St Albans song-writing competition part of folk festival

Lady Maisery will headline the main concert at this year's St Albans Folk Festival in the Maltings A

Lady Maisery will headline the main concert at this year's St Albans Folk Festival in the Maltings Arts Centre - Credit: Archant

After the success of last year’s songwriting competition, the organisers of the 2020 St Albans Folk Festival are challenging you to take on a new theme this year.

They’re looking for songs based on the theme of St Albans scoundrels: rule breakers, risk takers or mischief makers, whether it be a local historical figure or a story passed down through the generations of families.

This competition aims to celebrate the essence of St Albans and its music. It is open to people of all ages and abilities and entries from young people are being particularly welcome.

There are two age categories - under and over 18.

The songs should be the writers’ own original material and explore themes seen in St Albans throughout its history.

The city is steeped in acoustic, folk and traditional music so the songs entered should fit broadly into these genres.

The competition will be judged by four accomplished judges from the music industry and from the local music scene, the duo Hannah Elizabeth and Griff Jameson, Neil King of the website Fatea and Kimpton Folk Festival and BBC afficionado Brian King.

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It will be in two stages. The first is application and initial judging of the song recordings. Then the writers of the chosen entries will be asked to send videos of their songs to be played online on the evening of Saturday, September 26, as part of the St Albans Folk Festival.

This year’s online festival takes place from September 25-27 .

Usually the annual folk festival is held on the first Wednesday in July. From 1988 to 2019, the popular event took place in St Michael’s Street on the first Wednesday evening in July, with dancing in the street and music everywhere. The 2020 event was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Organisers are keen to reinstate it as soon as it is safe to do so, but said it may be several years before can happen. If it possible to hold it as soon as 2021, it will be on Wednesday, July 7.

Feedback on the song-writing entries will be given after initial judging and those asked to perform their entries on September 26 this year will be given timeslots on the day.

Further details and an entry form can be found at

Entry forms should be emailed to and audio files should be sent by WeTransfer.