New Major Music Festival coming to Manchester this October

What's this major new annual festival in Manchester, looking to celebrate the best of English folk and acoustic roots music?

By Steven Pankhurst | 12 October 2017

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Obviously it’s the Manchester Folk Festival who have announced their full programme of concerts, film and theatre, artists in conversation and craft workshops at venues across Manchester this Autumn.

Taking place from the 19th ’til the 22nd October across the city – the Festival aims to present familiar names alongside exciting new voices, celebrating how contemporary folk straddles genres, embraces cultures and absorbs new influences.

Featuring out of the ordinary combinations of artists, this new urban music festival will offer a different perspective on and attract new audiences to discovering the incredible range of contemporary English folk and acoustic music.

With over 16 concerts featuring over 30 artists in a mix of intimate and large scale gigs, Manchester Folk Festival is the only festival dedicated to promoting and supporting new English folk and acoustic music. It will host the English Folk Expo music showcase, attracting delegates from across the world to experience contemporary English folk and supporting the industry to thrive.

Presenting festival stage giants and folk club legends, the programme spans everything from experimental and indie folk to traditional music. Expect big bold sounds from the likes of Jon Boden and the Remnant Kings (ex-Bellowhead) who brings a 10-piece line up to the stage and Afro Celt Sound System whose exhilarating show will make the sprung dancefloor of The O2 Ritz bounce. False Lights’ explosion of 60’s-inspired electric folk-rock will raise the roof at HOME, whilst Gorilla will host the joyous folk-pop five piece Keston Cobblers’ Club.

A quieter rapture is offered by gravel-voiced guitarist John Smith and indie-folk duo Josienne and Ben Walker, whilst The Young ‘Uns bring wicked wit and pitch-perfect three-part harmonies. Award-winning musician Kathryn Tickell joins the festival with author David Almond and clog dancer Amy Thatcher in an event combining the song, stories and music of the North.

A strong strand of protest singers includes political and LGBT activist Grace Petrie, People’s History Museum’s Songwriter in Residence Quiet Loner, and BBC radio presenter and activist Tom Robinson, who will perform the entire Power in the Darkness album to mark the 40th anniversary of 2-4-6-8 Motorway.

Exciting new combinations of artists will appear together including emerging artists alongside big names. Whether it’s folk-punk double bass player Nina Harries to shanty-singer and squeezebox player Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne, singer-songwriter and visual artist Jinnwoo to acoustic folk-pop duo Sound of the Sirens, Manchester Folk Festival aims to introduce audiences to experience new sounds.

For full information and tickets see