Holmfirth’s 2018 Festival of Folk promises more than 50 live music acts in pubs and concert venues from May 11 to 13.
The weekend of indoor gigs and outdoor events, many of which are free, will feature everything from local and international musical talent to Morris, maypole and clog dancing. There’s are also ceilidhs, a grand procession through Holmfirth and a programme of activities for children and young people.
Festival chairman, Alex Bywaters, said: “I think this is one of the best and most varied line-ups we’ve had, with something for everyone.”
Among the festival’s headline acts are Norwegian band Kaladra, who open the festival on Friday, May 11, with Holme Valley-based singer/songwriter Rob Sharp. The Parish Church concert is one of five ticketed gigs. On Saturday, Brighouse singer/songwriter Roger Davies, a long-term festival supporter, is offering folk lovers the chance to hear songs from his band’s new album. And Sunday sees Flossie Malavialle, a French-born musician and singer of folk, jazz and blues, perform at Holmfirth Civic Hall with Keith Donnolly.
One of the highlights of the festival is the procession of musicians and dancers on Saturday afternoon, leaving Holmfirth Memorial Gardens at 3.30pm and arriving at the Victoria Park just after 4pm. The parade will travel down Memorial Gardens, Station Road, Town Gate, Hollowgate, Toll House Bridge, Woodhead Road and Cooper Lane to Victoria Park, where dancers, both traditional and non-traditional will entertain the crowds. More than 20 dance sides are taking part in the festival.
There’s been a folk festival in Holmfirth for three decades and this is the 13th event run by the current organisers. The festival is a non profit-making concern and run by volunteer stewards and helpers. “We need to sell tickets to cover costs,” explained Alex. “So we hoped people will support us by doing this. There are a number of free events and while they’re free to attend they’re not free to put on.” Local businesses supporting the festival will be displaying a sticker in their windows.
A number of bands appearing this year have been invited back after proving popular at previous festivals. And, for the first time, the organisers have teamed up with Marsh Blues Club to host an evening of music with The Rusty Nails, The 844s and Flock of 3 at the civic hall.
There are two ceilidhs, one for families at 2pm on Sunday, May 13, at Holmfirth Methodist Church, and a Saturday evening dance at the civic hall, with music by Powerhouse – a new ceilidh band that combines traditional tunes with rock and pop.
For details of ticket sales and gig times visit holmfirthfestivaloffolk.co.uk or their Facebook page.
The festival is still looking for stewards and helpers. Anyone interested should apply online through the website.
Tickets are also available from The Nook pub and Holmfirth Tourist Information Centre.