music lovers for over half a century, having formed in 1967. During that time the band that launched British folk-rock has seen many changes, but one thing has remained the same - Fairport’s passion for performance.

£28

Bird in the Belly At Rosslyn Court, Margate

Rosslyn Court 62 Sweyn Road, Margate, United Kingdom

Bird in the Belly is a Brighton-based Folk group consisting of folk-duo Hickory Signals (Laura Ward and Adam Ronchetti), alt-folk singer-songwriter Ben Webb (Jinnwoo, Green Ribbons), and multi-instrumentalist and producer Tom Pryor. Together they collect little known and forgotten lyrics, poems and stories from around the UK, and set them to their own “hypnotically original compositions” (fRoots).. Their sound is raw and bare-boned with “distinctively contemporary and earthy vocalising” (R2 Magazine) – and harks back to the 1960’s Folk Revival […]

Fairport Convention At The Fire Station, Sunderland

The Fire Station Sunderland, United Kingdom

Fairport Convention have been entertaining music lovers for over half a century, having formed in 1967. During that time the band that launched British folk-rock has seen many changes, but one thing has remained the same - Fairport’s passion for performance.

£22

Fairport Convention At Harrogate Theatre

Harrogate theatre 6 Oxford St,, Harrogate

Fairport Convention have been entertaining music lovers for over half a century, having formed in 1967. During that time the band that launched British folk-rock has seen many changes, but one thing has remained the same - Fairport’s passion for performance.

£29

Fairport Convention At The Grand Pavilion, Matlock Bath

The Grand Pavillion S Parade,, Matlock, United Kingdom

Fairport Convention have been entertaining music lovers for over half a century, having formed in 1967. During that time the band that launched British folk-rock has seen many changes, but one thing has remained the same - Fairport’s passion for performance.

£30

Rachael McShane & The Cartographers At Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre

Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre Riverhouse Barn Art Centre, Walton on Thames, United Kingdom

Rachael McShane is a renowned folk singer, cellist, fiddle and viola player from the North East of England. She gained fame as an original member of the award-winning folk big band Bellowhead, touring with them extensively and making a number of television appearances. The band recorded five studio albums and, together, they won a staggering total of 8 BBC Folk Awards. Parting ways in 2016, the band returned in 2022 for a series of ecstatically

£15

Fairport Convention At Stratford Play House

Stratford Play House 14 Rother St,, Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Fairport Convention have been entertaining music lovers for over half a century, having formed in 1967. During that time the band that launched British folk-rock has seen many changes, but one thing has remained the same - Fairport’s passion for performance.

£30

Fairport Convention At William Aston Hall, Wrexham

William Aston Hall Mold Rd,, Wrexham, United Kingdom

Fairport Convention have been entertaining music lovers for over half a century, having formed in 1967. During that time the band that launched British folk-rock has seen many changes, but one thing has remained the same - Fairport’s passion for performance.

£30
Recurring

Tale Valley Sessions At The Nog Inn, Feniton

The Nog Inn The Nog Inn, Feniton, United Kingdom

"A warm welcome for players, singers, & listeners. We play folk music from Devon, UK, & beyond. Join us each month for traditional music at our friendly, local, East Devon pubs. To join us on Facebook for updates search 'Tale Valley Sessions'."

Bryony Griffith & Alice Jones At Deal Folk Club, Kent

Deal Folk Club St. Andrews Church Hall in West Street,, Deal, United Kingdom

Bryony Griffith & Alice Jones are established solo artists at the heart of the UK folk scene. Together, they have become a force for the Yorkshire Tradition, united by a mutual passion for the traditional folk song and tune collections of their native county.

£8

Fairport Convention At Theatre Brycheinog, Brecon

Theatre Brycheinog Canal Wharf,, Brecon, United Kingdom

Fairport Convention have been entertaining music lovers for over half a century, having formed in 1967. During that time the band that launched British folk-rock has seen many changes, but one thing has remained the same - Fairport’s passion for performance.

£30

Fairport Convention At Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury

Roses Theatre Sun St,, Tewkesbury, United Kingdom

Fairport Convention have been entertaining music lovers for over half a century, having formed in 1967. During that time the band that launched British folk-rock has seen many changes, but one thing has remained the same - Fairport’s passion for performance.

£31

Fairport Convention At Union Chapel, London

Union Chapel 19b Compton Terrace,, London, United Kingdom

Fairport Convention have been entertaining music lovers for over half a century, having formed in 1967. During that time the band that launched British folk-rock has seen many changes, but one thing has remained the same - Fairport’s passion for performance.

£36

Fairport Convention At Dudley Town Hall

Dudley Town Hall St James's Rd,, Dudley

Fairport Convention have been entertaining music lovers for over half a century, having formed in 1967. During that time the band that launched British folk-rock has seen many changes, but one thing has remained the same - Fairport’s passion for performance.

£30
How big is FolkEast?

FolkEast currently welcomes around 3,500 visitors per day, although John – who had previously worked on big events, including Knebworth Festival – says he’d like to grow it and then cap it at 6,500 so that it retains its personal feel. This year it will have four main stages, as well as all the usual workshops, eateries, camping and shenanigans.

When is FolkEast 2023?

The festival will run from the 18th to the 20th of August, although anyone getting there earlier (on the 17th) gets to see the Sam Kelly Trio, the John Ward Trio and the Stumpy Oak Ceilidh.