Ah, the lilting tones of of the Finger-in-Your-Ear Warbler; the jingle of the Morris bells; the clash of the knobbly Goth stick dancers. It can only be the start of summer and my absolute favourite English music festival, the Beverley Folk Festival.
Folk music…? I hear you say. There’s a question in your voice, you know there is. But you know what – it’s time to broaden your mind. Let the folk in. Feel the folk.
Let the folk in. Feel the folk
What it really comes down to is – a fabulous three-day music and arts bash in a gorgeous, honey-toned East Yorkshire market town, held every year just before the summer solstice. Traditional troubadors, contemporary folkies, stomping Americana, Celtic fiddlers, mountain music, jumping ensembles, belting blues bands, visionary poets, sweet soul voices and folk superstars – all make their way to the dinky festival village just outside town on the racecourse.
I love it, and now I go every year – the first year almost by accident, the second year because I thought I’d make a video about such a cool festival, and this year because they saw my 2016 festival video and invited me back to make another one. Which is very cool indeed, as far as I’m concerned.
What’s great about it? It’s certainly not big and starry like the better-known Cambridge or Shrewsbury folk festivals, but there is family friendly camping and a laidback village vibe, and the undoubted delights of Beverley itself are only a 15-minute walk away.
I like that you see the same traders and food stalls there most years (shout out to the no-electricity artisan coffee guy), while the afternoon ‘Moonbeam’ sessions in a haybale tent have turned into some of the most unusual, exciting, intimate gigs I’ve ever been to. You want a pirate trombonist, or rollicking sea shanties, or dirty swamp slide blues? I think the real question is, why wouldn’t you?
So I’ll be there next year, come what may, and if you’re looking for a gentle introduction to what’s great about England, you could do a whole lot worse than pitching up yourself too.
Come say hello – I’m the one doing all the filming – and who knows, you may even make it into the next video! (Learn to juggle, that’s my tip. Or get yourself some jingly bells. I’ll leave the exact details up to you.)
Beverley Folk Festival – 2018 festival dates are 15 to 17 June
And while you’re here, check out the 2016 festival video: