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The Breath performing at Manchester Folk Festival in 2023, on a stage under dramatic spotlights.
The Breath performing at Manchester Folk Festival in 2023

Manchester Folk Festival moves to March, 2025

Manchester's finest folk celebration shifts gears for Spring 2025. Early bird wristbands are available until midnight this coming Monday.

The vibrant heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter and Ancoats is set to pulse to the rhythm of folk music once again, as the Manchester Folk Festival announces its eagerly anticipated return for its eighth year. Moving from its traditional October timeline, the festival will now enchant audiences from Thursday 20th to Saturday 22nd March 2025, with plans to hold future festivals in March, making it a springtime staple for music lovers.

This year’s festival promises to be an unforgettable three-day celebration, showcasing the finest folk talent across some of the North’s most iconic music venues, including Band on the Wall, Hallé St Peter’s, Night & Day, The Castle, Hallé at St Michael’s, and New Century Hall. In addition to the musical performances, the festival will continue its role as host for the English Folk Expo, an international showcase bringing together 200 music industry delegates and Manchester’s vibrant audiences.

The first wave of artists for 2025 has been revealed, featuring a mix of seasoned performers and emerging talents. Highlights include The Longest Johns, Katherine Priddy, Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings, Nick Hart and Tom Moore, The Deep Blue, Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne, and Holly Clarke. Festival wristband holders will have the unique opportunity to customize their festival experience, navigating between intimate spaces and main stages to enjoy a selection of over 20 artists each evening.

Manchester Folk Festival offers a unique twist on traditional folk gatherings, swapping campsite mud for the cozy surrounds of Manchester’s Northern Quarter while retaining the spirit of the best greenfield festivals. Attendees can participate in singing and craft workshops, or enjoy traditional singarounds and sessions, all contributing to the festival’s rich tapestry of folk culture.

Band on the Wall will serve as the festival’s bustling hub for the third consecutive year, featuring emerging folk-influenced artists and the return of the popular late-night Festival Club, which sold out in 2023. With further acts and details about international showcasing artists to be announced, the festival is shaping up to be an essential event for folk music enthusiasts.

The festival’s 2025 lineup is a testament to its commitment to showcasing a diverse and eclectic program of folk, roots, and acoustic music. From Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings’ genre-busting mix of folk, Bach, jazz, and pop to The Deep Blue’s hypnotic indie-folk harmonies, there’s something for every taste. Katherine Priddy, a rapidly rising name on the British scene, and social media sensations The Longest Johns are among the acts set to captivate audiences.

In addition to the musical performances, the Manchester Folk Festival and the English Folk Expo are proud to continue their partnership with Keychange, a global network striving for gender equality in the music industry. As the festival prepares for another year of celebrating folk music and culture, it remains a beacon of innovation, inclusivity, and community within the music world.

For those looking to immerse themselves in the heart of Manchester’s folk scene, early bird wristbands are available until midnight on Monday, 25th March, 2024. These wristbands provide access to all the festival gigs, offering a gateway to three days of exceptional live music and cultural exchange.

As Manchester Folk Festival embarks on its new journey in March 2025, it invites music lovers to join in the celebration of folk music’s enduring charm and the vibrant community that surrounds it. With an exciting lineup and a host of activities and workshops, the festival is set to be a highlight of the spring calendar, continuing to bring the folk spirit to the heart of Manchester.

For more on Manchester Folk Festival, including wristband purchases, head to: manchesterfolk.com