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Monday, 22 April 2019

Folk RootsHebden Bridge Folk Roots Festival 2019

Hebden Folk Roots Festival takes place over the weekend of 10th, 11th and 12th May 2019.

Now in its fifth year, the Festival is set against the backdrop of the stunning Calder Valley here in Hebden Bridge and has evolved into a well attended event in the Folk Roots calendar, attracting people from across the country to experience a unique festival, lovingly created by local musicians and folk music enthusiasts.


Merry Hell

This year’s festival starts with Medieval trance band, Tritor, who specialise in vocal harmonies, hurdy gurdy and didgeridoo, transporting you back in time to the roots of all written music. 

They are supporting the main band, Merry Hell, an English folk band from Wigan who are also influenced by old folk music traditions:

"Our art is energy and our hope is unity. Our pleasure is to please."

Over at the Old Gate. Rakish Paddy will be performing traditional Irish music and at St. James Church there will be a beautiful evening of choral singing with 7 choirs coming together, they include; Four Horsemen, Calder Valley Voices, Remingtons, Zarebi and Coritsa, plus The Cube Choir and Melody Belles.  This is organised by Dawn France who says, “This is an evening of song, bringing all the choirs together. It is really nice to hear all the choirs in one space, showcasing brilliant talent in the valley. We have a pop up bar from the Fox and Goose and it is going to be a beautiful evening.”

World music

There will be music from all corners of the world – from Americana, Blues, traditional folk, Klezmer and Jazz to Indian music and dance. Connecting us to different cultures, world music is always an important ingredient in this diverse festival.

Annapurna is a trained teacher, storyteller and Bharatanatyam dancer who shares her Indian stories and ancient dance forms across the UK.

"We at Annapurna are very much looking forward to sharing our vibrant Indian folk dances with people at the Hebden Bridge Folk Roots Festival on 12th May. Our aim is to make our dances accessible and enjoyable for all and bring people together." Shantha Rao (Artistic Director)


The 309s

Saturday at The Trades Club is the big Americana and Bluegrass day with the 309s, Cajun Aces, Howlin’ Johnny and the Devil’s Rejects performing in the evening and in the afternoon, swing band, Cobalt Tales,  Redwood River Band, Phil Dirt and the Heavy Machines and the David Broad Trio. 

Over at the Hope Baptist Chapel in the afternoon is Lunchtime Live featuring young, up and coming folk musicians – Henry Parker, Katie Spencer, Jack Parker, a real life Druid and musician, James Turner, plus Calder Youth Folk will be making their debut performances on the day. 

Michele Stodart

Michele Stodart

Kathryn Williams

Kathryn Williams

Joint headliners at Hope Baptist Chapel will be Michele Stodart (Mercury prize nominated ‘The Magic Numbers’) and Kathryn Williams along with Keith Donnelly. The Magic Numbers released their fifth album in 2018 to great critical acclaim and in 2012,  Michele released her solo album, Wide-Eyed crossing, a journey into American southern country blues. She is set to record an album with Kathryn Williams – known for her honest song writing, inspired by the greats, from Nick Drake to Joni Mitchell. Kathryn’s music goes from dusty Americana to playful jazz re-workings and so much more besides. Come along and immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of the Hope Baptist Chapel on Saturday Evening. 


Dancers in the Square


Street entertainers, Old Time Rags, will be wowing the crowds around town with their high energy skiffle, tap, all singing all dancing shows and there will be maypole dancing for the youngsters. There will be a Children's concert with Keith Donnelly on the Saturday, Drum circle with Filo at 4pm on Saturday and Sunday, all at The Town Hall. 

Kimbers Men

The Old Gate has an array of talent, local folk bands include; The Landlubbers, Rakish Paddy, Ghost School, Washboard Resonators and Kimber’s Men (featured on TV- Sunday Brunch) to entertain you all evening. (This is a non-ticketed event).

The Square

St. Georges Square will be over run with folk dancing from far and wide on Saturday and Sunday, including Hornbeam Molly, The Bacup Coconutters, The Hebden Bridge Hill Millies, Royal Preston Morris, Malkin Morris, Theiving Magpies, Buttercross Belles and bellydancers, the 400 Roses. 

'Town Folk' will be performing in the local bars, pubs and cafés and it is a major part of the festival – walk in any direction and you will discover talented local musicians around every corner. Curator and organiser of Town Folk, Brian Toberman has put together a fantastic line up of local performers in several venues around the town. Brian Says "Town Folk is a celebration of Hebden Bridge's vibrant and varied talent of folk, acoustic and roots music scene. There will be performers in the pubs and venues across the town singing their hearts out for the Hebden Folk Roots Community.

There are plenty of sessions for visiting musicians at the Fox and Goose and you can book your own gig at Drink?

This is going to be a festival to remember so don't miss out and come along. Performers include; Reggie and the Krayfish, Vision Thing, Shabby Cats, Outside the Box, String Thing, RockSalt Acoustic, Swing Cats, Famous Slippermen plus lots more... Debbie Collinge from The Albert has been supporting 'Town Folk' and has an wonderful line up including Chris Manley, on the Friday evening.

On Saturday there is Jamie Marshall, Ashton Taylor, Darren Jackson in Echos and Andy Mac, plus on the Sunday, James Bragg, Graeme Cox, Tony Holden and lots more. Molly and Joe Tilston at The White Lion on the Saturday evening, Jacky's Fantastic at The Railway on Saturday Afternoon.

Storytelling and poetry

There will be storytelling, music and poetry on Sunday Afternoon at The White Lion with Storyteller,  David Nixon who will be performing 'A Day at the Races', meet Titus Freelove (Titty to his friends), former racing pundit turned poet and all round fop, 'rebel without prose', Keiron Higgins, poet Socs Blakely, musical politico's-folk comedy musician, Isaac Hughes Dennis, plus many more...(open spots are available for anyone who wants to join in.) 

Sunday afternoon at The Trades Club is dedicated to ‘Freak Roots’, a firm favourite of the Folk Roots Festival with an eclectic mix of music from Fez, Cat’s Cradle, Creedy and the Colour, Doggerland and more special guests.. 

Town Folk carries on with a varied programme of events around the town in café-bars and pubs such as Old Gate,  The White Swan, The Albert, The Shoulder of Mutton, The White Lion, The Albert, Nelsons, Drink? the Fox and Goose and the Town Hall, who will be hosting live music and sessions. 

Emerging talent to close

Closing the festival at The Trades Club on Sunday evening will be emerging talent, Birds and Beasts, Red Hippo and to finish off a Klezmer, gypsy jazz experience with Manouche North.

To find out more and to buy your ticket go to www.hebdenfolkroots.org