Cream of UK folk acts set to appear at Kimpton Folk Festival

Revellers on the green at Kimpton Folk Festival. Picture: Matt Willis

Revellers on the green at Kimpton Folk Festival. Picture: Matt Willis

Matt Willis

Some of the country's leading folk acts will be coming to Hertfordshire for the fourth Kimpton Folk Festival this weekend.

Kimpton Folk FestivalKimpton Folk Festival

The festival, which will be staged right around the village, will feature top class concerts on three stages, free instrumental workshops, buskers, open mic concerts, dance demonstrations, a workshop in French dance, children's storytelling and games, street food vendors, real ale from Farr Brew, and a range of stalls including an instrument maker.

Headlining this year's event on Saturday, July 6, are multiple award-winning duo Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, two of the most highly regarded folk artists in the UK.

They will be appearing alongside high-energy 'bop till you drop' ensemble Sheelanagig and the ever popular Smith & Brewer band.

The festival, renowned for its friendly welcome and tight organisation, is run by music charity Kimpton Folk Events - an organisation which exists to grow a love of the folk arts in its local community.

The Urban Folk Quartet playing last year's Kimpton Folk Festival. Picture: Matt WillisThe Urban Folk Quartet playing last year's Kimpton Folk Festival. Picture: Matt Willis

The charity uses raised funds to put on local events for young and old alike, including 'slow jam' sessions for young people learning traditional tunes, dance activities for children in special schools and community coffee and music mornings.

Trustee June Rowlands, who heads up the KFE's Outreach Programme, said: "Our slow jam session attracted a number of interested players, some of whom now attend our regular traditional music sessions, playing tunes in the old style, by ear.

"We have run short workshops in Herts schools, focusing in inclusivity and children with special educational needs.

"Workshops have been held at Lakeside, Lonsdale and Southfield Schools.

"The students, many of whom have significant disabilities, joined the musicians, playing percussion instruments and exploring the dynamics of sound and movement."

After another successful year of fundraising, KFE is all set to put on its most ambitious Kimpton Folk Festival yet.

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The event will have a strong dance theme, with English Miscellany hosting a French dance ensemble from La Rochelle, American folk dancing from Tappalachian and rapper sword dancing from Tower Ravens.

Other artists include Melrose Quartet, The Arrowsmiths, Gilmore & Roberts, Edgelarks, Ninebarrow, Glymjack, Kim Lowings & The Greenwood, Odette Michell, trio Alden, Patterson & Dashwood, The Wilderness Yet and local star Lizzy Hardingham.

Festival venues include the village memorial hall, the 13th century church of St Peter & St Paul, the village green, the Dacre Rooms, the village school and The Boot pub.

Commenting on the evolution of Kimpton Folk Festival, chairman Doug Jenner said: "It's fantastic to see how the village is engaging with this event.

"Our line-up this year is just so varied, and we have a real dance focus this year.

"We're thrilled to announce that top UK folk duo Nancy Kerr & James Fagan are now official patrons of Kimpton Folk Festival.

"They will also be featuring in our evening concert in the church.

"Our Memorial Hall concert features two high-energy dance bands - Smith & Brewer, and the mighty Sheelanagig - guaranteed to get people out of their seats and onto the dance floor!"

Nancy Kerr and James Fagan recorded part of their new album live in Kimpton last year.

For tickets and further information on the Kimpton Folk Festival on July 6, visit www.kimptonfolk.uk

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