St Albans Folk Festival 2021 to go ahead this weekend
- Credit: Elly Lucas
St Albans Folk Festival 2021 will take place at its usual time this weekend.
Running from Friday, June 25 to Sunday, June 27, there will be online events featuring nationally known performers and local musicians performing live in St Albans pub gardens.
Plans for live music in pub settings had to be left until the last minute as publicans had to wait for government announcements about changes to coronavirus restrictions.
In the absence of further changes, performances are not allowed indoors, but folk festival organisers are grateful to the publicans who are hosting music in their gardens, despite COVID-19 restrictions and the competing demands of the Euro 2020 football games.
On Saturday, June 26 local performers can be heard in three pubs:
- The Mermaid, in Hatfield Road, from noon to 3pm.
- The Garibaldi, in Albert Street, from noon to 4pm. Please ring 01727 894745 to book a table.
- The Robin Hood, in Victoria Street, from noon to 5pm.
There will be further music by local performers on Sunday, June 27 at The Garibaldi, from noon to 4pm. Again, ring 01727 894745 to book a table.
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At The Robin Hood, Victoria Street, local musicians will be holding an informal traditional music session. They are looking forward to playing together live after months of meeting on Zoom.
Meanwhile, tickets are still available for this year's online festival events.
The online opening concert on Friday, June 25 will feature local performers with a wider reputation.
Hertfordshire-based folk musician and songstress Lizzy Hardingham is paving her way as a powerhouse performer with "beautifully delivered songs that sing straight to the heart".
Herts and Beds-based folk trio Said the Maiden have unfortunately had to pull out but their slot will be filled by James Findlay who won the BBC2 Radio 2 Young Folk award in 2010, and most recently has been working in touring theatre.
Support will be provided by Berkshire-based folk harpist and singer Eleanor Dunsdon, and by Kelvin Davies, a country blues and ragtime musician with a British folk vibe, seamlessly accompanied by Gary Jones on harmonica.
Award-winning songwriter, folk singer and multi-instrumentalist Lucy Farrell will be the main guest at the virtual festival concert on Saturday, June 26.
Supporting Lucy will be a new vocal trio, Arbrevyn, made up of New Roots 2020 finalists Cathy Bennett and Callum McKellar and another young singer, Katy Coope.
On Sunday, June 27 at 5pm there will be an online afternoon of ceilidh-style dancing.
The dances will be taught by Lisa Heywood, who is renowned for her enthusiastic and creative style, and accompanied by live music from duo Gifford: Brookes.
Tickets for the online events can be booked at www.ticketsource.co.uk/stalbansfolkmusic or by phone on 0333 666 3366.