Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Oxford Folk Festival - April 16-18

The seventh Oxford Folk Festival will be held on Friday 16th , Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th April 2010 at venues across the city. Growing bigger every year the 2010 festival will see new venues, new events and new music mixed with the tried an tested favourites of previous years.

For 2010 Oxford Town Hall is again the focus for some fantastic concerts featuring Bellowhead, Cara Dillon, the Warsaw Village Band, the Demon Barber Roadshow, and Chris Wood and Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies to name but a few.

To open the festival on Friday evening award winning big band Bellowhead will be making their fourth triumphant return to the festival. They will be supported by the sqeezebox and dulcimer duo of Saul Rose and Maclaine Colston and local band Telling the Bees.

In the Saturday lunchtime slot we welcome the Balkan influenced music of Torivaki, who hail from Oxford’s twin town of Grenoble in France; squeezebox wizard Luke Daniels with fiddle player Sam Proctor, and the outstanding young performers of The Gael Academy.

Saturday afternoon brings the spectacular Demon Barber Roadshow who combine driving folk tunes with one of the best rapper dance sides in the country (and some pretty good clog dancing too). Starting the concert off will be up and coming band Roots Union, who promise us a rare guest appearance from the first ever singer in Fairport Convention, Judy Dyble.

The amazing voice of Irish singer Cara Dillon will head the Saturday evening concert. Cara has been wowing audiences and taking awards with her mix of traditional and original material sung in the way only Cara can. Supporting Cara will be Radio 2 Young Folk Awards winner Megan Henwood, this time playing solo.

Sunday opens with a concert of English folk music favourites. Headlining will be Chris Wood with his thoughtful songs of reflective charm. Supporting Chris and playing songs mainly derived from his native North East will be Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies while leading off will be the electric on-stage presence of squeezebox maestro Simon Care.

Closing the festival at the Town Hall on Sunday night will be remarkable Warsaw Village Band, who deconstruct their native Polish music to make it brand new and cutting edge – not to be missed. They will be supported by Maqam, a new local collection of musicians who present dazzling Arabic music with fiddle, oud and qanoon.

Running alongside the main concerts at the Town Hall there will be no less than 27 other acts on the Cornbury stage over the three days. Giving a platform to local and up and coming artists there will be something for everyone, from new interpretations of traditional tunes to gypsy burlesque.

As well as hosting the concerts the Town Hall will be Festival HQ, holding the box office, craft fair, real ale bar and cafe.

At the Holywell Room the ever popular seventeenth costume band The Oxford Waits will entertain on Friday night, with Europe’s only baroque and tango orchestra, The Oxford Concert Party, supported by the festival own choir, Rising Voices, on Saturday.

Other concerts will be held at the Faculty of Music on Saturday afternoon where an OFFspring concert featuring local young talent and at the Newman Rooms on Sunday evening when the bands from Oxford’s twin towns will be joined by the Oxford Fiddle Group.

For dancers there will be ceilidhs at the Newman Rooms in St Aldates with brand new band Tiggerz on Friday night and the ever popular Steamchicken on Saturday night. For families there will be an OFFspring family ceilidh on Sunday afternoon in the Denis Arnold Hall at the Faculty of Music in St Aldates featuring local band What’s Up Folk from the John Mason School in Abingdon.

There will also be a wealth of free outside entertainment centered on the Castle site, with over 40 Morris sides dancing there and elsewhere in the city over the weekend, starting with a grand parade from the Castle to Cornmarket Street on Saturday morning. A new, free Marquee Stage in the Castle Garden will host music on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon and dance workshops on both days.

Craft activities, stories, dancing and singing for children will be in County Hall.

2010 will see a massive 22 workshops ranging from belly dancing at the Castle to hands on sessions with some of the beautiful instruments in the Bate Collection at the Faculty of Music by way of harp, cajon, guitar, a multitude of squeeze instruments, northumbrian pipes and the amazing Javanese gamelan!

This year the festival has been awarded invaluable assistance from the Performing Rights Society Foundation that has enabled us to continue to expand. We have also entered into partnership with The Sage Gateshead and the Oxfordshire School Music Service to provide the Vocal Force Sing Up project to local special needs schools.

2010 also starts an new relationship with Oxford University Faculty of Music, who will host some of the 22 workshops as well as concerts and a ceilidh at their building in St Aldates.

Finally we are delighted to announce that local folk icons John Spiers and Jon Boden have agreed to join June Tabor as patrons of the Festival.

Tickets are available from We Got Tickets at www.wegottickets.com or Oxboffice at www.oxboffice.com or 08456801926. Booking fees may be applied.

For more information go to www.oxfordfolkfestival.com

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