Billy Bragg will headline the hugely popular Warwick Folk Festival which returns for its milestone 40th spectacular year from Thursday 25 - Sunday 28 July at Warwick School and the surrounding town. The successful family friendly festival will bring together other leading names from around the world including Skerryvore, Karan Casey, Calan, Will Pound & Eddy Jay, Breabach, O'Hooley & Tidow and Nancy Kerr for a 4-day music and dance extravaganza. The Festival has something for everyone from dedicated folk fans to music lovers and covers a wide range of tastes and styles including blues, rock, country and funk.
Visitors can enjoy a full programme of energetic ceilidhs, concerts, singarounds, dance, intimate acoustic performances or full on gigs. Soak up the atmosphere, sit in the beer tent, join in with the sessions, shop in the craft stalls, learn a new skill, taste street food, or simply relax with friends in the wine and cocktail bar. Generations can spend time together and enjoy a host of performers and entertainment for families plus a full programme of activities for 12 - 18 year olds. In the town centre there will be a vast array of colourful dance displays, pub music sessions and open air concerts.
Billy Bragg will perform on the Thursday in the main marquee. Billy has been a fearless recording artist, tireless live performer and peerless political campaigner for over 35 years. Honoured with the PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music award at the Ivor Novello awards in 2018, he is regarded as a valuable statesman. Billy will be supported by 'hypnotically original' new folk collective Bird in the Belly. Singers should seek out the Big Sing, and for the party animals, Spa Strummers return to their late night slot in the festival bar. Mick Ryan's Folk Opera 'Here at the Fair' will delight all with a strong cast of folk favourites.
On the Friday Ceilidhs get underway with Random and Urban Folk Theory, plus Skerryvore will get everyone on their feet. Festival patron Will Pound brings his harmonica skills to duet with Eddy Jay's masterful accordion. Trials of Cato return after wowing audiences last year: "one of the real discoveries on the folk circuit in recent times." Mark Radcliffe, BBC Folk Show.
On Saturday audiences can listen to the award-winning Scottish sounds from Breabach, celtic bluegrass with Bella, Polly and the Magpies, 'brave and beautiful' song from O'Hooley & Tidow, tender love tales and impressive virtuosic guitar playing from critically acclaimed Blair Dunlop, and high energy ceilidh with Tautas Roks and the inimitable folk heavy metallers Glorystrokes.
On the Sunday there will be infectious rhythms from Welsh Calan, a rare chance to hear one of the most innovative voices of the Irish tradition: Karan Casey, the brilliant Banter, reinvented global sounds with Kabantu, the hilarious Bar Steward Son's of Val Doonican and, who knows what Keith Donnelly might have planned after 2018's Songs of Abba!
Dick Dixon, Festival Director said, "We are delighted to be celebrating our special 40th year and want everyone to come and enjoy that special Warwick Folk Festival magic. We have something for everyone, whether it's great music, camping, workshops, singing, dancing, sessions and giggles galore at what is one of the friendliest and established folk festivals around. Billy is an exciting addition to a line-up that celebrates the full range of the eclectic folk world along with the rest of our superb award winning folk stars".
To help celebrate their 40th year the organisers are asking people to send in photographs capturing memories of earlier festival moments such as engagements, births, chance meetings that have sparked musical and personal projects and generations growing up with the festival. Please send images by email to or via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/warwickfolkfestival
There are a few SUPER EARLYBIRD TICKETS available but are expected to sell out in the next few days. Festival goers are therefore advised to book their tickets ASAP and take advantage of the savings. Visitors to the festival can choose from Friday - Sunday tickets, Thursday - Sunday tickets or just visit for the day, plus under 14s go free! Tickets can be booked online. For more information please visit http://www.warwickfolkfestival.co.uk