The long-awaited and virtually sold out Derby Folk Festival returns as a live event in the heart of the city centre this weekend, from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd October.
Now in its 15th year, noted artists including O’Hooley and Tidow, Kitty Macfarlane, Ninebarrow, India Electric Co. and Home Service will be joined by some old friends and new faces.
The Derby Loves You venue in Derby Market Place becomes the Mick Peat Stage for the weekend, named in honour of the festival’s co-director who sadly died in January. Concerts also take place in Derby Cathedral on the Saturday, while the Old Bell Hotel in Sadler Gate is the focus for some great fringe events.
Festival patron John Tams said: “Out of the strong came forth sweetness” or so it says on the Tate and Lyle Golden Syrup tin, and it is that strength of purpose that Festival Director Bob Rushton and his team have proven, against all odds to bring the Derby Folk Festival back to the city.
“There will be sweetness in the music, I can guarantee and maybe an air of sadness with the passing of long-time Festival Co-Director Mick Peat but he would never countenance that. He’d say “Let’s just do what it says on the tin!” and he’d be right.”
Councillor Ross McCristal, Derby City Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture, Tourism and Wellbeing, said: “It is great to see Derby Folk Festival back live in the city centre for its 15th year. Because of the pandemic last year’s event became the online Derby Folk Festival at Home, which was very well received, but nothing compares to live music and singing.
“With the involvement of our partners the city centre comes alive for a nationally known festival, which is an example of the kind of cultural event we do best.”
The Mick Peat Stage will be the scene of a special tribute concert on Saturday 2nd October. The line-up includes Narthen, Melrose Quartet, Tams & Coope, Lester Simpson, Winter Wilson and more great friends.
Well-known for his own music as well as his involvement in Derby Folk Festival and support for the local Folk music scene, Mick was a co-founder of Drystone, an organisation set up by artists to build and re-build the arts following the Covid-19 crisis. The concert will include the presentation of the first Mick Peak Drystone Bursary to someone involved in the creative industries who is helping to make this happen.
The festival has largely sold out except for a very limited number of day and evening tickets, and some weekend passes. Weekend tickets are £90 for adults and £25 for under 16’s and guarantee you entry to all concerts on the Mick Peat Stage, from 6pm on Friday 1st October to Sunday 3rd October, and all shows in Derby Cathedral on Saturday 2nd October. Online tickets and full ticket information is available from derbylive.co.uk, or contact our Sales and Information Centre on 01332 255800.
You can also join in the festival by enjoying the fringe events in the ballroom at the Old Bell Hotel, from 11.30am to 10.30pm on Saturday and Sunday. Experience music, dance, spoken word and more, including Folk3D’s tribute to the traditional John Birmingham Cup song competition on Saturday. The fringe is curated by Folk3D and Furthest From The Sea, who both work with grassroots artists to develop and showcase talent, and gratefully supported by Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID).
This year a small daily charge of £5 for fringe events is being made to help cover the costs of staging the festival. Tickets, available from derbylive.co.uk or the Sales and Information Centre, are exchanged for wristbands at Derby Market Place to give you access to events at the Old Bell Hotel and also the outdoor festival/bar area at Derby Market Place.
As part of the Fringe Festival, and thanks to the support of Cathedral Quarter BID, the streets will be filled with the sound of bells and clogs as we welcome traditional dance back in the city centre on both Saturday and Sunday.
Dance teams Ripley Morris, Winster Morris, Harlequin Morris, Restless Soles, Makeney Morris, T’Owd Man Morris and Ripley Green Garters, will be dancing between 11am and 3pm each day in a range of locations. You’ll find them on the Cornmarket, at the Waterfall on the Market Place, on Sadler Gate, and on Cathedral Green – everyone can get into the Folk Festival spirit for free!
And on Friday 1st October, Derby’s Museum of Making is hosting the free Folk Fun Palace from 6pm to 9pm. Have a go at traditional making in folk-inspired workshops, enjoy music from some of the artists performing at the festival, and join in the celebrations for Folk3D’s 10th birthday.
At the concerts a number of measures will be in place to reduce the risk of COVID -19 transmission. These are influenced by Government and industry guidance, but hand washing, social distancing and wearing face coverings will be encouraged. Visitors should not attend if they show any COVID-19 symptoms, have been asked to self-isolate or have tested positive. See the Derby Live website for full information.
The full line up for the concerts is as follows.
Access to the Old Bell events will be limited by capacity, so if a particular concert spot is full, you’ll still be able to get into the Market Place or return for other events in the Old Bell.
Find out what’s on with the Arts Derbyshire newsletter.