The full line up for the first Derby Folk Weekender

Mon 22 Jul 2019

The complete line-up for Derby Folk Weekender is now confirmed, featuring concerts from an incredible range of artists.

This year Derby Folk Festival takes a break from its normal format, but the Weekender ensures that a whole host of world-class artists will be performing in the city throughout the weekend. Derby Folk Weekender is jointly produced by Derby LIVE and Derbyshire-based PR Promotions.

The line-up for this year’s Derby Folk Weekender features many exciting acts, stretching across a broad spectrum of folk music, including De Temps Antan, Rachael McShane & The Cartographers, The Willows, Bob Fox, Andy Irvine, Sam Kelly and Ruth Notman and many more spectacular acts.

Kicking the weekend off Rachael McShane & The Cartographers, a stunning trio of musicians, will be lighting up Derby Cathedral in a concert starting at 8pm. Best known as original member of folk big band Bellowhead, singer, cellist, fiddle and viola player Rachael McShane toured internationally with them and won a total of 8 BBC Folk Awards with the band. They are supported for the evening by Fingerstyle guitar virtuoso Steve Hicks and singer songwriter Lynn Goulbourn. 

The Urban Folk Quartet will be taking The Old Bell Hotel by storm at 10:30pm on Friday. With the vibrant and diverse Birmingham music scene as a fundamental influence, UFQ is a truly international band. 

Closing the festivities at Derby Cathedral on Saturday night will be the Canadian wonders De Temps Antan. Éric Beaudry, David Boulanger and Pierre-Luc Dupuis have been exploring and performing time-honoured melodies from the stomping grounds of Quebec’s musical past. Using fiddle, accordion, harmonica, guitar, bouzouki and a number of other instruments, these three virtuosos blend boundless energy with the unmistakable joie de vivre found only in traditional Quebec music.

Attendees can pay just £36 for all four events at Derby Cathedral on Saturday 5 October. The day begins in Derby Cathedral with an all-embracing Scandinavian folk music experience from Kongero, tickets for £10 (£8 under 16s). This is followed by two of the finest singers to come out of the UK folk scene in the last 15 years, Sam Kelly and Ruth Notman. BBC Radio 2 Award winning singer, song-writer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Sam Kelly is joined by Nottingham’s Ruth Notman.  Festival favourite Bob Fox, who never fails to impress, will be entertaining the crowds on Saturday evening, supported in concert by Katie Spencer.

Along with Derby Cathedral, The Old Bell Hotel will be alive with the sounds of folk with four gigs taking place throughout Saturday, all just £6 each. Talented trio Moirai will be first to the stage on Saturday, followed by Kitty Macfarlane. Following their morning at Derby Cathedral, Kongero will be joined, and introduced in the evening by the sensational Barry Coope. Saturday evening at The Old Bell Hotel will end with the festival favourite Winter Wilson in Late Night with Kip & Dave.

There will be three events at The Old Bell Hotel to close the Derby Folk Weekender on Sunday. Tickets for all three events can be purchased for £26 (£20 under 16s). The day will begin with music from Steve Turner, a pioneer of highly sophisticated English concertina song accompaniments in a concert which also features the hugely talented folk singer, Nick Hart

The man considered “a tradition in himself”, Andy Irvine will be next up to delight the folk weekender audience. As one of the great Irish singers, Andy has maintained his highly individual performing skills throughout his over 50-year career. Andy will be supported by BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award nominated Luke Jackson. 

Derby Folk Weekender audiences are in for a treat with the final gig of the weekend from The Willows, with support from Winter Wilson. Bringing together some of the most exciting musicians on the UK folk & roots scene, The Willows blur the boundaries between contemporary song and folk traditions on either side of the Atlantic. The sound is expansive, varied and rich in power - a band equally at home with pin-drop intimacy as they are invigorating foot-stompers. 

Alongside these concerts, there are a range of ways for people to get involved with events. The Guildhall Theatre Clubrooms will be hosting the folk festival’s usual, intimate “folk-club-rooms” style concerts, and a song-workshop from Lester Simpson. These Clubroom events will be open to anyone with any of the concert tickets (subject to available space).  There will also be music sessions in The Old Bell’s Tudor Bar, and some fabulous fringe events through the weekend. Furthest From The Sea will be running a free music stage on the Market Place throughout Saturday and Sunday, whilst Folk 3D will be curating a range of dance sides to brighten the streets, as well as hosting the John Birmingham Cup song competition, in the Dog and Moon. Added into that, is the usual craft fair, with a wide range of gifts and treats on offer, and of course, a terrific Derbyshire welcome!

The full festival line up is available at