First acts announced for Derby's 12th Folk Festival

Derby Folk Festival logo

Wed 31 Jan 2018

Derby Folk Festival returns in 2018 for its twelfth year, right in the centre of Derby. Following the fantastic success of last year’s “best ever festival”, which was enjoyed by thousands, Derby LIVE is pleased to confirm that the twelfth Derby Folk Festival will take place from Thursday 4 to Sunday 7 October 2018. 

The last Derby Folk Festival which took place in October 2017 reached more people than ever before, with record ticket sales for the event. Visitors came from across the country including Exeter, Leeds, Chester and Oxford, demonstrating the benefits of continuing to make Derby a vibrant place to visit.

This year, as well as the full weekend, Derby Folk Festival will also include a great evening concert on Thursday 4 October. Kicking the evening off and setting the mood for the night will be the amazing Zulu Tradition. From KwaZulu Natal to the world's stage, rekindling the spark of Zulu culture and heritage through traditional drama, song and dance. Let the singing, dancing and nostalgia take hold and pretend you’re basking under the hot summer sun in Zimbabwe. Then led by the legendary Leeds-based troubadour Gary Stewart (Gary Stewart Band / Hope and Social) and backed his incredible 7-piece band, this spectacular group of musicians come together to recreate Paul Simon’s landmark Graceland album in all its glory.

Many exciting headlining acts have already been confirmed for a variety of venues in Derby’s Cathedral Quarter and with more still artists to be announced preparations are moving at a pace. Derby Folk Festival is jointly produced by Derby City Council’s Derby LIVE and Derbyshire-based PR Promotions.

Confirmed headline acts represent a broad spectrum of folk music, including Eliza Carthy and the Wayward Band, Lucy Ward Band, John Tams and Barry Coope, Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys and Daoirí Farrell Trio.

A fantastic set of venues throughout the Cathedral Quarter will continue to provide the perfect backdrop for the festival, including the rustic Old Bell Hotel, the City Marquee on the Market Place, Derby Cathedral and the Guildhall Theatre.

The festival will also include a host of free fringe events, dance acts, workshops and sessions, as well as an Arts and Craft Fair. These free events will be taking place in Derby City Centre, spreading the festival’s intoxicating atmosphere throughout the city and making sure the festival is available to everyone.

Councillor Amo Raju, Cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism said: “Derby Folk Festival is one of the highlights of Derby’s thriving cultural calendar and hosting such a prominent festival contributes toward securing a strong future for the city, with visitors coming from across the UK and indeed the world. The twelfth Derby Folk Festival is set to be the best yet with fantastic venues, exciting acts, and entertainment for all with much more to be announced in the coming months.”

With the whole festival programme taking place in and around the city, it is perfectly placed for those arriving by either bus or train. Festival tickets are available and can be purchased through the Derby LIVE Box Office on 01332 255800 or online. They can also be purchased at the Sales and Information Centre, Derby, DE1 3AH.

Early bird offers are now available for those who book weekend tickets before 30 April 2018 at a discounted rate of £80. Tickets for the whole weekend are £90 (adult), £50 (Students) and £20 (under 16’s) and are on sale now. Weekend tickets allow access to all events throughout Friday 5 to Sunday 7 October, with the Thursday 4 October evening concert being an add-on event (open to all, but at a special price to weekend ticket holders). Tickets to the concert on Thursday can be added to Derby Folk Festival Weekend tickets for just £10 (once you have logged in with your account after you have purchased the weekend ticket, the discount will apply automatically). Day and Evening tickets for those who can’t make the full weekend will be available to book online from 21 April 2018.

Find out more at and keep up to date with the latest festival announcements on twitter and facebook.

Festival attenders can find out all of the latest accommodation information at where a range of hotels are available for all budgets and group sizes.